IBM is developing technology that will enable cryptographic keys to be distributed to remote devices such as point of sale systems and cash machines remotely.
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Due in 2006, the technology is part of IBM's z9 Crypto engine unveiled last week. The company has devised a mechanism for distributed keys that are protected using public key cryptographic techniques.
IBM said remote loading of these keys may help provide a more secure and cost-effective alternative to local loading of keys by couriers.
The system being developed is expected to be similar to the Ansi X9.24-2 standard currently under development.
IBM has also launched Encryption Facility for z/OS version 1.1. The encryption software is designed to secure data tapes being transported to partners and remote sites, and help prevent security breaches caused by lost tapes or hacking.
The IBM Encryption Facility offers Encryption Services Feature for Tape Transfer. Using public key infrastructure, IBM said business partners would be able to remotely decode encrypted data stored on mainframe tapes.
To share encrypted data with business partners who do not have z/OS on a mainframe, IBM offers a free Java-based program.