What is a Crypto-Abstraction Layer?

A crypto-abstraction layer (CAL) is, in its most general sense, an application programming interface (API) - also known as a library- that hides cryptographic details from program developers that they don’t need to know about (such as the brand of hardware they are using for their source of random numbers). They are essential in the world of InfoSec because those who are expert developers are not usually expert cryptographers or even security personnel and so they need all the help they can get when it comes to implementing cryptography.

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How to Improve HSM Usability

In this article we will explore some of the reasons why HSMs can be difficult to use and look at a novel solution that helps to overcome these problems.

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How Common Criteria Helps Organizations Choose the Right HSM

Hardware Security Modules (HSMs) are used in all card payment systems (as well as various other applications that require strong security) to protect business transactions and sensitive information. HSMs allow authentication, encryption/decryption and management of cryptographic keys to occur with the highest level of security. The globally-recognized HSM certification, Common Criteria (CC), guarantees the assurance level of an HSM. This article explores how CC helps in choosing the right HSM for your business needs.

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The benefits of an automated and centralized key management system

The aim of this article is inform you on how to implement proper key management and to answer 3 important questions regarding centralized and automated key management:

  1. What is Centralized Key Management?
  2. How can a centralized system help meet regulatory compliance?
  3. How can automation further improve the life cycle management of keys?
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How to Reduce Cryptography-Risks related to PCI DSS

The payment card industry data security standard (PCI DSS) calls for all financial institutions and merchants to protect their clients’ sensitive data, which typically includes the use of strong cryptography as dictated by PCI DSS requirement 3. Most organisations empty this burden on the IT department or IT management teams and hope all their compliance is covered. However, in most cases when there is a data breach, the burden lies on the shoulders of the C-level management, who are left to answer to the difficult questions.

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What is Crypto-Agility?

Crypto-agility, or cryptographic agility, is the capacity for an information security system to adopt an alternative to the original encryption method or cryptographic primitive without significant change to system infrastructure. NIST guidelines state “maintaining crypto agility is imperative” to prepare for the quantum computing era. Crypto-agility may be achieved through the adoption of new frameworks for incident response and application development, as well as the acquisition of a service software layer to facilitate crypto-agility in legacy applications.

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An Introduction to the Role of HSMs for PCI DSS Compliance

The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) helps to safeguard cardholders’ private information. The Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) enforces the standard through recommendations and requirements that aim to ensure security across all organizations involved in the processing of cardholder information.

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HSMs and Key Management: Effective Key Security

Appropriate management of cryptographic keys is essential for the application of cryptography. This is often aided by the use of a hardware security module (HSM), a dedicated hardware machine with an embedded processor that offers cryptographic services to users, applications, and computers in a network, and which explicitly protects cryptographic keys at every phase of their life cycle.

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Turning Cryptography into a Service - Part 2

Part 2 – Accelerating Time-to-Market

 With the increase in e-commerce and electronic communications on the one hand, and the growing challenges of cybercrime and data protection regulation on the other hand, cryptography is becoming an increasingly important business enabler.

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