CISCO PIX FIREWALL VPN ACCELERATOR CARD PLUS

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Download free Cisco PIX Firewall VPN Accelerator Card Plus.pdf The VPN Accelerator Card Plus (VAC+) for the Cisco PIX ® Firewall Series provides high-performance tunneling and encryption services suitable for site-to-site and remote-access applications. This hardware-based virtual private network (VPN) accelerator is optimized to handle the repetitive but voluminous mathematical functions required for IP Security (IPSec). Offloading encryption functions to the Cisco PIX Firewall VAC+ not only improves IPSec encryption processing, but also maintains high-end firewall performance. As an integral component of the Cisco VPN solution, the Cisco PIX Firewall VAC+ provides platform scalability and security while smoothly working with the services necessary for successful VPN deployments—encryption,tunneling, and firewall.

The Cisco PIX Firewall VAC+ adds Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) hardware acceleration to the Cisco PIX Firewall. Also known as Rijndael, AES provides a better combination of safety and speed than Data Encryption Standard (DES). Using 128-bit secret keys, AES offers higher security against brute-force attacks than older 56-bit DES keys and can use 192-bit and 256-bit keys as well. AES is computationally more efficient than DES and can work at multiple network layers simultaneously. In October 2000 the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) of the U.S. Department of Commerce selected AES as a new encryption technique for protecting computerized information. It is expected to replace DES, which was adopted by the U.S. Department of Defense in 1977.

The Cisco PIX Firewall VAC+, which fits into a PCI slot inside the Cisco PIX chassis, encrypts data using 56-bit DES; 168-bit Triple DES (3DES); and 128-, 192-, and 256-bit AES algorithms at speeds up to 440 Mbps. A Cisco PIX Firewall equipped with a VAC+ can support as many as 2,000 encrypted tunnels for concurrent sessions with mobile users or other sites. In addition to encryption, the card handles numerous other IPSec-related tasks—hashing, key exchange, and storage of security associations—freeing the Cisco PIX Firewall main processor and memory to perform other perimeter security functions.

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