Technology has to become stringent when it comes to IT networking and encryption. The transfer and flow of the data demands a standardized encryption protocol. To this effect, Cisco has introduced VPN Internal Service Module for its ISR G2 series of routers. The military-standard module works in accordance with ‘Suite B’guidelines. Suit B is the encryption mechanism devised and recommended by National Security Agency for Department of Defense Communications. This new hardware encryption module helps determine the protection level for point-to-point encryption of IP traffic. It also uses SHA-2 hash algorithm in its implementation. The release can be seen as another step to strengthen the secure communication between two routers.
Moreover, the whole mechanism itself involves the Advanced Encryption Standard, standards-based elliptic-curve cryptography, and Triple DES. Cisco states this as a prerequisite to ascertain the high-level encryption required by military networks. The Cisco encryption card that comes with this module can support up to 3,000 concurrent channels with a data transfer rate of 1.2 Gbps. However, Cisco confirms that the card does not support multi-cast encryption (for transmission of data to specific receivers). According to Sarah Vanier, manager of solutions marketing at Cisco, the module allows users to offload the encryption process on the card, with the hardware doing the hard work of encryption and decryption of traffic at the beginning and terminating points.
The Cisco VPN Internal Service Module for the ISR G2 series is being further tested to pass the FIPS level certification recommended by the government. However, the module is available for purchase at a price of $2,000. For detailed specifications, visit the Cisco website .