The US National Computer Security Association (NCSA) has begun offering a seal of approval for secure Web sites.
NCSA certification will provide assurance to World Wide Web users and site providers that sites meet minimum security specifications. For example, it will assert that a site is protected by a firewall or other mechanism against attacks from the Internet.
The certification will provide a handy security checklist for Web managers, says Steven Haase, a senior vice-president at Hamilton Dorsey Alston, an insurance brokerage in Atlanta.
"There are many site managers who won't realise what they are doing wrong until they see the NCSA's requirements," he says.
To get certified, an organisation must submit to remote tests and a site visit by the NCSA, based in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Certification, at a cost of US$8500, will be good for one year, during which the NCSA will perform random compliance audits.