Retain Control of the Keys

17 Oct 2020

Retain Control of the Keys

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Want to centralize and simplify key management functions across multiple clouds, while retaining control over your data and encryption keys?

Register for our webinar with Encryption Consulting

What questions should you ask of your cloud provider?

What are critical architectural factors for implementing cloud key management?

Public cloud vendors

have their own solutions for encryption key management. While this establishes a high degree of security, organizations lose control over the keys.
Enter BYOK. The industry is trending toward giving customers more control over their cryptographic keys. All of the major cloud vendors now have support for Bring Your Own Key (BYOK), so that organizations can maintain control over the keys used for their data and applications, giving them greater data portability and flexibility. The ability to shift from one cloud provider to another — including multiple cloud providers at once — gives organizations options.Especially when it comes to managing workloads, handling spikes and surges, and providing disaster recovery — not to mention satisfying audit requirements involving backup or redundancy capabilities.
BYOK allows organizations to encrypt data inside cloud services with their own keys — and maintained within the cloud providers’ vaults — while still continuing to leverage the cloud provider's native encryption services to protect their data. Win win.
How it works is keys are generated, escrowed, rotated, and retired in an on-premises or cloud hardware security module (HSM). A best practice is to use a FIPS 140-2 Level 3 HSM to more fully address compliance and reporting requirements.
While BYOK offers increased control, it also comes with additional key management responsibilities that are magnified in multi-cloud environments. Every cloud provider has its own set of APIs and its own cryptographic methods for transporting keys. Fundamentally, the processes, procedures and methods for managing keys are completely different across clouds, and not just from an API standpoint, but from architecture and process standpoints with each requiring different key management techniques.

What are best practices for multi-cloud ecosystems?

What are prerequisites for BYOK?

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to learn about key rotation best practices and how to manage the cryptographic key lifecycle.

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Author

Adam Cason

VP of Global and Strategic Alliances