nCipher Security News Release

nCipher Introduces World’s Fastest Elliptic Curve Hardware Security Modules

nShield Connect and nShield Solo HSMs Deliver Unprecedented Speed and Efficiency to Bolster Security for Markets such as Mobility and Smart Grid

Thales, leader in information systems and communications security, announces the introduction of nShield Connect 6000+ and nShield Solo 6000+ hardware security modules (HSMs), delivering the fastest available support for elliptic curve cryptography (ECC), helping organizations embrace the latest encryption and security capabilities without compromising performance.

With constant attacks on sensitive data and increased regulation, it has become increasingly critical for organizations to implement strong encryption and digital signatures to ensure the confidentiality and integrity of their critical data. This often places more strain on an organization’s existing public key infrastructure (PKI) used to manage keys and credentials, or triggers the deployment of new PKI systems to support specific issues such as mobility, cloud computing or device security. As the next generation approach to public key cryptography, the use of ECC is a common requirement as organizations seek optimum methods for delivering the appropriate level of protection for these forward looking techniques.

In addition to supporting new applications the U.S. National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) has recommended since 2010 that organizations transition to key lengths longer than 1024 bit for cryptography based on the RSA algorithm. While increased key lengths greatly enhance security, they also require more computational capacity and that can slow down operational performance. ECC provides a viable alternative to traditional algorithms where performance is critical or where processing power is limited, such as in a portable device.

News facts:

  • Elliptic curve cryptography is a proven alternative to traditional algorithms associated with PKI and the applications that employ public key operations and provides processing efficiencies that are well suited to emerging markets and security requirements.
  • With the introduction of nShield Connect 6000+ and nShield Solo 6000+ Thales now offers the world’s fastest elliptic curve HSMs with acceleration rates up to 2,400 signatures per second.
  • Organizations deploying nShield HSMs can more easily meet industry best practices and the increasing number of data privacy mandates by protecting critical keys within a high assurance tamper-resistant security boundary.
  • nShield Connect 6000+ and nShield Solo 6000+ models are currently undergoing FIPS 140-2 Level 3 validation (the globally recognized security standard for cryptographic systems) and will be available in early November 2012.

Richard Moulds, vice president, strategy, Thales eSecurity, says:

“As the use of cryptography becomes a mainstream approach to protecting critical systems and valuable data, there is a requirement for algorithms that address the needs of important new markets. The rise of the smartphone and the emergence of ‘intelligent connected devices’ ranging from smart meters to ticketing systems and vending machines highlights the need for enhanced security on low power devices, and elliptic curve cryptography addresses that need. These devices rarely exist in isolation and almost always form part of a broader data protection strategy and cryptographic architecture that includes the use of HSMs. As our customers embrace these opportunities, Thales is committed to supporting forward-looking technologies, such as ECC, in a way that delivers the performance and consistent management capabilities of our market leading HSM portfolio.”

Supporting resources: