Vordel launches Web services to financial firms

Vordel Ltd. on Monday announced the launch of a Secure Partner Integration Solution to help large financial services institutions to securely and easily integrate their systems with partners using Web services.

Comprised of Microsoft Corp.'s .Net architecture and Vordel's VordelSecure Web services security platform, the Secure Partner Integration Solution will be rolled out and implemented for customers with assistance from Hewlett-Packard Co. Global Services Integration division.

The solution will offer XML-based security for financial services institutions that are "dipping their toe" in Web services environments and require secure transactions and communications between multiple parties, said Mark O'Neil, CTO of Dublin, Ireland-based Vordel.

"They have a need for partner integration often with their peers, and in terms of insurance companies that need to communicate with banks who are reselling, brokerages in need of real-time settlement data, they have special needs for Web services that involve XML and SOAP" standards, said O'Neil.

"[This is] one solution to get watertight in terms of security and performance that can be put in now and doesn't have to be ripped out and replaced with any solution in the near future," he said.

Vordel's software is optimized to run on Intel Corp.'s Itanium 2 chips, the company reports.

Because most Web services standards addressing security issues are still in a state of flux, it makes sense for customers to engage hybrid software solutions rather than opting to be locked into a number of competing hardware XML firewalls or appliances flooding the market, said Cate Quirk, an analyst at Boston-based AMR Research Inc.

"Folks that are just niche hardware firewall vendors are not going to last, and that's something customers need to consider," said Quirk. "For a CIO spending money on security, they're looking at the defense side of things -- VPN, firewalls, and anti-virus. They are considering Web services and software around it."

Quirk said Vordel's solution is a validation of the company's ability to deliver Web services security beyond that on offer from competitors such as Westbridge Technology Inc. and Reactivity Inc.

"Financial services has always been on the leading edge of technology spending with security to improve relationships through an organization, dealing with distributed relations, brokers, and insurance firms," Quirk noted. "This will help facilitate requests between financial services going back and forth and any type of trade changes."

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