Agorics, Inc.

Agorics Technology Sampler

Implementing eBusiness transactions while protecting the corporate network requires security in the areas such as Electronic Mail, Electronic Payment, On-line Markets, and Systems Engineering. Agorics has worked extensively with partners in these and other areas, and understands the business challenges as well as the technologies. Building on this experience and being able to bring to bear proprietary intellectual property (including numerous patents), Agorics can analyze corporate requirements and rapidly develop customized infrastructure systems to meet real business needs. Below are examples of some of our recent work for major customers and their related technologies.

Electronic Payments

Payment systems are crucial to all businesses. Agorics has participated for years in the development of market-leading payment software as an active member of the Financial Services Technology Consortium (FSTC), whose principal members include fifteen of the country's largest banks. The FSTC is chartered with improving the competitiveness of the financial services industry in the U.S. Agorics' relationship with the FSTC has included building pilot electronic checking and electronic payment applications used to transfer real money.

Electronic checks (eChecks) offer businesses and consumers a convenient, secure and inexpensive payment method in cooperation with the financial institutions of their choice. The FSTC electronic check project supports the Internet transmission of digitally (cryptographically) signed checks from business to business or consumer to merchant. Checks can be digitally endorsed and forwarded to the appropriate bank after verifying the cryptographic signatures.

Currently the FSTC is participating with the U.S. Treasury in a pilot project to pay Department of Defense vendors by electronic check. The Treasury processes 500 million paper checks each year. Converting these to eChecks would save the Treasury more than $185 million a year, and reduce fraud. Participating in the first stages of this pilot are BankBoston and Bank of America. Agorics, working under contract to IBM, has written the electronic check processing software that operates in both banks. eChecks are the only Internet Payments System used by the U.S. Treasury, commercial banks and the Federal Reserve.

On-line Markets

Managing resource trade-offs dynamically is an area that is receiving increased attention. Agorics employees have pioneered the area of agoric (market-based) resource management. These dynamic techniques support allocation behavior that can be responsive to rapidly changing availability and usage patterns for most any resources, such as network bandwidth.

As part of a research project with Sun Microsystems Laboratories, Agorics developed an on-line market for buying and selling goods that allowed buyers and sellers to interact electronically. This market reflects the flexibility of traditional markets by allowing sellers to take advantage of a wide variety of market institutions such as auctions, barter, escrow agents, and futures. The "back end" component of the technology infrastructure clears payments using proper accounting, auditing, and reporting functions. The on-line market is open to both people and programs. Both can own, buy, and sell resources, supported by appropriate negotiation vehicles: program-to-program, people-to-program, and program-to-people.

All participants in the on-line market are protected by cost-appropriate capability security that protects the private information of all parties to a transaction. In addition, encryption, verification and authentication are utilized as required. This work resulted in five patents issued to Sun, and licensed to Agorics.

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Secure, High-Availability Kernel

The Agorics GuardOS™ Engine supplies a robust foundation for mission critical systems, allowing Java applications to perform significantly better with less programming effort. This makes the GuardOS™ Engine the ideal foundation for Internet and Intranet business applications, application servers, and any other environment that requires high transaction performance, continuous 24x7 operation, and advanced security capable of meeting the threats on the Internet.

Using patented, proven security concepts far beyond those found in traditional systems, the GuardOS™ Engine allows operational patterns just not conceivable elsewhere today. For example, multiple new applications, including untrusted applications (e.g., whether these are also mission critical but third party applications, test versions of in-house applications, or even attempts to introduce viruses) can be added to the same computer without fear of harm to any existing mission-critical processes. Each application gets not merely a virtual machine, but its own copy of "virtual hardware", similar (but cheaper and requiring less administration) to having a full dedicated machine for every application. This is all provided via a microkernel implementation of a proven, capabilities-based architecture that could also be ported to "appliance" chips or other small systems requiring strong protections, not just for the users and their data, but also between multiple applications (e.g., allowing the provider to add many applications over time, or even safely opening the system to third-party plug-in additions) without performance or security risk penalties.

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Secure Systems Engineering

Realizing the opportunities of eBusiness requires providing partners, vendors, and customers with access to traditionally internal systems. This new interdependence has security implications for all systems and companies involved. Addressing security in this open environment is best accomplished through security systems engineering. Security engineering not only uses security technology to protect all participants against new and changing risks, but also establishes security metrics to confirm that each corporate asset is appropriately protected as the Internet and eBusiness environments continue to evolve.

Agorics' systems approach to eBusiness and security identifies the business requirements of each business process, determines the appropriate security and eBusiness technologies, and defines processes for optimum use of those technologies to securely provide the requisite function. This approach has been successfully applied to major projects from FSTC's Electronic Check to the worldwide security architecture for a Fortune 500 company.

Unbeatable Combination

The strong combination of Agorics' staff expertise, proven management team, and wealth of intellectual property already manifested in numerous patents and technology components, can be applied to a broad range of eBusiness requirements. The proven Agorics approach leverages our successful processes, experience, and available technologies, along with other existing commercial or in-house staffs and technologies, to ensure a real solution to each organization's real requirements.

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