Best Practices For Encryption Key Management At Cloud Based Companies

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What Are Best Practices For Encryption Key Management When Storing Your Data in the Cloud?

The proliferation of cloud-based services has radically simplified day-to-day data management and decreased overhead costs for many businesses. Currently, it is estimated that more than 60% of organizations have moved to cloud-based data systems, with some using the cloud to store sensitive information. At the same time, cloud technology has brought with it a number of new business risks. In the increasingly predatory world of cloud-stored data, following best practices for encryption key management can get you the maximum protection possible. We think these three best practices for encryption key management can start your cloud based company on the road to the data security you are seeking.

1. Don’t Store Your Lock and Key Together

Obviously, you want your data to be under lock and key – like locking the door to your house to protect your valuables. Handing over your data management to cloud services is often the easiest route to take. But when companies move their data to cloud-based management systems, they may be giving the cloud provider access to their key, meaning the lock and key are stored closer together than necessary. This is like leaving your house key under the mat in front of your door.  There will be fewer barriers in the way to stop someone intent on robbing you. Because of this type of problem, the Cloud Security Alliance recommends separation of the lock and key, as well as back up of encryption keys in offline and secured locations.

KeyNexus’ Unified Key Manager (UKM) allows you to manage and Bring Your Own Keys (BYOK) to cloud and SaaS-based encryption services. Amongst a number of benefits, this allows users to retain control over the de-encryption of data along with providing a full audit trail of key lifecycle activity. It also allows users to disable keys to protect their encrypted data from breaches and from third-party service providers, if necessary.

2. Centralize Your Key Management Infrastructure

With the growth of cloud services, companies are using dozens of SaaS platforms, as well as many more micro and sub services via their cloud providers. You may be using multiple key management servers and protocols across these different services and platforms. And, at the same time these cloud services are operating, local applications are running in your data center. Under these circumstances, you’re using multiple key management servers, with varied levels of security and conformity to industry standards. This complicates your data infrastructure, increasing cost and risk while decreasing efficiency.

The development of KMIP as a standard for data management makes this complex infrastructure simply unnecessary. KMIP and centralized key management infrastructure are built into the DNA of KeyNexus’ UKM system. KeyNexus recognizes the need for seamless protection of keys, secrets and credentials across multiple applications and use cases, both on-premise and in the cloud. The benefits of using our single, integrated cloud platform include efficiency, affordability, and reduced risk and complexity. In many cases, the combination of KeyNexus UKM with various KMIP enabled platforms already in your infrastructure, such as in VMware, Hyper-V or numerous storage arrays, presents an opportunity to activate native encryption features with almost no effort, thus increasing your security posture significantly in a short time.

 3. Be Compliant and Proactive in Handling Sensitive Data

As the “wild, wild west” days of the internet are being left behind, major industries such as healthcare, financial services and medical/biotechnology are being compelled by regulators in the US to encrypt their sensitive data according to particular guidelines. The EU has passed a policy dealing with the encryption of personal data for all companies operating within the EU. Failure to conform to such regulations can lead to severe fines and other penalties. But even industries that aren’t compelled by regulators to follow encryption guidelines need to be proactive for purely business reasons. Indeed, data breaches can lead to reputational fallout, legal action and loss of sensitive or proprietary data belong to the business. Ultimately, in both regulated and unregulated industries, being vigilant about following legal or industry standards is important to your bottom line.

As a full-featured key management lifecycle platform, KeyNexus’ UKM can help you meet complex legal requirements across a wide variety of regulations, not only in cloud but also on-premise and hybrid services, including Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS), Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS), and the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). For unregulated industries, KeyNexus provides you with industry standard key management services.

KeyNexus as the Best Solution to Best Practices

These are only three of the best practices for encryption key management that can maximize your data security. KeyNexus’ UKM system can help you with these, and much more. For more information on how KeyNexus can help you meet the best practices for your data security needs, contact us.

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