IP security has been around for several decades. Both data and telephone over IP have already gone through multiple generations of constant iterative improvements on security, which directly benefit IP KVM deployments. IP KVM extension and switching solutions transport audio, video, and control signals of the computer system to a remote user station over standard networking infrastructure. Therefore, it becomes important to select a solution that offers key security features to help protect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of the systems that are part of the KVM network.
Encryption is a process whereby the IP KVM extender converts the A/V and/or USB signals into obscure code to prevent unauthorized access during transmission. Encryption thus protects the confidentiality of the transmitted signals during transport. The ability to encrypt packetized video, audio, and USB is considered by some as being superior to traditional baseband video transmission if there is a concern that someone might try to hack and snoop the feeds. IP KVM extenders that support encryption securely distribute audio, video, and USB signals over the IP network. They also maintain the integrity of the transmitted data by preventing third-parties from modifying the content during transport.
Advanced encryption standard (AES) is one of the most secure data encryption standards accepted worldwide. It was established in 2001 by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), which is a branch of the US government. Some IP KVM extenders use the AES standard for encrypting the data and passwords.
AES 128-bit and AES 256-bit standards use a symmetric encryption algorithm where a single key is used to encrypt and decrypt the data. In KVM applications, it is important to not only protect the audio and video signals, but also the USB signals by encrypting keystrokes for entering passwords safely and to safeguard confidential information.