Bacs, the UK's automated payments clearing house, has deployed nCipher's nShield hardware security modules (HSMs) to secure cryptographic keys and certificate management processes for its IP-based electronic payments network.
The Bacstel-IP system is the first phase of the NewBacs technology renewal programme that uses an advanced public key infrastructure (PKI) to secure the network and offers users the opportunity to track payments and update data online. The system, which is being rolled out this month, will replace the existing Bacs private telecoms network by 2005.
The nCipher nShield HSMs provides a tamper-resistant hardware environment to store and manage private keys used to secure the Bacs PKI. This includes online validation of digital certificates issued by banks to their corporate customers and encrypted documents.
Tim Lambertstock, technology strategy manager, Bacs, says: "The nShield devices have been easy to integrate into our new infrastructure and provide the resilience and scalability that will be critical as users migrate to Bacstel-IP over the next three years."