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Jericho Forum tears down walls to outsiders

A group of top UK companies who are pushing for a new approach to security have decided to allow vendors and other firms to join the party

Security organisation the Jericho Forum has decided to open its doors to vendors and other companies after merging with Californian open standards body, the Open Group, to formalise its legal status.

The forum, made up of FTSE 100 members such as BP, ICI and Reuters, met on Friday to discuss the group's future. By formalising the group, the pioneers behind the organisation hope they can start to charge for membership and elect board members.

"Vendors can now play as well -- we will be opening membership shortly," said Paul Simmonds, global information security director for ICI and one of the founders of the group. "Because we are formalising under the Open Group, we can start taking money from people too."

The Jericho Forum was founded at the beginning of this year to look at 'deperimeterisation', a security concept that aims to move away from the perimeter security concept to one of protecting just the data.

Reports have suggested that security vendors have been eager to contribute to the group because its recommendations could shape the next generation of security technology.

The group was founded on the basis that its members wanted security vendors to build the technology they wanted rather than having to choose from what was available.

The forum, Simmonds added, had also reached some decisions on the problems it was trying to define, but more information is set to be released later this year. Although the forum was already linked with the Open Group, the relationship was only informal, Simmonds said.

The move will make the Jericho Forum an official part of the Open Group. Simmonds added that in formalising the group, members had chosen a logo and were building a website, though this was not in place at time of writing.