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E-Commerce: "Scary, Hard-to-Use, and Confusing," Says RSA's CEO

Is the Liberty Alliance the answer?

Considering that he's CEO of RSA Security, it is impossible not to pay attention when someone like Arthur Coviello observes that e-commerce has hit a plateau and that further growth will only be possible once we've solved problems such as identity management so that "phishing" is no longer rife, perhaps with a federated solution such as the Liberty Alliance is working towards.

In addition to RSA itself, the Liberty Alliance has members like AOL, MasterCard and American Express, so it has strong backers.

There are three factors holding e-commerce back, said Coviello, speaking at a conference in Europe last week: "it's scary, it's hard to use, and it's confusing and chaotic," with phishing attacks rising from 100 or so last year to somewhere in the thousands already this year, and rising.

Authentication products are fortunately available now, said Coviello. RSA's director of technology Andrew Nash was also speaking at the conference, RSA's own event held in barcelona, Spain. "Hundreds and thousands of people...need to be authenticated" Nash said. The problem has to be solved fast, he added, lest the Internet acquire a reputation for having become a "very unsafe place."

More Stories By Jeremy Geelan

Jeremy Geelan is Chairman & CEO of the 21st Century Internet Group, Inc. and an Executive Academy Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. Formerly he was President & COO at Cloud Expo, Inc. and Conference Chair of the worldwide Cloud Expo series. He appears regularly at conferences and trade shows, speaking to technology audiences across six continents. You can follow him on twitter: @jg21.

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Most Recent Comments
PhishUgh 11/08/04 06:41:02 AM EST

One of the nice things about Firefox was the addition of yellow highlighting for secure sites, and the domain in the status bar. It really makes picking up when you're on a secure site easier. In the past you had to really look for that little lock icon or whatever.

Phishing is just conmen moving to the internet. They use similar tricks in the real world, just on a smaller audience. Here in the DC area there are several police imposters running around, some of them tricking people into withdrawing all the money from their bank (it's counterfeit!!!) and others actually using flashing lights to pull over people on the road.

Byt1ee 11/08/04 06:25:58 AM EST

I see that AOL is a part of Liberty, does that mean i can move from my AOL accountdirectly to, say, Amazon and buy a book without having to re-authenticate myself? is that the goal? If then I think this may well double the numbers for most e-commerce sites, i know it's what keeps me away from Web shopping up to now.

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