CellCase2 increases Secant's range of ATM encryption speeds

With the release of CellCase2, Secant Network Technologies Inc. of Research Triangle
Park, N.C., says its line of virtual private networking products can now encrypt
asynchronous transfer mode traffic at wire rates all the way from 1.5 Mbps to 155 Mbps.

Earlier CellCase products secured WAN communications at T3 and OC-3 rates of 45 Mbps
and 155 Mbps. The newest entry, introduced last month, covers T1 rates at the low end of
the range.

The company plans to release a product next year that encrypts at OC-12 rates of 622
Mbps under triple Data Encryption Standard protection, said Stephen T. Irwin,
Secant’s vice president of sales and marketing.

Encryption technology for OC-12 rates was developed as far back as 1995 at the
Microelectronic Center of North Carolina under a contract with the Defense Advanced
Research Projects Agency, Irwin said. But Secant found no demand at the time.

The company’s first product was the CellCase155, which operates at OC-3. Demand
for faster encryption is now growing, Irwin said.

“We’ve had more requests for OC-12 in the last few months than we had for
OC-3 a year ago,” he said.

The CellCase box works on the public side of an ATM switch—outside the trusted
network—and encrypts traffic going to another CellCase box. It scrambles only the
payload of each cell, leaving the header routing information in the clear, to keep latency

The financial industry, government and health care providers have been the primary
markets, Irwin said.

Triple DES encryption is suitable for sensitive but unclassified government data, but
year 2000 repair demands have “taken a huge toll on budgets,” he said. “The
money and the human resources to update and secure ATM networks have been drawn

About the Author

William Jackson is a Maryland-based freelance writer.

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