Symmetric Key Encryption - why, where and how it’s used in banking

In today’s cyber-world there is an ever-present risk of unauthorized access to all forms of data. Most at risk is financial and payment system data that can expose the personal identifying information (PII) or payment card details of customers and clients. Encryption is crucial for protecting PII and mitigating the risks that businesses which conduct payment transactions face every minute of every day.

In this article we will talk about symmetric encryption in banking, its advantages and some challenges of managing the keys.

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Selecting the right Key Management System

The protection and secure management of cryptographic keys is crucial for ensuring that cryptography is used in the most effective way to keep data secure. Picking the wrong key management system (KMS) can thwart all the efforts that have been made in using cryptography to protect information.

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The Advantages of Automated Key Management

The use of cryptography is the foundation for secure processing of financial and other electronic transactions. The management of the associated cryptographic keys, on the other hand, has been equally effective at stressing the capabilities of your people, processes, and systems. With that in mind, here are three advantages that automated key management will give you and your organization.

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Distributed vs Centralized Key Management

The need for mitigating risk with an appropriate key management system (KMS) is critical to the success of any organization that shares sensitive data across networks.

Here is a breakdown of two common types of KMSs and how risk mitigation can be successfully accomplished.

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Differentiating between managing the lifecycle of cryptographic keys, protecting the keys and using the keys

The modern world of cybersecurity can be a confusing place. There are tomes of data, regulations, and mandates in addition to the complex technical aspects. This is especially true when it comes to crypto key management systems (KMSs).

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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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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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