Ascom’s Embedded Encryption Now Out In The Open

WAKAN, the first cryptographic toolkit for embedded systems to bring end-to-end data communication security to small networked devices is being launched by Ascom. Scalable and adaptable, WAKAN is readily installed into existing environments to provide security “out in the open”.

Many public networks, especially the ones based on the Internet Protocol (IP), offer users attractive new functions at lower operating costs. But while corporate security measures like firewalls may protect PCs and LANs, embedded systems on open networks are out on their own. Handicapped by limited memory and computing power, these systems have been vulnerable and difficult to protect. – Until now.

WAKAN, Ascom’s new Software Crypto Toolkit, is designed to protect just such data systems. Powerful cryptographic mechanisms provide effective end-to-end communication security for embedded systems working on public networks, conventional or wireless.

WAKAN’s cryptography neatly incorporates popular accepted standards and the most advanced algorithms such as triple DES, IDEA, AES and RSA to provide solutions for the basic security requirements – authorisation and integrity. It is ideal, not only for open networks, but also for stand-alone systems needing secure data handling, and distributed systems with sensitive data communication. Obvious application areas include telematics, security and wireless telecommunications.

Being highly scalable to customer needs, without dormant code, and portable to almost all microprocessor families – such as INTEL Pentium, Motorola ColdFire, ARM and Infineon to name but a few – the crypto software toolkit is easy to install into existing systems. Typically used for 8, 16 and 32 bit processors, WAKAN can be employed with any operating system or with none at all. It has been exhaustively tested with a wide variety of reference systems, to confirm easy migration to the target environment. Once in position WAKAN’s own automated start-up test indicates its correct operation.

At Ascom we focus all our cryptography efforts on protecting IT and telecommunication systems. We design state of the art cryptography solutions, produce secure data and voice communication hardware and software, and carry out turnkey projects for military and civilian customers. All these activities benefit from our on-going investment in cutting edge development. – IDEAâ„?, the widely used encryption algorithm is one of ours – and this, together with the more than 50,000 secure communication units currently in service providing on and off-line data protection, have established Ascom at the forefront of the information security field. Our practical, professional consulting services, ensure that customers’ communication risks are countered with appropriate security.

Don't miss