Strong, streamlined and secure: How to get the most out of centralized key management February 9, 2018 Kristina Cairns More About This Author > With organizations around the world now deploying ever-increasing amounts of encryption solutions in an effort to ward off cybercrime, businesses are facing a combination of challenges. Whether it’s varying protection levels, differing operational techniques and policies, or juggling multiple keys, managing more than one encryption system can quickly turn into a complex web that demands time, expertise and money to manage effectively. Centralized key management systems can, however, successfully act on behalf of a variety of encryption systems, performing the generation, storage, use, destruction and replacement of cryptographic keys as well as managing complex policies. This approach combats encryption key silos across a business which, if left to their own devices, can erode security by creating opportunities for confusion and mismanagement. Protecting data through encryption Using algorithms to encode data as ciphertext, encryption acts as a safety blanket for data. This means if data were to fall into the wrong hands, it would automatically be rendered useless. As businesses continue to be held hostage to crippling cyberattacks, encryption can provide powerful protection from financial loss, degradation of customer loyalty and reputational damage. As beneficial as encryption is, however, controlling encryption keys isn’t an easy job, especially if a business is juggling multiple security systems, policies and data systems, all of which have differing management requirements. Using centralized key management to streamline operations Dedicated key management tools centralize operations for a wide variety of an organization’s encryption systems, whether for home-grown encryption or third-party applications using native encryption such as full-disk encryption and databases. Centralized key management products give IT staff greater command over keys and increase data protection both by using certified security applications and hardware, and by maintaining keys separate from the data they are protecting. Encryption and centralized key management are no longer terms just for the security techies among us, but strategies that business leaders need to be aware of in order to keep their data secure. As the cybersecurity threat landscape continues to move at an alarming pace, embracing security tools that ensure data is useful only for its intended purpose is critical. Thales offers a range of key management solutions, which you can read more about here.