The National Security Agency has approved EADS North America's ECTOCRYP® Black voice encryption device to encrypt secure voice calls -- up to and including those classified as top secret -- on U.S. government communications networks. The device recently underwent NSA evaluation and received its Approval to Operate, which is equivalent to the agency's Type 1 designation.
"This approval shows that ECTOCRYP® Black has been through the same rigorous degree of security assessment as other Type 1 encryption products on the market, has demonstrated its effectiveness, and can be trusted by end users in the Department of Defense to fully protect their information," said Mike Cosentino, senior vice president of operations for EADS North America.
ECTOCRYP® Black allows users -- who may be on a combination of classified and unclassified phone networks in several locations -- to talk to each other seamlessly through one purpose-built gateway. It enables interoperability between red and black enclaves, secure teleconferencing and point-to-point communication. As technology standards evolve, the programmable encryption platform can be adapted to keep pace with them and provide interoperability with different types of networks.
"What Approval to Operate really means is that ECTOCRYP® Black is now an accepted encryption solution that not only raises the bar for interoperability, it offers capability today that enables the Department of Defense to meet current and future secure voice communications needs," said Tom Darcy, vice president of EADS North America's Defense Electronics and Systems line of business.
The product has demonstrated interoperability with other Secure Communications Interoperability Protocol (SCIP) devices during government testing, and has been evaluated by the Joint Interoperability Test Command (JITC).
With four T1 interfaces providing a capacity of 92 simultaneous individual calls, ECTOCRYP® Black provides interoperability between SCIP telephones and secure speech networks to a greater degree than any existing system of its size. Users can assign separate key material for each of the 92 channels to accommodate communication from multiple sources at multiple security levels. When used in conjunction with media gateways, it also gives red enclaves interoperability with both time division multiplexing- and internet protocol (IP)-based voice systems. The system is scalable, offering the ability to expand the call capacity by 92 users with each additional unit.
Developed by EADS' Cassidian division as part of a line of programmable cryptographic devices, ECTOCRYP® Black uses a common commercial off-the-shelf hardware architecture that can be programmed to accommodate new features and technology standards. This allows it to meet the evolving needs of communications and information networks.
Source: European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company EADS N.V. (Paris: EAD.PA)
Date: May 8, 2012