The nCipherKM JCA/JCE CSP supports both module-protected keys and OCS-protected keys. The CSP currently supports 1/N OCSs and a single protection type for each nCipherKM JCE KeyStore.

You can use the nCipherKM JCA/JCE CSP with Security Worlds that comply with FIPS 140 at either Level 2 or Level 3.

In a Security World that complies with FIPS 140 Level 3, it is not possible to import keys generated by other JCE providers.

The nCipherKM JCA/JCE CSP supports load-sharing for keys that are stored in the nCipherKM KeyStore. This feature allows a server to spread the load of cryptographic operations across multiple connected modules, providing greater scalability.

We recommend that you use load-sharing unless you have existing code that is designed to run with multiple modules. To share keys with load-sharing, you must create a 1/N OCS with at least as many cards as you have modules. All the cards in the OCS must have the same passphrase.

Keys generated or imported by the nCipherKM JCA/JCE CSP are not recorded into the Security World until:

  1. The key is added to an nCipherKM KeyStore (by using a call to setKeyEntry() or setCertificateEntry()).

  2. That nCipherKM KeyStore is then stored (by using a call to store()).

The passphrase used with the KeyStore must be the passphrase of the card from the OCS that protects the keys in the KeyStore.