Marconi adds new network security features

2 June 2003 Pittsburgh, PA Lightwave Europe--Marconi Corp has announced additional security enhancements to its network management software to help its multiservice switch-routers block unwanted access.

2 June 2003 Pittsburgh, PA--Marconi Corporation has announced additional security enhancements to its network management software to help its multiservice switch-routers block unwanted access by delivering a secure, assured networking environment.

The enhancements support Triple Data Encryption Standard (3DES) for Simple Network Management Protocol, version 3, used by network operators to encrypt and secure the messages that manage network elements.

By combining 3DES with the security enhancements introduced with SNMPv3, Marconi's management software helps ensure that unauthorized users cannot disrupt critical communications between network devices in commercial or government networks.

With the addition of 3DES, Marconi enhances one of the industry's strongest network security offerings, developed over years of mission-critical switch-router design and robust security features written into its ForeThought(tm) system software and Service On(tm) Data network management software.

Marconi's 3DES for SNMPv3 is enabled with Marconi's management software and interoperates with the management software provided by other vendors. Marconi demonstrated its secured, assured networking environment at the 2003 Networld + Interop trade-show with SNMP Research International using Marconi's ForeThought Software and ASX(tm)-200BX switch-routers.

"Marconi's decision to support 3DES for SNMPv3 demonstrates a thorough understanding of security threats and how to guard against them," said Dr. Jeffrey Case, founder and chief technology officer of SNMP Research.

"Many of our clients, particularly in Federal Government agencies, have specified 3DES as their encryption standard for use today. Combined with the authentication and privacy features in SNMPv3, Marconi's network security upgrades provide a foundation for the cost-savings and increased productivity that come when users are more confident in the robustness and reliability of their network."

Simple Network Management Protocol is a commonly used protocol for managing devices in a network. SNMPv3 improves security over previous versions by helping to ensure that each management message comes from an authenticated, verifiable source and has not been altered by unauthorized users.

The management messages are made even more difficult to view or alter by use of 3DES, which uses a 168-bit encryption algorithm, a stronger privacy protocol than single DES, which uses 56-bit encryption. At the request of several customers, Marconi is implementing 3DES first as a tool to encrypt the management plane.

In an upcoming release of ForeThought system software, Marconi also will implement Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) as an additional security option.

"Marconi's 3DES for SNMPv3 is but the latest implementation of security features for our multiservice switch-routers that have been proven in U.S government networks, which are some of the most demanding communications environments in the world," said Tom Murray, vice president of marketing for Marconi's Broadband Routing and Switching group.

"Given the increased focus on safeguarding communications, applications for Marconi's enhanced network security features include surveillance of transportation and public infrastructure, such as water, power and health facilities; networked transport of medical research and records; as well as for law enforcement and military networks."

Over the years, Marconi's Broadband Routing and Switching Group has added a full range of security features to its ASX, TNX and BXR line of switch routers. In the management plane, which provides management of faults, performance, configuration, accounting and security within the network, Marconi supports a robust feature set, including user authentication and registration protocols such as RADIUS, SecurID, and Kerberos.

Marconi also supports SSL (Secure Sockets Layer), Access Control Lists, Secure Shell and filtering. In the control plane, which supports the signalling and routing information that are exchanged between network devices, Marconi's switch routers support MD5 Authentication and AINI (ATM Inter-Network Interface).

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