Abandon All Insecurity, Ye Who Enter Here
Netegrity, Inc. (Nasdaq: NETE) specializes in solutions for secure management
of websites. Their flagship product, SiteMinder, is a highly scalable
access control system that provides single login over multiple domains
and supports a variety of access control mechanisms down to the sub-page
level. Commerce One (NASDAQ: CMRC) will bundle SiteMinder into its Commerce
One MarketSite Portal Solution, its product that is used by market makers
to build and administer digital marketplaces.
Providing the infrastructure for its customers to build and administer
sophisticated access mechanisms is a necessary and obvious step for Commerce
One to take. It was elegant to choose a solution that allows single login
across its own Global Trading Web.
does not mean that, say, any small business member of some dart board
manufacturers' vertical marketplace can just login to the Global Trading
Web and order a thousand headlight bulbs from one of GM's suppliers. Any
such cross-market activity will have to be specifically authorized. But
where authorization exists, or where a company may participate in more
than one vertical marketplace, single login is a nice amenity that (we
suspect) can later be backed up with value added services that depend
on tracking the identity of a customer across marketplaces.
signing sets a standard that other marketplaces will want to meet or counter
by making some kind of announcement about access control; watch for the
announcements over the next few months.
value of security measures depends on the cost of a breach. For a
market maker, whose revenues derive from a functioning, trusted market,
the costs of a security breach are measured both in immediate loss
of revenue if the site is brought down or forced to close, and in
the longer term loss of trust. Also, while most published reports
of security breaches involve defacing websites or stealing data, digital
marketplaces are clearly potential targets, offering goods and money
as tempting as the Topkapi dagger, just waiting for the right band
of thieves to make off with a small fortune.
hard to imagine that the operators of a marketplace wouldn't want to have
as high a level of security as is commensurate with allowing easy access
to legitimate buyers and sellers. However, while Commerce One may now
have the edge on security, remember that this is only one of many factors
to weigh when you make a product selection.