When I predicted a surge in growth in the IT security industry last year (24% CAGR for ten years leading to a $640 billion industry by 2023) I pointed out that encryption would lead the way and that that was not possible without good key management.
Perhaps because of that I have monitored key management solutions such as the key discovery and management tools from Entrust, Safenet, and Vormetric. On top of those there are several stealth startups I have been talking to, one a new zero trust cloud storage solution, the other an implementation of KMIP for link encryption.
If you think about it Viptela, which I wrote about last week, incorporates a proprietary centralized key management solution for link encryption too.
Dr. Martin “John” Atalla, who will be turning 90 years old this August, created the first hardware security module (HSM) for bank ATMs and invented the now familiar PIN code. I met Atalla during the dot com boom days when he was trying to get TriStrata off the ground and I was at PwC. TriStrata, based on One Time Pads was way before its time, and failed when its investors pulled the rug out from under it. (You can read eBoys for most of the story.)
HP has continued to develop the Atalla HSM product line that secures a majority of ATM communications.
Now HP has announced a partnership with Porticor, the cloud encryption company out of Israel that leveraged some fancy math (homomorphic split key encryption) to develop a way to easily encrypt cloud data while leaving the master key in the hands of the customer. With the partnership Porticor’s customers now can purchase an HP HSM to store that all-so-critical master key.
I suspect this partnership may be as important for Porticor as the Sun Microsystems – Check Point Software arrangement of the mid ‘90s, which kicked off Check Point’s rapid growth in the United States.
As effective key management becomes essential to enable the encryption that is required to assuage fears of data privacy in the cloud, hardware protection of master keys will become standard. Both HP and Porticor have made a good partnership.