NCipher says the demands are growing for such a move as appliances are deployed away from the network core. With Web services this means that essential elements such as cookies have to be unencrypted and exposed to maintain a persistent link with the customer as they switch from section to section of an e-business site. Often there are both secure and insecure connections maintained simultaneously and keys have to be supplied for each individual secure connection.
The result of the Broadcom and nCipher initiative will be a series of embedded network devices, including load balancers, Web switches and content caches, built around Broadcom chips containing nCipher's cryptographic processing security and key management technology. This will be enhanced by centralised management of key distribution, a task that is becoming an increasing problem for managers and one of the main drivers of the new strategy.