FIPS certification given to encrypted satellite network

The encryption engine for the satellite networking platform from iDirect Technologies of Reston, Va., has been certified to the Federal Information Processing Standard.

The satellite hub and NetModem II Plus broadband router are the first satellite network encryption products to receive FIPS 140-2 certification.

Although FIPS certification is required for encryption tools, the mobile IP networking products already are in use by the military and other government users. Agencies are allowed to purchase equipment with the understanding that the vendor will obtain certification.

Warren Brown, vice president for marketing, said at least 1,000 units are in use in Iraq under a provisional agreement. They are being used for a variety of networking jobs, including voice over IP.

The NetModem remote terminal includes a built-in router with link encryption, TCP acceleration, Domain Name Server caching and quality of service, which enables VOIP. It provides speeds of up to 9.1 Mbps outbound and 4.2 Mbps return.

The accelerator enables use of encryption without reducing throughput. The quality-of-service feature lets bandwidth from 1 Kbps up be partitioned for specific applications, such as VOIP.

The current equipment uses the Triple Data Encryption Standard algorithm. Brown said new equipment scheduled for launch next year will use the Advanced Encryption Standard. AES equipment is undergoing separate FIPS 140-2 certification.

Brown said iDirect is not a service provider, but does have partnership with a number of satellite network providers.

About the Author

William Jackson is a Maryland-based freelance writer.

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