Crypto-agility by design

In recent years, the role of encryption has become increasingly high-profile. From the revelations of US government surveillance to cyber-terrorism; large-scale identity theft to state-sponsored hacking. However, the concept of encrypted information is far from a new one.

The use of ciphers has been a mainstay of data protection for millennia. Since the time of Julius Caesar, encryption has been the key to maintaining information security and integrity. Today, sophisticated encryption technologies are used to help keep information secure across public network infrastructures.

The cryptographic landscape is an evolving one, with standards, protocols and algorithms changing over time as new threats emerge. For some global encryption service providers this can prove challenging. Consistently delivering quality products and services that meet internationally recognised standards is time-consuming. However, it is a vital part of the encryption market; as certification against these standards is one of the key ways in which customers can be assured that their data will be protected.

Compliance with the world’s leading international testing authority standards has been a core component of Senetas encryption products since they first came to market 20 years ago. Our commitment to certification in depth has seen Senetas high-assurance Layer 2 encryptors successfully certified by FIPS (140-2 Level 3), Common Criteria (EAL2+), UCAPL and NATO (restricted).

In addition to being certified as suitable for government and defence use, Senetas encryptors incorporate four essential, high-assurance features:

  • Secure, dedicated hardware devices
  • Automatic, zero-touch key management
  • End-to-end, authenticated encryption
  • Robust, standards-based algorithms

Like all standards, cryptographic protocols and algorithms evolve naturally over time as the standards organisations seek to improve security and performance. In order to meet these changing demands, Senetas encryptors are designed to be crypto-agile out of the box.

 

Evolving customer requirements

Since Senetas encryptors were first deployed by US defence forces and Australian law enforcement, nearly 20 years ago, crypto-agility has been a key element of our ongoing research and development. This flexibility is an essential part of the value proposition that has seen Senetas encryptors become the hardware of choice for governments, service providers and leading commercial organisations in more than 30 countries.

In recent years, this agility has seen us able to respond rapidly to changing customer demand for:

  • The ability to ‘bring their own’ curves and entropy
  • The use of alternative encryption algorithms
  • The use of Quantum Key Distribution

 

Rising demand for custom encryption

The increasing trend towards custom encryption and security solutions demands a new level of agility from hardware and solutions service providers, if they are to offer long-term security and guarantee a return on investment. For Senetas, this means providing agility straight out of the box:

  • Provide a broad range of built-in, standards-based algorithms
  • Feature in-field upgradeability
  • Support emerging encryption standards, such as Quantum Resistant Algorithms (QRA)
  • Enable manual encryption key input via the user interface
  • Allow customers to tailor the encryption with custom curves and entropy
  • Support Quantum Key Distribution (QKD).

If a customer demands a fully customised solution, Senetas R&D can build a new solution from the ground up; featuring bespoke algorithms to meet specific customer standards.

Further reading:

Crypto-Agile Infographic

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