Online population gets secure portal. Security sector gets much needed boost...Security vendor Entrust has signed a massive $17.6m deal with the Canadian government to provide the security for its online citizens' portal. Entrust is part of a consortium put together by communications consultancy BCE Nexxia to provide a complete portal for Canada's online government initiative 'Secure Channel'. The Canadian government claims it's on track to deliver all services online by 2004 - making it one of the most advanced administrations in the world. Under the deal Entrust will supply the Canadian Government with software to allow citizen identification and verification, for applications such as filing tax returns, renewing passports and checking employment records. The contract win comes at a tough time for the security market, with many of the large vendors feeling the pinch. US security vendor Internet Security Systems (ISS) yesterday warned earnings will not meet previous expectations, and it could even make a loss. Tom Noonan, CEO of ISS, said the fall in revenue was caused by major customers slashing the size of their purchases.