Lighthouse Point, FL July 25, 2001 All the B2B hype of the last nine months might make you think that everybody and their brother are conducting business online. But the truth is that buying CDs and books online is one thing, but buying critical direct materials online is quite another. Many are still very concerned with the insurability and auditability of B2B e-commerce.
One such group of skeptics is 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. 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.
Today, the BFG announced significant progress in moving forward its e-commerce framework for auditable and insurable B2B transactions using the Internet.
"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 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.
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.