nShield Connect HSMs

nShield Connect hardware security modules (HSMs) are certified, networked appliances that deliver cryptographic key services to applications distributed across servers and virtual machines.

nShield Connect

nShield Connect HSMs are certified hardware security appliances that deliver cryptographic services to a variety of applications across the network. These hardened, tamper-resistant platforms perform such functions as encryption, digital signing, and key generation and protection. With their comprehensive capabilities, these HSMs can support an extensive range of applications, including certificate authorities, code signing and more.

The nShield Connect series includes nShield Connect+ and the new, high-performance nShield Connect XC, which offers superior asymmetric and symmetric performance and best-in-class elliptic curve cryptography (ECC) transaction rates.

nShield Connect HSMs
Highly flexible architecture

nShield Connect HSMs integrate with the unique Security World architecture from Thales. With this proven technology, you can combine different nShield HSM models to build a unified ecosystem that delivers scalability, seamless failover and load balancing.

Process more data faster

nShield Connect HSMs support some of the highest cryptographic transaction rates in the industry, making them ideal for enterprise, retail, IoT and other environments where throughput is critical. The nShield Connect XC offers our highest transaction performance rates.

Protect your proprietary applications and data

nShield Connect HSMs don’t just protect your sensitive keys and data; they also provide a secure environment for running sensitive applications. The CodeSafe option lets you execute code within nShield boundaries, protecting your applications and the data they process.

Certified hardware solutions

Thales e-Security has earned a broad set of certifications for nShield products. These certifications help our customers to demonstrate compliance while also giving them the assurance that their nShield HSMs meet stringent industry standards.

Security compliance:

  • FIPS 140-2 Level 2 and Level 3
  • USGv6 accreditation
  • Common Criteria EAL4+ (AVA_VAN.5) for nShield Connect+ models
  • Recognition of nShield Connect+ as a Qualified Signature Creation Device (QSCD)

Safety and environmental standards compliance:

  • UL, CE, FCC, C-TICK, Canada ICES
  • RoHS2, WEEE
High transaction rates

Compared to competitive HSMs, nShield Connect HSMs boast faster elliptic curve cryptography (ECC) transaction rates, as well as high RSA transaction rates. ECC, one of the most efficient cryptographic algorithms, is particularly favored where low power consumption is crucial, such as applications running on small sensors or mobile devices. nShield Connect HSMs are excellent solutions for securing IoT devices as well as traditional enterprise applications.

nShield Connect Models 500+ XC Base 1500+ 6000+ XC Mid XC High
RSA Signing Performance (tps) for NIST Recommended Key Lengths
2048 bit 150 430 450 3000 3500 8600
4096 bit 80 100 190 500 850 2025
ECC Prime Curve Signing Performance (tps) for NIST Recommended Key Lengths
256 bit 540 680 1260 2400 5500 16,000
Wide support for APIs, cryptographic algorithms and OSs

Supported APIs

  • PKCS#11, OpenSSL, Java (JCE), Microsoft CAPI and CNG

Supported Cryptographic Algorithms

  • Asymmetric public key algorithms: RSA, Diffie-Hellman, ECMQV, DSA, KCDSA, ECDSA, ECDH
  • Symmetric algorithms: AES, AES-GCM, ARIA, Camellia, CAST, RIPEMD160 HMAC, SEED, Triple DES
  • Hash/message digest: SHA-1, SHA-2 (224, 256, 384, 512 bit), HAS-160
  • Full Suite B implementation with fully licensed ECC including Brainpool and custom curves

nShield HSMs offers support for the majority of these cryptographic algorithms as part of the standard feature set. For organizations wishing to use ECC or South Korean algorithms, optional activation licenses are needed.

Operating Systems

  • Windows and Linux
  • nShield Connect+ additionally supports Solaris, IBM AIX, HP-UX and virtual environments AIX LPARs, VMware and Windows Server 2012R2 Hyper-V.
  • nShield Connect XC also supports virtual environments Citrix XenServer 6.5, VMware ESXi 5.5 and Windows Server 2012R2 Hyper-V.
Reliability
Model MTBF (hours)
Connect XC 107,384
Connect+ 99,284

Calculated at 25C operating temperature using Telcordia SR-332 “Reliability Prediction Procedure for Electronic Equipment" MTBF Standard.

Performance ratings and options

To meet the performance needs of your application, Thales e-Security provides a variety of nShield Connect models.

Client licenses

nShield Connect HSMs ship with three client licenses, each allowing a connection to an IP address. Additional licenses are available for purchase. The maximum number of client licenses supported varies by nShield Connect model as shown in the table below.

Max # Client Licenses per Connect Model XC Base/ 500+ XC Mid/ 1500+ XC High/ 6000+
Maximum Client Licenses 10 20 100
CodeSafe

CodeSafe is a powerful, secure environment that lets you execute applications within the secure boundaries of nShield HSMs. Sample applications include digital meters, authentication agents, digital signature agents and custom encryption processes. CodeSafe is available with FIPS 140-2 Level 3 certified nShield Solo and nShield Connect HSMs.

Remote Administration Kits

Remote Administration Kits

nShield Remote Administration lets operators manage distributed nShield HSMs—including adding applications, upgrading firmware, checking status, re-booting and more—from their office locations, reducing travel and saving money. Remote Administration Kits contain the hardware and software needed to set up and use the tool. These kits are available for nShield Solo and nShield Connect HSMs.

CipherTools Developer Toolkit

The CipherTools Developer Toolkit is a set of tutorials, reference documentation, sample programs and additional libraries. With this toolkit, developers can take full advantage of the advanced integration capabilities of nShield HSMs. In addition to offering support for standard APIs, the toolkit enables you to run custom applications with nShield HSMs.

Database Security Option Pack

Databases often contain an organization's most sensitive data. To help customers protect their data, major database vendors have implemented native encryption in their products. The nShield Database Security Option Pack adds support for Microsoft’s Extensible Key Management (EKM) API, helping organizations to better protect the keys that safeguard sensitive data in Microsoft SQL Server.

nToken

nToken

Security teams that want to strongly authenticate their nShield Connect HSM clients can use nTokens PCIe cards to do hardware-based host identification and verification.

Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC) activation

The ECC activation license enables EC-DH, EC-DSA and EC-MQV to be used on an nShield HSM.

KCDSA activation

With the KCDSA activation license, you can use the Korean Certificate-based Digital Signature Algorithm (KCSDA) as well as HAS-160, SEED and ARIA algorithms on an nShield HSM.

Slide rails

Slide Rails

Thales offers optional slide rails that let users mount nShield Connect in a 19" rack without a shelf. Thales recommends that customers use these slide rails exclusively as parts from other manufacturers may not be compatible.

Keyboard

Keyboard

Many functions of nShield Connect HSMs can easily be executed using the touch wheel at the front of the unit. Thales offers an optional USB keyboard for even greater ease of use.

Field replaceable parts

nShield features parts that operators can replace in the field, without downtime. These parts include the following:

  • Power supply unit (PSU)
  • Dual, hot-swap power supplies.

  • Replacement fan tray
  • Redundant, field-replaceable fans.

Data Sheet : nShield Connect Data Sheet

"The nShield Connect is the premier network-attached hardware security module (HSM) in the Thales family of high security data protection solutions. The nShield Connect is the most cost-effective way to establish the appropriate levels of physical and logical controls for server-based systems where software-based security features are considered to be inadequate. In the face of evolving compliance requirements and general standards of due care, the use of nShield HSMs provides a tangible measure of security within the traditional data center, virtualized environments and for cloud-based services"

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Data Sheet : nShield Remote Administration

nShield Remote Administration creates a secure connection between your remote HSM and your local Remote Administration Cards and TVD.

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White Paper : Thales Security World

The Thales Security World architecture supports a specialized key management framework that spans the entire nShield family of general purpose hardware security modules (HSMs). Whether deploying high performance, shareable, network-attached HSM appliances, host-embedded HSM cards or USB-attached portable HSMs, the Security World architecture provides a unified administrator and user experience and guaranteed interoperability whether the customer deploys one or hundreds of devices.

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