CipherOptics Tuesday announced a new encryption line built around a single hardware appliance that can be adjusted to work at speeds between 3Mbps and 1Gbps. Support for variable speeds is a major change, since customers in the past had to buy new hardware to achieve higher speeds.

"You can upgrade without buying new hardware," says Jim Doherty, chief marketing officer at CipherOptics. Earlier CipherOptics gear was built to run at either 10 Mbps, 100 Mbps or 1 Gbps, and customers had to swap out their old encryption appliance for a new one if their bandwidth needs changed.

The new CipherEngine Enforcement Point Variable Speed Encryptor is a common hardware platform. Encryption speeds can be adjusted up or down based on a licensing change. Pricing starts at less than $1,000 for the 3Mbps encryption line speed.

CipherOptics decided to reduce its low end encryption speed from 10Mbps to 3Mbps because there is substantial demand for it, Doherty says. Much of the demand for lower speed requirements is coming from customers that need to satisfy Payment Card Industry data security guidelines or to provide protection for employees working from home.

CipherOptics expects to continue selling and supporting its older product line, which has received the federal government FIPS validation related to encryption products. Over time, once the new Variable Speed Encryptor receives FIPS validation, CipherOptics anticipates phasing out its older models in favor of the new platform. The company also indicated it's working on a 10Gbps addition to the new platform in the future.