nCipher Security News Release

Thales Time Stamp Server for Microsoft Office Professional 2010

Hardware-based time stamping solution enables organizations to ensure long-term validity of digitally signed Microsoft Office documents in their native formats

Thales, leader in information systems and communications security and a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, announces the industry’s first hardware solution to enable time stamps for electronic document security in Microsoft Office Professional 2010. Thales Time Stamp Server appliance, part of the nCipher product line, is a network-attached, turn-key appliance that combines the ability to act as a tamper-resistant source of trusted time with a high speed and equally secure digital signing engine. This enables organizations to sign documents or other electronic files such as application software in a standards-based way, enabling verification long after the original signing certificate and credentials have expired or been revoked.

Utilizing the new Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) RFC 3161 interface in Office Professional 2010, Thales Time Stamp Server provides government agencies and private sector enterprises with a secure, cost-effective solution for moving workflows and archiving from paper to electronic documents without first having to convert Office documents from their native formats.

“Our new time stamping feature allows customers to continue to rely on the digital signing capabilities of Microsoft Office Professional 2010 to ensure the long-term validity of documents,” said Giovanni Mezgec, General Manager, for Office at Microsoft Corp. “It is important that leading providers of time-stamping solutions support this functionality so customers can securely move to electronic-based documentation processes and benefit from huge cost savings. Thales Time Stamp Server is a technology that aligns with our goal of providing cost-effective, easy-to-use, highly secure methods for ensuring the authenticity of all Microsoft Office documents.”

Unlike software-based systems, in which administrators can easily manipulate time, Time Stamp Server keeps accurate time that can be synchronized to external trusted sources and protects time stamping keys within a secure hardware-based security environment validated to FIPS 140-2 Level 3 and Common Criteria EAL 4+. The newly announced Time Stamp Server version 5.0 also offers support for 4,096-bit RSA keys.

“The use of digital signatures supported by a time stamp greatly enhances the authenticity and integrity of electronic documents. We applaud Microsoft for introducing time stamping interfaces to Microsoft Office Professional 2010 to enable customers to ensure the long-term validity of electronically signed documents,” says Franck Greverie, Vice President, Managing Director for the information systems security activities of Thales. “Microsoft’s selection of Time Stamp Server as one of the first hardware solutions to support this new feature clearly illustrates the leadership role Thales has established in this space, and we look forward to working with Microsoft as it continues to help customers take advantage of these added security features.”

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