A Think-tank to improve network security was launched in SA last week to conduct research and share knowledge for the benefit of all computer users.

The forum was devised by T-Systems and is supported by Cisco, IBM and the universities of Johannesburg and Cape Town.

Bearing the unwieldy title of The South African Laboratory for Network Security Products and Services, it will conduct research and experiments by drawing on the wide range of skills and experience of those academics, service providers and technology vendors.

The research and development will lead to prototypes of security products and services, although it will not develop commercial products.

The results of its work will instead be made available to the benefit of the industry and country as a whole. The overall aim is to help with the development of security tools that can be used by technology vendors to improve network security in SA and Africa.

Another goal is to improve the research skills of post-graduate students by involving them in hi-tech network security projects, to help develop skilled individuals who can make a better contribution to the industry.