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Vol. 5 No. 8 October 2006

How to manage encryption keys

Encryption is an effective way to secure data, but the encryption keys used must be carefully managed to ensure data remains protected and accessible when needed. Encryption is pushing its way into more corners of the enterprise. From database fields for customer credit cards or social security numbers, to laptop hard drives with proprietary data, more storage is being encrypted more frequently. Every encrypted item needs a key to unlock the encrypted data, and managing the hundreds or thousands of keys used across an enterprise can be a big headache. The specter of data loss is the biggest reason why encryption isn't implemented more widely. Most experienced system administrators are conservative when it comes to new technologies that could potentially lock them out of their own data. On the other hand, business requirements, legislation and liability for lost data are driving encryption forward. For the moment, centrally and securely managing encryption of all of the various types of data across the whole enterprise is only a ...

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Features in this issue

  • Survey Says: Users name their 10GbE price

  • The right way to provision storage

    Provisioning storage is still mostly a manual job, but solid planning, including the right interested parties and some improved tools, can help ease the chore. Follow these provisioning best practices to gain greater performance and higher disk utilization.

  • Long-term archiving

    With some legislative requirements mandating data be kept for as long as 70 years, your organization needs an archiving plan that defines what data needs to be kept and why. But don't overlook how you'll restore old data when it needs to be accessed.

  • How to manage encryption keys

    Encryption is an effective way to secure data. But managing encryption keys can be a major undertaking. While there are no encompassing key management tools available yet, some apps can help you keep track of proliferating encryption keys.

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