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Thales Ships First FIPS-Validated Hardware Security Module With PCI Express interface

Thales, leader in information systems and communications security, announces that the Thales nShield for PCI Express, part of the nCipher product line, has been certified to Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 140-2 level 3. nShield for PCI Express is the first multi-platform hardware security module (HSM) for PCI Express (often abbreviated to PCI-E or PCIe) and offers organizations that are required to run FIPS-compliant systems, hardware-based cryptographic protection within next generation server platforms, maximizing performance and satisfying security best practices.

“As the leading provider of HSMs, Thales has long championed best practices and industry standards. In addition we deliver to our customers not only the best solutions to overcome the problems associated with software security, but also provide the assurance that our products integrate and are fully compatible with the latest in server technology,” says Franck Greverie, Vice President, Managing Director for the information systems security activities of Thales. “It is vital that customers have a high level of confidence in the products they buy and independent review of a product’s security properties is a powerful tool in building that confidence. All Thales HSMs are shipped with current FIPS certificates and continuity of certification is maintained through all product upgrades and enhancements.”

The use of hardware security devices is a firmly established best practice for protecting cryptographic keys, with HSMs overcoming many of the inherent security weaknesses of implementing encryption and key management on general-purpose servers. FIPS 140-2, a standard defined by the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), is the most widely adopted security benchmark for cryptographic solutions in government and commercial enterprises. Rigorous independent review is increasingly important as nShield devices are now routinely used not only to protect sensitive keys and data in specific applications but are also entrusted with the implementation and enforcement of overall key policy throughout the enterprise as a component of Thales’s portfolio of enterprise key management solutions. Applications requiring FIPS-compliant key protection through hardware security devices include Public Key Infrastructures (PKIs) for Identity Management systems and database encryption projects based on Oracle 11g Advanced Security’s Transparent Database Encryption (TDE).

nShield provides the industry’s highest processing speeds for 2,048-bit and 4,096-bit RSA keys. The low-profile, single lane PCI Express module fits into any PCI Express slot. nShield is currently the only FIPS-validated, multi-platform hardware security module with a PCI Express interface.

Notes to editor

Thales is one of the world leaders in the provision of Information and Communication Systems Security solutions for government, defence, critical infrastructure operators, enterprises and the finance industry. Thales’s unique position in the market is due to its end-to-end security offering spanning the entire value chain in the security domain. The comprehensive offering includes architecture design, security and encryption product development, evaluation and certification preparation and through-life management services.

Thales has forty years of unrivalled track record in protecting information from Sensitive But Unclassified up to Top Secret and a comprehensive portfolio of security products and services, which includes network security products, application security products and secured telephony products.

About Thales

Thales is a leading international electronics and systems group, addressing Aerospace and Space, Defence and Security markets worldwide. The Group’s civil and military businesses develop in parallel and share a common base of technologies to serve a single objective: the security of people, property and nations. Thales’s leading-edge technology is supported by 22,500 R&D engineers who offer a capability unmatched in Europe to develop and deploy field-proven mission-critical information systems. The Group builds its growth on its unique multidomestic strategy based on trusted partnerships with national customers and market players, while leveraging its global expertise to support local technology and industrial development. Thales employs 68,000 people in 50 countries with 2008 revenues of €12.7 billion (equivalent of US$18.6 billion). www.thalesgroup.com

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