We live in an information age customers want to have access to your company's services at any time, anywhere, and via nearly any medium. Online services exist, and if you do not offer them, your competitors will. The rate of change and innovation is unprecedented. The importance of protecting sensitive client data has never been greater for organizations, however, your IT services are provided.
Unless you keep all your data behind closed doors and don't communicate sensitive data with third parties, there is but one way to protect your data: using encryption and other cryptographic techniques to ensure confidentiality, integrity and availability. To accomplish this, your applications require several cryptographic keys. A cryptographic key may be viewed as an organization's most valuable security asset - if a key is compromised, the relying system is vulnerable to attack. A major challenge for businesses is to ensure that the right key is always at the right place at the right time, throughout the entire life-cycle of that key. This is what key management is about, which must be automated, pervasive, and resilient.
When encryption fails, businesses are immediately affected. Failures can impact customers, business reputation, and profitability; a successful attack on a large organization's cryptographic keys could cost 100s of million per incident.
A large organization will be responsible for managing hundreds if not thousands of keys, which is typically a time-consuming manual process that presents a large overhead to the business. Organizations that proactively embrace the need for efficient key management can acquire a competitive advantage. This can be utilized to become agile in the delivery of new and enhanced customer offerings, provide cost and control efficiency, and, crucially, have the ability to rapidly respond to security incidents. The recent discovery of the OpenSSL Heartbleed bug and the resulting need to revoke and re-issue all private keys and associated certificates on all vulnerable devices is a case in point.
New business applications must be deployed and enhanced quickly, and encryption and key management processes must meet this demand; these are facts of technical life. Encryption and key management are now crucial to the development of many business offerings. The purpose of encryption is often to provide the necessary level of control in processes within the business offering. As a business enabler, the importance of key management has never been higher, and industry forecasts and surveys suggest it will continue to grow rapidly.
Key management is already more complex, wider in scope, larger in scale, and more susceptible to change and unexpected events than ever before. Without the right procedures or tools to efficiently manage keys, an organization's long-term profitability will be affected. The majority of organizations are uninterested in encryption and key management per se; instead, they require tools to operate successfully when necessary.
Whichever key management tools a business uses, it expects to be able to implement, operate and upgrade them easily. Such systems must have an intuitive interface and demonstrable function and process control.
For the past 15 years, Cryptomathic has assisted its clients with tackling these challenges and has consequently provided leading-edge solutions to overcome the traditional limitations in key management capabilities. The Cryptomathic Key Management System (CKMS) provides the most comprehensive and practical key management capabilities to efficiently manage all application-level keys across an organization's distributed network, from key generation to revocation. As the market leader in automated life-cycle key management systems, Cryptomathic has enhanced its offering to provide the world's first internal cryptographic service solution, in order to significantly reduce costs on all projects that require cryptography and to support future growth in key management and cryptographic requirements.
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