Royal Mail launches new online service

Businesses are to be offered the chance to trade securely online by a new service put together by the Royal Mail and the British Chambers of Commerce.

The new service will scramble confidential commercial information and give intended recipients a code so they can unlock messages. At £50 a year the service, ChamberSign, comes at a time when security on the internet is paramount.

The Royal Mail’s digital security service, ViaCode, is to provide technical support for the service. Its own survey shows 76% of large companies use the internet but only 71% send confidential information.

Chris Humphries, director general of BCC, speaking to the BBC, said: ‘By ending once and for all the perception that e-commerce is too difficult and risky, ChamberSign will put lower costs, faster delivery and access to new markets within reach of all businesses.’

The new service was launched as Deloitte & Touche warned organisations to take a ‘holistic approach’ to e-security in the struggle to prevent security breaches and virus attacks. The firm also said companies should be more proactive.

Yag Kanani, Deloittes partner responsible for European Secure e-Business practice, said: ‘Hackers are always one, if not two, steps ahead and placing reliance on one security countermeasure alone may not be enough.’

Following international e-security breaches over the past few weeks – including the ‘love bug’ – business leaders have called on the government to step up its plans to deal with e-security matters.

Martin O’Neill MP, chairman of the Trade and Industry Select Committee, acknowledged the government’s key role in preventing attacks, but emphasised the individual’s responsibility in taking the initiative to fight against attacks.

He said: ‘Government and other agencies are working together closely to combat these threats, but the concept of total control of the internet is a pipe dream, and has serious implications for civil liberties and the open conduct of business. Everyone needs to exercise self-discipline in checking against viruses.’

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