UL expands from electronics tester to security certifier

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Underwriters Laboratories, known for its UL logo that appears on consumer electronics, is expanding its IT services to include security certifying for networking and telecommunication gear.

The idea didn't come from thin air. For the past decade, UL quietly offered security evaluation services to industries such as banking, with about 500 employees who provide everything from risk analysis to penetration testing, explained Ken Modeste, leader for cybersecurity technical services.

Sean Martin, a consultant with IT security expertise, said he's skeptical that enterprise purchasers will be interested in whether a product has UL certification.

"Generally, I don't think people care, the same way they don't go buy a light at Home Depot and check to make sure the label on there says UL listed," he said, in Los Angeles. Government standards such as the Evaluation Assurance Level are already established and widely respected, he added.

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