Apple has released new software designed to evaluate the security of IT products.

The software - Common Criteria Tools 1.0 - is described as: "An internationally approved set of security standards which provides a clear and reliable evaluation" of such security capabilities.

By providing an independent assessment of a product’s ability to meet security standards, Common Criteria gives customers more confidence in the security of Information Technology products and leads to more informed decisions.

Apple explains the release has been spurred by requests from "security-conscious" customers, including the US Federal government. The release is a 156K download.

Such customers: "Require Common Criteria certification as a determining factor in purchasing decisions. Since the requirements for certification are clearly established, vendors can target very specific security needs while providing broad product offerings."

The Common Criteria have been adopted by 14 nations. More information on the release is available here.