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Siemens boosts encryption

Export limits on U.S. firms gives the European high-tech leader a marketing opportunity for 128-bit encryption.

Taking advantage of U.S. limits on exporting strong encryption, leading European technology firm Siemens Nixdorf has created intranet security software called TrustedWeb, noting that it is stronger than anything American firms can sell overseas.

Positioned as a enhancement to firewalls, TrustedWeb offers 128-bit encryption and centralized management. Firewalls are designed to keep outsiders off sensitive corporate networks, while TrustedWeb limits internal access to confidential data.

TrustedWeb follows Siemen's announcement in January that it would infuse Internet technology into its entire product line as part of the company's Internet initiative. The products will be marketed on the Web.

The new software bases security on job functions, rather than on the individual using it, simplifying administration because staff changes don't require dealing with each individual but can focus on the role of a position.

TrustedWeb has three components: client software that can be installed and configured automatically from a central location, server software that checks access based on a user's role, and a domain security server that grants access to authenticated users.

Based in Germany, Siemens Nixdorf offers a product line spanning mainframes to PCs, including hardware and software based on Unix and Windows NT.