Encryption Key Management Software Overview
What is Encryption Key Management Software?
Encryption Key Management (EKM) software handles the storage, management, and administration of encryption keys. Encryption keys are the mechanisms that other systems and applications use to encrypt or decrypt data. While encryption keys in some form are present and necessary for every form of encryption, standalone encryption key management systems only become necessary when multiple encryption systems must be centrally managed simultaneously. These systems allow IT and security administrators to distribute and manage logical or physical access to encryption keys, and they often let businesses host their own encryption keys to mitigate risk from 3rd party vendors.
Encryption keys are essential to any encryption process a business uses. There are different types of encryption keys to encrypt different types of data, but EKM software should be able to manage any kind of encryption key. Flexible encryption key management is especially crucial when businesses use a mix of on-premise, virtual, and cloud systems that each need to utilize encryption or decryption keys. This leads EKM products to be most commonly used by enterprises that have a range of systems and data storehouses, especially those concerned with securing proprietary data or complying with regulatory requirements.
There are other features that make a complete encryption key management solution. For instance, encryption key management software should also include backup functionality to prevent key loss. These products should also allow administrators to encrypt the encryption keys themselves for additional layers of security.
There are two main pricing models encryption key management providers offer. Some vendors offer pricing per key, which can start at $1/month/key for some vendors. This model is most popular for all-digital key management. Other vendors that offer hardware to help manage encryption keys will offer different tiers based on the hardware and key volume.