[ISN] Secure Messaging Software allows more 'secret' connectivity

From: mea culpa (jerichot_private)
Date: Thu Apr 23 1998 - 21:46:51 PDT

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    Forwarded From: Nicholas Charles Brawn <ncb05t_private>
               SAPHER SERVERS: British company 'unlocks' Open ...
    OTC  4/23/98 5:29 AM  
     APR 22, 1998, M2 Communications - The technical innovation of a British
    Company, Sapher Servers Limited, has helped make possible the landmark
    announcement by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster to connect
    Whitehall's classified networks with the Internet. Government computer
    systems that process highly classified data have previously had to be
    physically separated from any that connect to non-Government systems. One
    effect of this policy has been to limit the efficiency of Government users
    who routinely want to communicate with outside companies and agencies. The
    availability of trusted computing components, such as Sapher Servers'
    software, and the advent of the Government Secure Intranet, has meant that
    the Government could update its policy in this area. Sapher's secure
    messaging software (Secrets& for Exchange) ensures that every individual
    Government e-mail message can be tracked back to its author, while its
    message filtering technology interoperates with a firewall to guarantee
    that classified data does not leak into the outside world. 
       The need for such connection is clear: open Government requires
    Government to establish strong connections with the public and be
    accessible themselves. As more of the population of the country is
    connected to the Internet at school, at home and in the workplace, there
    is no better way to communicate than by e-mail. At the same time the
    Government's classified data requires the strongest practical protection
    to ensure that sensitive information is not compromised.
       Sapher Servers Limited was prime contractor for the project to extend
    the Government Secure Intranet (GSI) in this way, and were supported by
    Trusted Information Systems (TIS) who supplied their Gauntlet firewall and
    mail guard technology. CESG (the information security division of GCHQ) 
    acted as security advisers and provided key cryptographic software
       In an e-mail to Sapher Servers today, the Chancellor of the Duchy of
    Lancaster, Rt. Hon. Dr. David Clark, MP wrote: "I would like to thank you
    for the work you have done to make the Government Secure Intranet a
    reality. It is my aim to make the best use of Information Technology to
    deliver open, responsive and simpler Government. I am very pleased you
    have been able to provide such an outstanding product to assist us in
    achieving such a milestone."
       Sapher Servers' Operations Director Andrew Clark commented, "We are
    delighted to have led this project. The use of strong cryptography is
    pivotal to the success of this work and our solution, fully integrated
    with the user's e-mail software, makes it easy for non-Government
    departments to use the Internet without compromising security."
              How does it work? 
       Whenever an e-mail message that originates from within the Government
    network is prepared for a recipient outside the Government network, the
    author is asked to confirm that the content is unclassified and digitally
    sign the message to endorse it. The resulting digital signature uniquely
    identifies the author and the message content.  Messages that are
    addressed outside of Government are routed to the mail guard on the
    firewall that checks the digital signature and only allows messages to
    pass to the recipient if it is not classified and the signature is valid.
    Classified messages or those bearing an invalid (or no) digital signature
    are quarantined at the mail guard for investigation. 
       See a. demonstration of the Cabinet Office system at InfoSec '98 The
    system as implemented in the Cabinet Office will be demonstrated at the
    InfoSec '98 Exhibition at Olympia from the 28th to 30th April.
              Sapher Servers and Secrets 
       Sapher Servers is a UK company, formed in 1994, which specialises in
    off-the- shelf and bespoke cryptographic products for the Commercial and
    Government marketplace. Sapher Server's products are widely used within UK
    Government, as well as blue-chip commercial and financial organisations. 
    Secrets uses strong cryptography to deliver the highest level of
    protection available anywhere in the world. Secrets is a market leading
    product and has received numerous awards including Editor's Choice and
    Best Buy from Secure Computing magazine. 
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