While many vendors have concentrated on network security at the access level, Securicor 3net has focused on securing data as it is transferred between two points.
The company has been developing payload encryption technology to the point where marketing manager Paul McCarney feels he will soon be able to offer guarantees that the data that leaves from one router is the same as the data received by another. The Securicor products use the data encryption standard (DES) to a point where McCarney says it would take five Cray computers a score of years to crack the codes, but to no avail as those codes are changed a minimum of every 24 hours. "We're so proud of it we're willing to back it up. We're in the embryonic stages of being able to ensure the integrity of data that is travelling over a Securicor 3net security solutions network."
While the notion of encryption of data between two routers is not a new one, McCarney says new delivery mechanisms are forcing a change in thinking on how that encryption is managed. "The problem is, if you are to use the Internet as your backbone, there are other routers on the Internet that don't know what type of algorithm you're using or what this encrypted packet is all about. What we've been able to do is to encrypt the whole packet, throw it into an envelope, give that envelope an IP address and then send it over the Internet. To any other router it looks like an IP address, and sends it on."
This is the technology of payload encryption, a technology that in its fullest implementation allows companies to establish virtual private networks over the Internet. Payload encryption is available in Securicor's Total iQ range of network products, working in conjunction with Secure iQ for Windows client-based software.
McCarney says a further protocol - generic routing encapsulation - takes this one step further by hiding that IP address from anyone else on the Internet.
Securicor 3net is currently looking for resellers to take on its range of communications products (see article page 47).
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