Web services, ID theft create new markets for RSA

RSA Security is looking into new technologies to secure Web services and protect consumers from identity theft, according to company president and chief executive officer Arthur W. Coviello.

Coviello, who was at the Cebit trade show in Hanover, Germany, Friday said that the company is thinking of offering a technology to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) that would work to protect consumers from identity theft.

"Identity theft is a big issue right now and the next wave in security will be protecting consumers from this," he said. Another key area the company is focusing on is securing the coming tide of Web services, Coviello said.

As Web services develop and become more open and automated, security measures have to be in place to protect the sensitive information, Coviello said.

In a way, the Bedford, Massachusetts, company sees itself as a "Switzerland" between consumers and other technology companies, a neutral force trying to ensure consumer protection, he said.

Working with major industry players like Microsoft Corp. to see what new technologies they are developing -- and where new security threats are emerging -- is key, Coviello said.

RSA just collaborated with Microsoft, in fact, to roll out an authentication and audit software for Windows desktops called SecurID.

At Cebit, the company is showing off its RFID (radio frequency identification) blocking tag technology, which prevents RFID readers from accessing sensitive information. Growing vendor interest around using RFID to transmit data creates a new market for RSA to release privacy protection tools.

Sony Corp., Nokia Corp. and Koninklijke Philips Electronics NV announced a new forum at Cebit this week to promote the development of an RFID-based technology called Near Field Communication (NFC). Although Coviello had not yet heard of it, he said that the forum would be something RSA would be interested in joining.

Coviello wasn't sticking around Cebit long enough to scope out other trends here, however. A helicopter was waiting to sweep him away, perhaps to the next emerging security threat.

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