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A national index of Canadian technology companies working in the advanced security sector is being created by several associations banding together for that purpose.

The Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance (CATA) has pulled together the Canadian Alarm and Security Association (CANASA) and the Canadian Association of Information Technology Professionals (CIPS) to create a database of Canadian security companies within the next year. The index will deal exclusively with the application of IT in the security industry. The CATA Alliance is still working out the details of how the actual database will be made available, or what fees, if any, will be charged. It expects to have a preliminary report in September. The database will focus on 14 categories including biometrics, authentication and encryption. It will be based on security solutions that use information and communications technology to meet a range of security applications and customer needs. The project will also involve profiling each security company in an effort to understand the types of products being offered. Companies must be based in Canada. Montreal-based Huguette Guilhaumon, managing director of CATA Alliance Quebec, said the proposed database fills a void in the industry and creates knowledge management of the security resources available in the country. CATA Alliance wants to find out if there are advanced security companies in Canada, and how those companies are faring. — Allison Taylor

Companies offer Canadians credit monitoring to protect against ID theft

Toronto-based Carlson Marketing Group Canada Ltd. and Intersections Inc. of Chantilly, Va.,in July announced the launch of credit monitoring and identity theft protection solutions for Canadian consumers. The companies claim their Credit Alert is the first product of its kind in Canada and will give consumers the power to access their personal credit information held by Equifax Canada Inc. and Trans Union of Canada. The product is said to help consumers learn what factors affect their credit scores, how to improve their scores over time, how to correct errors in their credit reports, and how to monitor activity in their reports that may be an indication of fraud or identity theft. The new program is designed to protect Canadian consumers from the risks associated with identity theft, one of the fastest growing crimes in North America, as well as educate them about the importance of maintaining good credit. It is modeled on similar products and services Intersections currently provides to two million U.S. consumers through both direct and endorsed partner channels. The companies noted that through strategic partnerships, Credit Alert will be offered to credit card-holding customers of several of the major credit card issuers in Canada.

TruAct recommends digital passports to secure business e-mail

TruAct Corporation earlier this year teamed with Soltrus, the Canadian affiliate of VeriSign, to launch “an affordable, made in Canada solution to e-mail security.” The Toronto-based TruAct claims to offers users the ability to economically digitally sign and encrypt their correspondence and conclude business transactions safely and securely across the Internet. The company recommends four key characteristics that messaging systems need to have to ensure the confidentiality and integrity of the messages being sent and received. One is confidentiality; a guarantee to the sender that only the intended recipient(s) can read the message. Another is integrity; a guarantee to the recipient that the message has not been altered in any way during transmission. Third is authentication; a guarantee to the recipient that the purported sender of the message is the actual sender. Lastly: non-repudiation; a guarantee that the sender cannot plausibly deny that he/she created or sent the message to the recipient. TruAct contends that the most efficient and economical means to implement these characteristics is to deploy and utilize digital passports.

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