IBM and Intel detailed an agreement in which the two companies will promote Intel's Common Data Security Architecture (CDSA) specification, aiming to provide Internet security features that work across multiple computer hardware and software platforms.
The two companies also will conduct joint activities such as seminars and technical conferences to help educate IT managers on using CDSA in their environments. The programs will include multivendor seminars, interoperability forums, technology development workshops, demonstrations, and publication of technical documentation, the companies said.
Signing on to such a proposed industry standard is "a good idea", said Martin Marshall, an industry analyst at Zona Research. However, he is reserving judgment on the value of CDSA until next year, when he expects to see deployments.
Earlier this year, Hewlett-Packard joined Intel in promoting security. And at the recent Intel Developer Forum, Intel hinted at the importance the company would place on security issues over the next year.
IBM plans to ship KeyWorks -- its first CDSA-based product -- for Windows NT and IBM's AIX version of Unix now, with OS/400 and OS/390 versions to follow, said Jeff Jaffe, general manager of IBM's e-network and security operation.
IBM plans to extend KeyWorks to take advantage of security capabilities that Intel has in the works for future CPU and core logic chips, and Intel plans to make some KeyWorks technologies available with its CDSA reference implementation.
CDSA was originated by Intel. By providing cryptographic key management for the specification, IBM was a significant contributor to the standard's development. The Open Group has established CDSA as an industry standard.
In addition, CDSA enables Internet-based public key security infrastructures to interoperate via the IETF's Public Key Infrastructure standard, or PKIX. IBM recently provided a PKIX reference implementation to the IETF Internet Standards body, officials said.