Vendors tackle high-speed encryption

Two companies say they have developed a way to encrypt data traveling over high-speed optical networks using commercial products.

The solution demonstrated by Thales and Alcatel focused on securing transmissions over Synchronous Optical Networks equipped with dense wavelength division multiplexing technology.

DWDM is a technique for improving bandwidth by splitting an optical link into multiple "strands" of light. That approach makes it possible to send more data through the same fiber, but it also makes it difficult to encrypt that data without dragging down network performance.

Thales, which sells data encryption technology for optical networks, and Alcatel, which offers DWDM modules and related technology, tested the use of their products and found no significant delays, companies officials said. The test involved the Thales Sonet Datacryptor and Alcatel's 1677 Sonet Link with DWDM modules.

The two companies are targeting customers in government agencies and financial institutions that require high-speed optical networks but also are concerned about security. Thales' Datacryptor is certified for compliance with Federal Information Processing Standard 140-2 for cryptography, and it supports two data encryption standards, 3DES and the Advanced Encryption Standard.

About the Author

John Monroe is Senior Events Editor for the 1105 Public Sector Media Group, where he is responsible for overseeing the development of content for print and online content, as well as events. John has more than 20 years of experience covering the information technology field. Most recently he served as Editor-in-Chief of Federal Computer Week. Previously, he served as editor of three sister publications: civic.com, which covered the state and local government IT market, Government Health IT, and Defense Systems.

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