The Jericho Forum and its goals

The Jericho Forum describes itself as a group of large, multinational user companies dedicated to the development of open standards that "enable secure, boundary-less information flows across firms."

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The Jericho Forum describes itself as a group of large, multinational user companies dedicated to the development of open standards that "enable secure, boundary-less information flows across firms."

According to co-founder Paul Simmonds, the concept for the forum emerged in 2002. At that time, the U.K.'s Royal Mail got a group of European multinationals together to explore the potential of developing common security architectures. The overall aim was to support de-perimeterized business-to-business networking. The group realized that several corporations were tackling the same challenges of doing business in a de-perimeterized world and they were all clamoring for vendors to address their needs, but they were all "articulating the problem differently."

Realizing strength comes in numbers, the group formed this past January under the Jericho name. Its stated mission is to develop a codified set of requirements, primarily in the realm of authentication, encryption and identity management and policy enforcement.

The forum has more than 40 members, including BAE Systems, Credit Suisse First Boston, Eli Lilly, Pfizer, Procter & Gamble, Qantas, Reuters, Rolls-Royce and Unilever. It continues to gain momentum and has recently added a number of U.S. and international firms, including Airbus, Boeing and GlaxoSmithKline. It currently is investigating the feasibility of expanding its presence in Japan, France and Germany.

Jericho met in late August to further develop its road map. As a result of that meeting, the group said it plans to publish a draft specification by year-end that will detail vendor requirements for enabling true de-perimeterization.

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