Cylink Corp., a provider of cryptographic network security systems to major banks and other corporations, has hired a former National Security Agency official as vice president of product management and strategy.

William P. Crowell, 57, recently retired as a deputy director at the agency. He had been chief operations officer and principal adviser to the director for the last three and a half years.

He had familiarity with the technologies of data encryption, digital signatures, and public key management that have been bones of political contention between the government and the private sector.

"Bill brings to our management team a wealth of experience in the network security world," said Fernand Sarrat, Cylink's president and chief executive officer.

Aside from overseeing product management, he will be a "resource for Cylink customers wanting to better understand network security architectures and issues and implement appropriate solutions."

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