Encryption is one important process that makes use of algorithms for encoding data as ciphertext. And ciphertext can be made meaningful if a person and application accessing that data have got data encryption keys essential to decoding ciphertext. Thus, if data gets stolen and accidentally shared, it’s protected as it’s indecipherable, because of the encryption key management.
Due to high-profile information losses & regulatory compliance standards, use of the encryption is on a rise among various enterprises. One single enterprise will deploy the encryption on several different channels and levels, which includes securing the websites, user & organizational data, email communications, and more. Thus, it means that the medium and large-level enterprise can deal with thousands of encryption keys at a given time.
Controlling & maintaining the data encryption keys will be a highly important part of the data encryption strategy, as, with an encryption key, the cybercriminal will return the encrypted data to the original unencrypted state. The encryption key management includes exchange, generation, use, storage, destruction as well as replacement of the encryption keys.
Benefits of Implementing the Encryption Key Management Strategies and Tools
Having higher visibility of certificates & keys that exist in the systems is one very important part of effective data safety. However, apart from this security, undeniable benefits of the strong encryption key management comprise of:
- Higher visibility & control of the keys for effective management.
- Efficient key distribution and mobility.
- Decreasing costs because of automation.
- Less back & forth between the employees, customers, or IT department.
- Lowering data loss.
- Mitigating downtime & related non-compliance penalties.
Being effective against the threats, encryption has some good key management
Let us combine these compliance facts with a different fact: whereas current advances in the technology made the encryption ubiquitous—for instance, you can see a proliferation of the encrypted mobile devices & increasing TLS coverage of the web traffic—the enterprise key management stays an important challenge for a lot of organizations out there.
Making use of the encryption for effective security—not only compliance checkbox —stops the real threats that rely on solid key management. For generalizing, encryption gains the security benefits from the key management, not only from the strength of its algorithms & math involved. Your encryption usage may stay compliant with mandates that you want to adhere to, however, that the key management won’t withstand threats from the actors that are interested in the data.
Thus, whereas regulations might not compel you to use the key management or maximize the protections on the data, these threats may. Actually, the peculiar notion has emerged: a few ransomware criminal groups already have achieved a certain degree of encryption management excellence, which exceeds some organizations.
Right practice is using the dedicated external management system and there’re four types to look at:
- HSM and hardware management appliance that offers the best level of the physical security
- Key management appliance
- Key management program that will run on the dedicated server or virtual or cloud server
- Key Management SaaS
Compliance rules were developed in offering organizations the framework to keep sensitive data safe. However, as we have seen, staying compliant and secure will be two different things. The encryption key management has become quite important to bridge the gap.
Ideally, the companies must adopt centralized and in-house key management services. But, this might not be possible always for all the organizations since they may not have sophisticated technical abilities for doing so. These companies will benefit highly by using the 3rd party encryption managed services.
The services safely store all the encryption keys & digital certificates in the safe key vault, and away from data & systems that are encrypted. It is beneficial from a security viewpoint since keys stay protected even though data somehow is compromised. As these encryption keys will be kept centrally, this minimizes the number of places keys can be exposed to the attackers.
From afar, the enterprise key management may appear like a big thing. But, it does not need to be so complex (exhausting). If you can create strong policies, allow strong access control, as well as implement centralized management, strong encryption management will be made highly possible in complex environments.