Citing its experience as a supplier of information and defense technology, TRW Inc. has entered the increasingly crowded digital security fray via a spinoff company, E-Certify.

The venture gets an immediate boost by being endorsed as the "preferred secure application development arm" of TRW's $3 billion systems and information technology group in Fairfax, Va.

E-Certify, which also has venture capital backing from CE Capital Partnership of New York, will ride on TRW's worldwide distribution system as it tries to make data security infrastructures more accessible to corporations.

The new company is up against a host of competitors in public key encryption systems. Among them are International Business Machines Corp., Entrust Technologies Inc., and GTE Corp., which also have government contracting pedigrees and have made recent strides to ease the implementation of digital certificates and other electronic commerce and enterprise security measures.

E-Certify president and chief executive officer Glenn C. Hazard threw down the gauntlet by claiming: "We are the first major company in the Internet security space to focus on delivering secure applications instead of just security infrastructure."

Joseph T. Gorman, chairman and chief executive officer of TRW, added, "We intend to bring 40-plus years of experience in creating information technology solutions for the most secure levels of the government to companies doing business on the Internet."

"E-Certify has taken TRW's world-class digital security infrastructure and created a platform to build secure e-business applications for the commercial and government marketplace," Mr. Gorman said. "We are very excited about the opportunity that this company represents and intend to market its unique set of services and products to our customers around the world."

Financial services, insurance, health care, and government markets are served by one of three business units, the e-business applications group, with both custom and turnkey systems.

A second, the security platform products group, develops and markets advanced, policy-based security infrastructure products. And a security consulting group provides high-level consulting services to corporations on security policy, configurations, intrusion analysis, and application security.

E-Certify put its headquarters in Reston, Va., housing its federal and global sales groups and the security consulting group. The company also owns a tightly controlled "World Security Center" in Toronto, which includes a product engineering center, operations center, and customer support facility.

Through an arrangement with Lloyd's of London, E-Certify is offering an ID Protection Plan, insuring its customers for up to $250,000 of losses in the event of a security breach.

GartnerGroup analyst Rebecca Duncan in Delran, N.J., said the indemnification is a differentiating factor for TRW. She predicted other vendors will follow its lead.

"E-Certify's mission is to help create an environment on-line where doing business is not only secure and insured-it is easier, more efficient, and more cost-effective," said Mr. Hazard, who worked for AT&T Corp. for 17 years through 1995. "With our combination of security technology, applications development, and consulting, E-Certify can help businesses build that kind of environment."

Before joining TRW in September 1998, Mr. Hazard was chairman and CEO of FTP Software Inc., which merged with NetManage Corp. in August, and senior vice president and chief information officer of Legent Software in Herndon, Va., which was acquired by Computer Associates International in November 1995.

William P. Crowell, president and CEO of Cylink Corp. of Sunnyvale, Calif., has been elected to the board of the data encryption and network security company.

The designation solidifies Mr. Crowell's position after his appointment as acting chief executive last November. His predecessor, Fernand Sarrat, resigned after reported revenue shortfalls and restatements of prior-period earnings.

Mr. Crowell, a former deputy director of the National Security Agency, joined Cylink as a vice president in January 1998. Its customers include major banks, the Swift banking communications network, and the U.S. Postal Service.

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