Radicchio Closes In On Wireless E-Commerce Security Standard

The Radicchio Initiative, an industry coalition established to push public key infrastructure (PKI) based wireless e-commerce security standards, has significantly added to its member list of supporting companies.

Radicchio launched in September of 1999 with Sonera SmartTrust, Gemplus and EDS (Electronic Data Systems) as initial members, and is supported by Ericsson. This week, the coalition signed on 724 Solutions, Certicom, Geoworks Corp., Infineon Technologies, InterClear Service Ltd, Minick AG / Distefora, mobile solutions AG and Setec.

The expanded lineup will allow the initiative to accomplish its stated mission, which is to “ensure that as mobile commerce grows, there will be a standard security platform upon which all mobile commerce software, services and devices can be based.” Allaying user fears is another key initiative goal.

Bringing the Wireless Players Together

“Explosive growth in wireless e-commerce has presented a new challenge, requiring increased cooperation between operators, manufacturers and application providers,” commented Prakash Panjwani, director of wireless marketing for new member Certicom.

“Radicchio is the first global initiative to bring together these players, and provide the opportunity to promote secure, wireless e-commerce solutions via innovative use of PKI technology,” added Panjwani.

The initiative is moving to facilitate secure electronic transactions over wireless networks through the use of a PKI-based environment. PKI utilizes the power of cryptography, a data scrambling technology that experts feel is requisite for the security and integrity of e-commerce transactions.

Standards for a Wired World

Radicchio operates through the expansion of its membership and by acting as a consortium of wireless e-commerce companies to promote wireless e-commerce security-related legislation to government bodies and international regulators.

The initiative will seek to recruit additional members through its “Wireless e-Commerce: Clearing the Road for Global Expansion” conference that will be held in London in January of 2000. Current members now include certification authorities, device manufacturers, mobile operators, software companies, and systems integrators.

According to security experts, the PKI utilized in traditional e-commerce is identical to what is used by the wireless world, but different software interfaces have to be applied to the terminal equipment. The establishment of standards could accelerate both industry and consumer acceptance of wireless e-commerce.

“In bringing all players of wireless communications together, the Radicchio standardization initiative will allow development and broad implementation of secure wireless e-commerce applications,” stated Bernhard Schulte-Doeinghaus, head of international projects and relations for new member Infineon Technologies.

“Complete security solutions covering SIM card ICs, cellular phones as well as network infrastructure for mobile applications are one basis on which to develop reliable future wireless applications.”

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