NCipher plc (LSE: NCH), a global leader in protecting critical enterprise data, today announced enhancements to its keyAuthority suite to deliver automation, scalability and availability for widespread data encryption.
This evolution of nCipher's enterprise key management solution addresses some of the fundamental data security challenges that arise as organisations open their networks to customers, partners and remote employees.
Companies must make it a paramount concern to protect data no matter where it may reside, according to a recent Forrester report, "Secure the Data, Not Just the Underlying Infrastructure," Forrester Research, Inc., May 2006. Business and security pressures are forcing the industry to move toward a more data-centric approach in which information classification and data encryption become central components of IT security. The Forrester report highlights how organisations must integrate and interact more deeply with suppliers and partners to remain competitive.
Protecting data, wherever it is stored and whenever it moves, means organisations need to deploy encryption much more widely. As encryption inevitably becomes more pervasive within the enterprise, managing the cryptographic keys that underpin the process presents its own cost, scale and security challenges. As The Jericho Forum, an international IT security thought leadership group wrote in its Visioning White Paper, "Existing key management techniques are largely manual and difficult to scale, especially for symmetric keys."
nCipher's keyAuthority addresses the challenges of key management by consolidating and automating the management of these keys and credentials in a transparent manner across large and diverse populations of device end-points and applications. As a result, keyAuthority replaces manual key management processes, reducing cost and complexity, enabling organisations to manage risk by expanding the role of encryption across the enterprise in scalable, auditable and less error-prone manner.
Backed by nCipher's FIPS-certified hardware security modules (HSMs), keyAuthority uses standard APIs, to allow keys to be generated and managed centrally, including critical recovery and escrow functions, before distribution to cryptographic applications - on demand.
nCipher's recent enhancements to keyAuthority include:
- Support for a wider array of keys types. keyAuthority now supports several symmetric key types including triple-DES and AES
- Distributed system provides increased resiliency and scalability providing on-demand management of an ever-expanding number of keys and end-points
- Expanded support for different classes of end-points and target applications
- End Point support now includes PKCS#11 in addition to Microsoft's Cryptographic API
"To respond to new business pressures, organisations need to think about security differently," wrote Paul Stamp, senior analyst at Forrester Research.
Stamp continued: "They will need to place a greater emphasis on securing the data itself and use the infrastructure as a secondary layer of protection rather than as a primary layer, as it is today."
Stamp also wrote, "existing stovepipe encryption solutions will evolve into cross-platform offerings that share a common key management infrastructure, so that the data can be protected consistently throughout its lifecycle."
"Truly, IT security is all about the data," said Ian Dunlop, vice president of engineering at nCipher. "And for protecting data, encryption is the gold standard. As the security industry moves toward a data-centric approach to security, nCipher's keyAuthority will provide the vital infrastructure necessary to enable ubiquitous encryption."