(Image courtesy of Ship Group)

An international alliance of architects, security experts and software wizards is using the Internet to pool their talents by using model-based design data to collaboratively analyze plans for security and safety flaws.

Although incorporated in Salisbury, Md., the SHiP Group (www.ship-group.com) is a virtual enterprise whose conference room is an Internet work site hosted from a design office in Japan, and whose business is conducted by electronic document exchange.

SHiP, an acronym for Strategic High-impact Process, allies representatives from firms in the U.S., Finland and Japan. Each applies distinct skills to security-conscious design. They take advantage of the fact that designs based on standards-compliant data-objects can carry behavioral and relationship information about their components that can be used to analyze "what-if" constraints.

A library of threat objects, such as cal-culated blast spheres of bombs exploding at specific locations, can be added to the model and the consequences envisioned and planned for. The group includes specialists to suggest the security issues appropriate for analysis and designers to create the models and explore mediation alternatives.