Remember the days when secure facilities such as the U.S. national nuclear labs would not allow 802.11-based WLANs on their premises owing to anxiety about the technology security? Those days are almost behind us. In evidence: Melbourne, FL-based Harris has been awarded a five-year, $41.6 million Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity contract by the National Security Agency (NSA) to supply the company's new SecNet 54 Secure Wireless Local Area Network product to the U.S. federal government. Now, to have the NSA trust your security protocols is no mean feat. Designed to be crypto-modernization compliant, SecNet 54 can be used in secure communications applications up to Top Secret/SCI Level Data. SecNet 54 can operate with a High Assurance Internet Protocol Interoperability Specification-compliant Inline Network Encryptor using a pre-placed, symmetric key.
SecNet 54 combines the Sierra II encryption processor (from Harris RF Communications Division) with IP and Ethernet digital processing. It utilizes standard communication technologies such as wired 802.3 Ethernet, ISDN/PSTN, and wireless 802.11 802.16. SecNet 54 is also on the small side: 3.17 x 5.25 x 1.11 inches, weighting less than 13 oz. NSA Type 1 certification and product for the 802.11 a/b/g configuration of SecNet 54 units will likely be available fall 2006. The IDIQ price for SecNet 54 is $7,495.
For more on the Harris contract:
- see this press release