nCipher Announces Availability of Document Sealing Engine for Auditable Document Submission and Archival
Cambridge, UK – September, 2003 – nCipher plc (LSE :NCH), a leading provider of cryptographic IT security solutions, today announces the availability of its Document Sealing Engine, the nCipher DSE 200. This new appliance-based product provides the ability to seal electronic documents to create certified digital originals that potentially command equal legal status with paper based documents (subject to local legislation). The DSE 200 provides the ability to establish an auditable record of a document’s authenticity and to securely bind to it the identity of its originator and the time of its creation or publication. This capability has direct relevance to industries or government agencies that are seeking to create and manage documents as digital evidence or that are required to archive electronic records or submit documents to regulating authorities in an auditable manner.
While it is easy to see if a handwritten document has been tampered with, this is not the case with electronic documents, leaving them vulnerable to undetectable manipulation and potentially untrustworthy in the eyes of the law. However, in many situations an electronic document may be the only evidence of a transaction that is available. Equally concerning is the rapid replacement of traditionally paper-based processes such as tax filing, applications for loans or mortgages and the sharing of legal statements or clinical records. These types of documents are often widely accessible within an organization and yet present serious implications both to individual privacy, retention of intellectual property and organizational compliance particularly in heavily regulated industries. As a result, it is clear that producing tamper-evident, trustworthy digital originals which can maintain their evidentiary value over long periods of time, is essential as organizations move away from traditional paper-based documentation.
The nCipher DSE 200 Document Sealing Engine provides a layer of security that is bound to a document during the publishing process; following the document as it is shared and archived and even accompanying the document as it is submitted to external authorities. The DSE 200 is a network-attached appliance that cryptographically seals documents through the application of a digital signature and a secure and auditable time stamp. As a centralized resource the DSE 200 is typically deployed for use by individuals, groups or an entire organization and is directly integrated with the existing document management application. Acting as an organizationally oriented signing system, the DSE 200 provides a simplified and therefore lower cost alternative to individual user oriented technologies oriented to support large volumes of individual users such as PKI.
The DSE 200 incorporates an independently validated (FIPS 140-2) hardware security module (HSM) to perform all cryptographic functions therefore avoiding the security weaknesses often associated with appliance based security products that are vulnerable to software attacks. In addition to performing all signing operations, the internal HSM protects and manages the system’s time source which is automatically calibrated to trusted, independently managed external sources. To further strengthen system security the DSE 200 employs time stamping technology licensed from the Trusted Time Division of Symmetricom Inc. (formerly Datum) recognized as leaders in the design of high integrity time based products.
The DSE 200 is available with a comprehensive developer toolkit for convenient integration with virtually any commercial or custom-built application used to publish or manage electronic records, documents or transactions. In addition, a pre-integrated solution is available for use in conjunction with Microsoft Exchange Server. Details regarding support for Adobe Acrobat and other popular software packages will be announced over the coming quarters.
“As a provider of electronic sealing products and services we fundamentally rely on the ability to create trustworthy and more importantly, auditable records for use in our GT200 Electronic Sealing Server” says John Ross, Managing Director at Security and Standards Ltd. “We are intimately familiar with both nCipher’s HSM products and Symmetricom’s Trusted Time solutions. We are delighted that nCipher is bringing these two technologies together and we expect that the DSE 200 will play a fundamental role as we deliver secure and auditable evidence of documentation and transactions for our customers”.
“In many industry sectors, companies are coming to terms with the security challenges associated with extending their existing document and records management systems in order to establish certified electronic originals, sealed documents that can be subjected to both internal and external scrutiny and audit.” says Simon Avarne, Vice President Product Management at nCipher. “With the document sealing engine from nCipher these companies are able to enhance their existing business processes by deploying field proven technology coupled with industry best practice hardware grade security, all in an easily deployable and cost effective way”
nCipher is redefining cryptographic security to protect points of risk across the enterprise – from network appliances to Web servers, to custom software applications and back-end databases. nCipher provides hardware and software solutions that enable organizations to implement best practice security by addressing the challenges of cryptographic key management and performance. Many of the world’s leading organizations – from Microsoft and Barclays Bank to PricewaterhouseCoopers and the U.S. Navy – rely on nCipher to deliver a sound e-security infrastructure. nCipher’s products are particularly well suited to organizations with high volumes of security-sensitive transactions, such as banking and financial institutions, government departments, e-retailers and online service providers. nCipher is listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE:NCH) and is a member of the FTSE TechMARK and FTSE4Good indices with offices in Cambridge, UK; Boston, Seattle, Paris, Hamburg, Singapore and Tokyo. For more information on nCipher, visit www.ncipher.com.