Web infrastructure services provider VeriSign said Monday it is offering a new Shared Hosting Security Service aimed at helping small and mid-size businesses (SMBs) receive the kind of e-commerce security previouslyreserved for much larger companies.
The new offering will provide customers of SMB sites with a VeriSign seal that authenticates its Web address and the customer’s Internet service provider (ISP) encryption. The security services will be marketed to the SMBs through ISPs and Web hosting companies such as EarthLink, Ensim Corporation and ezWare Systems.
“It’s kind of gluing together the pieces they already had and tying in theseal — but the key issue is: Are they going to invest in the advertising tomake this seal any more significant than the other seals out there?” Gartneranalyst John Pescatore told the E-Commerce Times. “Until you make the sealmean something to a consumer, what’s the point?”
Dun & Bradstreet will be providing the business authentication service usingits database of over 64 million registered companies. Businesses receive aDUNS authentication number upon being registered with Dun & Bradstreet.
When a customer clicks on a VeriSign SMB site, VeriSign verifies that theSMB name and Web address have been authenticated by Dun & Bradstreet andthat they have the right to use the ISPs or Web Host’s SSL encryption, thecompany said.
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However, Pescatore said that while the D&B aspect of the service is theonly “unique” service being offered by VeriSign in this package, it alsodoes not tell consumers that much.
“Really all [the DUNS number] is saying is that this is a legitimatecompany,” Pescatore said. “Guys setting up sites to hack credit cards don’thave these numbers. It doesn’t say whether credit (of the business) isgood, or whether [the business] is trying to sell crack to teenagers.Whether it’s a good or bad company, you still have no idea.”
Pescatore said that what VeriSign’s new service does do for small andmid-size businesses is reduce the insurance costs for these companies byoffering up to US$5,000 of NetSure warranty protection for their sites.
According to VeriSign, the new service also helps SMBs protect consumersfrom the security breaches that can result when sites are part of a virtualserver or “shared hosting” architecture. According to Pescatore, the risk ofshared hosting is that if one of the sites on a server is compromised, itcould impact all sites on the server.
“[The new service] will certify that the SMB’s virtual server has beenconfigured securely, that customer data is stored in hardware rather than insoftware memory,” Pescatore said.