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Encryption key management standards would function in a comparable manner by providing a standard way for different vendors' encryption key management programs to communicate and share encryption key information. "These standards, used in conjunction with authenticated encryption key management servers, could enable the sharing of policies and encryption keys between different encryption key management servers," says Yu.

The still nascent state of encryption key management standards and the proprietary nature of encryption key management require large firms to exercise caution in their selection and deployment of encryption. With most firms looking to encrypt only data sent offsite, backup admins should give preference to products that provide options to configure their architecture to support this specific requirement. Encryption appliances, tape drives and libraries with APIs accessible by third-party encryption key managers, and backup software with an off-host media server encryption option are the architectures that backup admins should give preference to at this time.

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This was first published in November 2007

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