Network Diversity technology, developed by Nottingham University and Amino Communications, breaks up private data into fragments smaller than single characters and sends them over different networks. Only at the final stage is the message recombined.
The reconstruction point is as close to the recipient as possible. Fragmented data can pass through a corporate firewall yet remain secure should the firewall be tapped.
However, most organisations have a number of firewalls for different communications networks. Using the technology, each network would only contain random, sub-symbolic fragments of the original data. This would create a formidable challenge to any would-be hacker.
"The problem with encryption is that the entire message lies hidden in the cipher text, so with enough ingenuity and computing resource there is always the risk that it can be revealed," said Martyn Gilbert, chief executive of Amino Communications.
Students at Cambridge University recently created a modified computer that they claim can break the Data Encryption Standard (DES) in less than a week. The DES was regarded as unbreakable less than five years ago.
"Anyone intercepting a Network Diversity communication will see incoherent and meaningless data, because only a fragment of the original data is 'on the wire'," Gilbert said.
The technology can be used on any type of data network and does not degrade server performance. Amino claims to have two UK pilot customers.