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Thales launches nShield hardware security modules

11 January 2010  |  2113 views  |  0 Source: Thales

Thales, leader in information systems and communications security, announces nShield Connect 500 and nShield Connect 1500, two network-attached hardware security modules (HSMs) that bolster the company's comprehensive product portfolio of industry-leading HSMs.

Part of the nCipher product line, nShield Connect 500 and 1500 complement nShield Connect 6000, Thales's flagship HSM and the fastest on the market today. Thales is the only company to offer dual, hot-swappable power supplies for enhanced business continuity, which come standard on nShield Connect models. The products meet the varying demands of mission-critical security systems that protect personal and other sensitive information.

HSMs are widely accepted as industry best practice for protecting cryptographic keys and for performing encryption and digital signing. HSMs provide a cost-effective way to increase the security of software-based systems, enforcing access control and key management policies within a tamper-resistant security environment. Thales nShield Connect HSMs are network-attached appliances that act as a highly scalable, centralized resource for managing keys and protecting sensitive data. The nShield Connect product line is easily deployed to support a wide range of shared security infrastructure applications such as Microsoft Certificate Services (PKI), Entrust Authority Security Manager, RSA Certificate Manager, Oracle Database, and Microsoft SQL Server.

While nShield Connect 6000 supports up to 100 servers, virtual machines or other application instances, nShield Connect 500 and 1500 support up to 10 and 20 clients respectively, enabling organizations to cost-effectively deploy the industry's leading HSMs to meet their specific performance requirements. In addition, nShield Connect 500 and 1500 are equipped with dual hot-swappable power supplies and field serviceable fans, like nShield Connect 6000, to support the needs of high-capacity shared IT infrastructures within modern data centers, where resilience and ease of maintenance are a primary concern.

"The introduction of the entire family of nShield Connect hardware security modules raises the bar in meeting customer demand for scalable, high-performance and resilieient key management infrastructures," says Franck Greverie, Vice President, Managing Director for the information systems security activities of Thales. "By introducing nShield Connect 500 and 1500 to our product portfolio, we are demonstrating our market leadership, offering dual, hot-swappable power supplies as standard in our entry-level products - recognizing business continuity is a critical factor for all of our clients. The nShield Connect portfolio offers our customers an easy and scalable upgrade path from our net HSM family."

The Thales nShield Connect product portfolio provides a number of industry-leading benefits, including:

• Unsurpassed business continuity and field serviceability - nShield Connect 6000, 1500 and 500 are the only HSMs to offer dual Power Supply Units (PSUs), helping customers improve the availability of their solutions by connecting the HSM to two independent power sources. One of the important benefits of the design is to enable servicing to be carried out in the field. The dual power supplies are hot-swappable, enabling customers to change the power supply without having to interrupt services. All nShield Connect HSMs also contain redundant, field-serviceable fans.

• Unique scalability - While nShield Connect 6000 is the world's fastest network-attached HSM, processing up to 6,000 signing transactions per second (TPS) with RSA 1,024-bit keys, nShield Connect 500 and 1500 are optimized for customers requiring high availability at a lower speed. nShield Connect 500 processes up to 500 signing TPS while nShield Connect 1500 processes up to 1500 signing TPS. In addition, nShield Connect 6000 delivers unmatched performance when using more secure, 2,048-bit keys that are increasingly recommended by regulators and industry bodies, including the U. S. National Institute of Standards Technology (NIST), the French Central Information Systems Security Division (DCSSI), and the German Federal office for information Security (BSI).

• Reduced cost of ownership - The inherent resiliency of all nShield Connect HSMs and the ability to provide cryptographic services to as many as 10, 20 or 100 application instances simultaneously (depending on the model deployed) reduces the total cost of ownership. The increased number of product offerings enables customers to customize their own shared, robust infrastructure while purchasing fewer HSM devices, using less rack space and less power.

• Powerful key management - Acting as a centralized resource, nShield Connect unifies key management policies and provides a single point from which to administer cryptographic keys, avoiding the need to visit remote servers. This addresses the costly and error-prone operational processes of key generation, rotation and recovery across distributed networks - costs that are further amplified when stringent supervision and audit rules are in force. nShield Connect 500, 1500 and 6000 fully support the Thales Security World key management framework providing dual controls with two-factor authentication and powerful separation of duties, delivering enhanced governance and, above all, confidence.

• High security - nShield Connect 500, 1500 and 6000 feature a tamper-responsive chassis, and their cryptographic components are validated to FIPS 140-2 level 3 and Common Criteria EAL 4+, positioning nShield Connect for use in highly regulated environments.

nShield Connect 500 and 1500 and 6000 are part of the nCipher product line and are fully compatible with existing Thales nShield Solo and Thales netHSM products. Customers can mix and match these products under a common Thales Security World key management framework and utilize existing developer tool kits.

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