Start-up Seclarity last week unveiled a security-based network interface card called SiNic that customers can use for peer-to-peer encryption and firewall protection for desktops and servers.Start-up\u00a0Seclarity\u00a0last week unveiled a security-based network interface card called SiNic that customers can use for peer-to-peer encryption and firewall protection for desktops and servers.The SiNic hardware works like any generally available NIC but adds a way to encrypt and decrypt based on policy settings made by the Seclarity management console.Through Seclarity's Centralized Management Console, customers can set requirements for traffic between SiNic-equipped desktops and servers to be encrypted and authenticated using a range of encryption algorithms, including the\u00a0Advanced Encryption Standard and Secure Hash Algorithm-1."There's also a firewall function in SiNic so that based on policy, the security manager could disable all telnet sessions, for example," says Adrian Vanyl, CEO of Seclarity.The Amarillo National Bank has been beta-testing SiNic.Bill Davis, data security officer at Amarillo, says the bank, which has approximately 500 employees, added the SiNic hardware to 50 desktops and servers, with the intention of full deployment by year-end."Once we're completely done, we'll require encryption for everyone," says Davis, adding that this is the policy the bank adopted in the past few months to improve security.The idea of deploying encryption and firewall protection in hardware rather than software is not wholly new. 3Com, Intel, 14South and CyberGuard's Snapgear unit all have similar kinds of hardware for encryption or firewall controls in desktops and servers.Seclarity's network card requires no changes to the desktop or server applications, according to Vanyl. And it does not rely on the host's operating system as software-based firewall and encryption products. The user doesn't need special training because the Seclarity NIC is doing the encryption and authentication work as commanded by the central console.Any user who is no longer enabled by the Central Management Console, which also audits activity, simply can't communicate to any server or one that has an encryption or authentication policy enabled. Seclarity's management console can use the corporate Lightweight Directory Access Protocol or Microsoft Active Directory to distribute digital certificates to the SiNic hardware.Seclarity, which makes its SiNic hardware available this week, later intends to add versions for USB and wireless cards. The company intends to introduce a gigabit-speed appliance and additional modules for intrusion detection and intrusion prevention by fall.The Seclarity Centralized Management Console costs $10,000 and SiNic hardware device cost from $200 to $300, depending on volume.