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The Black Forest Group Reaches Critical Milestone
Towards Releasing An Encompassing Framework for
Auditable and Insurable B2B Internet E-Commerce

With Evidence of Commercial Product Viability, the BFG Looks to Support Industry Efforts to Move Framework to Next Phase

LIGHTHOUSE POINT, Fla., July 24, 2001 - Based on results from its tri-annual meeting held in Montreal, the Black Forest Group (BFG), an international consortium of information technology (IT) professionals representing some of the largest corporations in the world, as well as consultants and members from academia, today announced significant progress in moving forward its e-commerce framework for auditable and insurable business-to-business (B2B) transactions using the Internet.

In April 2000, the BFG supported a meeting of large IT consumer companies interested in a proof-of-concept project to validate its framework that provides end users with the ability to manage the inherent risk associated with B2B e-commerce using the Internet. This proof-of-concept has been validated by the successful completion of a working prototype and has the overwhelming support of the BFG.

"The BFG believes that B2B e-commerce cannot move forward in a significant way until value-laden exchanges can be insured," stated Rich Lee, the BFG Security Chair. "We are pleased with the progress of the early adopter participants and evidence of commercially available products. We are now looking to consumers of information technology to take the BFG framework and move it to the next phase of adoption and deployment."

The BFG E-Commerce Framework

The Framework put forward by the BFG in April of 2000 identified public key infrastructure (PKI) with the measurable quality attribute (BFG Quality Attribute) in X.509 digital certificates as a means of leveraging standards to achieve confidence in the security foundations of e-commerce. The Framework lets companies manage their B2B e-commerce risks in an economical, scalable manner. In addition to its security metric, the BFG's Framework reflects the fundamental needs and requirements of IT consumer organizations for automaticity, transparency, scalability and manageability across both current and future platforms.

"As of today, we are thrilled to announce that our initial objective to gain at least one commercially available product which uses the BFG Quality Attribute has been met," added Lee. "The BFG will continue to encourage industry efforts to support the use of the BFG Quality Attribute in commercial products for the benefit of IT consumer companies."

Next Steps

With additional projects proposed by several IT consumer companies and offers of additional commercially available products with the BFG Quality Attribute from strategic vendors, the BFG along with IT consumer companies are looking to initiate a special interest group (SIG) to encourage commercially available solutions in valuable B2B exchanges over the Internet that can be insured. The BFG expects that other IT consumers will benefit, and will encourage the SIG to provide publicly available reports with summary assessments that will reflect the perspective of the participants to the broader IT industry. The BFG will follow the progress of the SIG and provide a public statement with contact information for other interested parties from a new web page at their web site in September. For more information about participating in the SIG, see http://www.blackforestgroup.org.

About The Black Forest Group

Formed in 1992, the BFG is a member-sponsored forum of some of the largest corporations in the world, as well as consultants and members from academia. The market sectors represented by BFG members and participants accrue to about half of the annual IT purchases worldwide. The BFG fosters the exchange of ideas, experiences, and directions among user organizations, vendors, commercial businesses, as well as academic and research organizations in the area of IT and seeks to enhance the end-user experience and comfort with IT systems.



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