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English Version

Thales/nCipher HSMs achieve Common Criteria EAL4+


Validation ensures Thales offers the highest level of protection for Government agencies, commercial enterprises and other customers

April 21, 2009


Thales, leader in information systems and communications security, announces that its nCipher product line hardware security modules (HSMs), Thales nShield and Thales netHSM have received Common Criteria Evaluation Assurance Level (EAL) 4+ certification, ensuring customers have the utmost confidence in Thales’s range of advanced cryptographic solutions.

“Thales has long championed best practices and industry standards and this level of security certification demonstrates our commitment to achieving the highest standards and compliance requirements. The use of cryptography in the form of encryption, strong authentication or digital signing requires the secrecy of cryptographic keys and enforcing the management practices and policies governing their use,” says Franck Greverie, VP, MD for the information systems security activities of Thales. “It is vital that customers have a high level of confidence in the products they buy and independent review of a product’s security properties is a powerful tool in building that confidence.”

The international Common Criteria standard was developed to unify and supersede national IT security certification schemes from several different countries, including the US, Canada, Germany, the UK, France, Australia and New Zealand. Common Criteria certified solutions are required by governments and enterprises around the world to protect their mission-critical infrastructures. Common Criteria is often a pre-requisite for qualified digital signatures under the European Union digital signature laws. Under Common Criteria a product is evaluated to one of seven specific Evaluation Assurance Levels (EALs). Thales nShield and Thales netHSM have been certified to EAL4+, which exceeds the highest level permitted by international mutual recognition arrangements, ensuring customers have the utmost confidence in Thales’s range of advanced cryptographic solutions.

Thales nShield and Thales netHSM are also FIPS-140-2 level 3 compliant, a standard defined by the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology and the most widely adopted security benchmark for cryptographic solutions in government and commercial enterprises. Thales’s participation in the Common Criteria scheme complements FIPS validation by providing a broader scope for evaluation including further assurance that the product has been developed in accordance with internationally recognized best practice. Domus ITSL, an independent technical testing and evaluation standards organization, evaluated Thales nShield and Thales netHSM for Common Criteria certification.

“As an accredited and experienced third party standards testing facility, Domus has a world-class reputation in providing services to private industry and government, as well as identifying products that meet the most stringent industry requirements for securing digital assets,” says Chris Brych, Director at Domus. “By achieving Common Criteria EAL 4+ certification, Thales has demonstrated its continued commitment to developing comprehensive, robust solutions designed to meet the highest levels of security testing. Government agencies and private sector enterprises deploying Thales HSMs can be assured they are implementing the most secure solutions available.”


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