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UK startup 'solves' e-commerce security

Seven month old UK firm nCipher claims to have solved the performance problems of Web servers trying to cope with the encryption and decryption of messages associated with e-commerce transactions.

Cambridge-based nCipher has developed nFast, an encryption accelerator which claims to boost Web site performance by up to 100 times.

About the size of a disk drive, nFast is a hardware device that will offload the cryptographic processing to a dedicated RISC-based machine. It will be launched in September.

Chief executive Alex van Someren said nFast provides the market with a solution which will cope with the vast amount of traffic that is expected from the e-commerce standard SET. It will also help smaller companies that cannot afford to invest in very large servers, he added.