TECH BRIEF

Encryption device gets NSA Type 1 cert

The National Security Agency has granted Type 1 security certification for a software upgrade to Harris Corp.'s SecNet 54 secure local-area network encryption device.  A Type 1 device is one that has been evaluated by the NSA to allow the processing of classified information up to and including top secret SCI (sensitive compartmented information).

SecNet 54 Version 2.0 lets users connect to secure networks via a commercial infrastructure. For example, a U.S. military officer could plug his laptop PC into the Ethernet cable at his hotel in Beijing, and as long as his colleague at the Pentagon has a SecNet device, they could securely communicate at the top-secret level, Harris officials said.

SecNet 54 is a cryptographic communications device with a modular architecture. It supports wired and wireless communications technologies, including 802.3 Ethernet and 802.11a/b/g wireless LANs.

Version 2.0 complies with High Assurance IP Encryptor 1.3.5, officials said. That streamlines the process of establishing secure top-secret connections for transmitting voice and data, they said. In addition, by consolidating the networking features into a single device, the company has eliminated the need to add hardware in the field.

Users can open a secure Type 1 encrypted tunnel through existing networks, including commercial wireless and wired public access points in locations such as hotels and restaurants, Harris officials said. SecNet 54 Version 2.0 provides a virtual LAN pass-through capability and protects information via a virtual private network connection.

“This software upgrade provides powerful additional tools that will allow SecNet 54 users to plan, coordinate and communicate sensitive information with the ultimate confidence that the network is secure,” said Richard Rzepkowski, vice president of communications security products at Harris RF Communications. “This device is a smaller, lighter and faster way of delivering high-speed encryption to a user’s desktop, workgroups and tactical operation centers, or even on the road.”

About the Author

Trudy Walsh is a senior writer for GCN.

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