Thales nShield for PCI Express gets FIPS certification

Source: Thales

Thales, leader in information systems and communications security, announces that the Thales nShield for PCI Express, part of the nCipher product line, has been certified to Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 140-2 level 3.

nShield for PCI Express is the first multi-platform hardware security module (HSM) for PCI Express (often abbreviated to PCI-E or PCIe) and offers organisations that are required to run FIPS-compliant systems, hardware-based cryptographic protection within next generation server platforms, maximising performance and satisfying security best practices.

"As the leading provider of HSMs, Thales has long championed best practices and industry standards. In addition we deliver to our customers not only the best solutions to overcome the problems associated with software security, but also provide the assurance that our products integrate and are fully compatible with the latest in server technology," says Franck Greverie, Vice President, Managing Director for the information systems security activities of Thales. "It is vital that customers have a high level of confidence in the products they buy and independent review of a product's security properties is a powerful tool in building that confidence. All Thales HSMs are shipped with current FIPS certificates and continuity of certification is maintained through all product upgrades and enhancements."

The use of hardware security devices is a firmly established best practice for protecting cryptographic keys, with HSMs overcoming many of the inherent security weaknesses of implementing encryption and key management on general-purpose servers. FIPS 140-2, a standard defined by the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), is the most widely adopted security benchmark for cryptographic solutions in government and commercial enterprises. Rigorous independent review is increasingly important as nShield devices are now routinely used not only to protect sensitive keys and data in specific applications but are also entrusted with the implementation and enforcement of overall key policy throughout the enterprise as a component of Thales's portfolio of enterprise key management solutions. Appllications requiring FIPS-compliant key protection through hardware security devices include Public Key Infrastructures (PKIs) for Identity Management systems and database encryption projects based on Oracle 11g Advanced Security's Transparent Database Encryption (TDE).

nShield provides the industry's highest processing speeds for 2,048-bit and 4,096-bit RSA keys. The low-profile, single lane PCI Express module fits into any PCI Express slot. nShield is currently the only FIPS-validated, multi-platform hardware security module with a PCI Express interface.

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