Data Security for EMEA Organizations: Insights from Fortanix Sales Director

rob stubbs fortanix
Rob Stubbs
&Ankita Rawate
Published:Feb 19, 2024
Reading Time:5min
data security for emea organizations


Meet Rob Stubbs, who has over 20 years' experience in the cybersecurity market and a deep technical background in high-assurance cryptographic products for both commercial and defence applications.

Currently serving as Sales Director at Fortanix, Rob Stubbs oversees major enterprise customers in EMEA, leveraging his extensive experience and comprehensive understanding of European data security standards and regulations. Rob has been recognized for his outstanding contributions, receiving a Fortanix Lifetime Achievement award in 2024.

This interview will help executives, IT leaders, and security professionals in the EMEA region learn more about key management and how organizations can use the Fortanix solution to achieve full control of their sensitive data in the cloud.


  • What are the specific security and compliance challenges that EMEA-based organizations commonly face in managing encryption keys, and how does Fortanix Enterprise Key Management (EKM) solution address these challenges?

EMEA-based organizations encrypt a lot of data as a result of the need to comply with GDPR. However, the organic adoption of encryption for various use cases results in having encryption keys managed by many different teams, each following their own processes and using multiple tools (even spreadsheets). This is a recipe for disaster – without proper oversight and controls, keys can easily be lost, compromised, or stolen, resulting in a major data breach, with very little in the way of an audit trail to support an investigation.

Our Enterprise Key Management solution,  Fortanix Data Security Manager  (DSM), ensures that all keys are stored and managed in a secure way, with properly defined controls and a full audit trail; there are also significant cost and efficiency improvements to be won by simplifying and centralizing the key management process.

Having this tool also enables the use of Bring Your Own Key (BYOK) and Hold Your Own Key (HYOK) technologies to ensure organizations have full ownership and control over their keys as necessary to comply with GDPR and the Schrems-II ruling.

  • Could you elaborate on how Fortanix Enterprise Key Management solution aligns with the data protection regulations and compliance standards (such as GDPR) pertinent to the EMEA region?

Fortanix DSM provides a Hardware Security Module (HSM) to store keys, which is certified to FIPS 140-2 Level 3, as well as key management and data encryption capabilities, including BYOK and HYOK. These capabilities enable organizations to protect their sensitive data in compliance with various international and industry-related standards and regulations, such as GDPR, PCI-DSS, NIST SP800-57, ISO 27001, HIPAA, etc. as well as various national standards on a country-by-country basis.

  • How does your sales strategy adapt to cater to the diverse industries and sizes of organizations within the EMEA market when promoting Fortanix Enterprise Key Management solution?

Fortanix offers DSM as either an on-prem solution, a cloud-hosted solution, or a SaaS solution to address the needs of different organizations according to their use cases, capabilities, and budgets. SaaS is ideal for cloud-first organizations as well as those with limited budgets, as it minimizes the entry cost and reduces time-to-value. We also offer a free-to-use DSM SaaS Explorer entry-level product and low-cost DSM SaaS Basic product to cater for small-to-medium size enterprises. After all, every organization, regardless of their size and budget, needs data security!

  • Can you provide examples of EMEA-based organizations that have successfully implemented Fortanix Enterprise Key Management solution and describe the measurable benefits or improvements they have experienced?

We work with many EMEA-based organizations of various sizes and across multiple sectors. Our customers benefit from being able to manage all their keys across multiple use cases and locations (including public cloud) from a single, centralized platform. This provides more robust and consistent security, ensures compliance, simplifies security audits, and increases efficiency. As new business applications are deployed, security can be built-in from the start; DevOps teams can incorporate security-by-default techniques; and new technologies such as tokenization and confidential computing can be leveraged to enhance security and compliance and avoid costly data breaches.

  • What are the key differentiators of Fortanix Enterprise Key Management solution that resonate specifically with the security concerns and priorities of organizations in the EMEA region?

Fortanix DSM is available as a SaaS service in multiple regions, including the EU, UK, and the Middle East, as well as in other EMEA territories through our MSSP partners, ensuring that customer keys stay within their own region for compliance and/or sovereignty. Global organizations with on-prem systems can utilize our multi-tenancy to segregate their keys within specific regions to enforce geo-fencing. Our multi-cloud HYOK technology enables customers to use US cloud service providers without giving them the keys to their encrypted data.

  • How do you assist EMEA-based organizations in transitioning from legacy systems to your Enterprise Key Management solution without disrupting their operations or compromising security?

Fortanix DSM can integrate with legacy HSMs and key management systems to provide a smooth migration path. We can also import existing keys in various formats and provide a seamless migration from insecure software wallets to HSM-based key storage for applications such as databases.

  • What measures or strategies does your sales team employ to build trust and credibility with potential EMEA-based clients regarding the reliability and effectiveness of the Fortanix Enterprise Key Management solution?

Selling security solutions is all about building trust. Through our innovative solutions and openness about our technology, we have built trust with large global brands such as PayPal and Google as well as numerous referenceable customers within EMEA. We can also demonstrate our credibility through our high-profile investors, such as Intel and Goldman Sachs. Our EMEA SaaS regions have demonstrated consistent reliability to support the most demanding mission-critical requirements. Our security experts and cryptographers are based in the Netherlands, and we have an experienced sales team, customer success engineers, and a trained partner ecosystem across the region to optimally support our EMEA customers.

  • Considering the evolving cyber threat landscape, how does Fortanix Enterprise Key Management solution continuously adapt and evolve to address new security challenges faced by organizations in the EMEA region?

Our technology already utilizes state-of-the-art security technology, such as confidential computing and the Rust programming language. We incorporate security-in-depth techniques to provide protection against even the most advanced attacks. But we are always looking at ways to bring new security technologies to our customers. For example, our cryptographers are implementing post-quantum algorithms in Rust to provide next-generation cryptographic security. And we partner with all the major cloud service providers as well as application providers such as SAP and ServiceNow to support new BYOK and HYOK solutions to meet increasing demands for compliance and sovereignty.

  • Can you discuss the return on investment (ROI) or cost-effectiveness that EMEA-based organizations can expect from implementing the Fortanix Enterprise Key Management solution, particularly compared to other available options?

By integrating multiple capabilities into a single, efficient, and easy-to-manage data security platform, organizations can achieve significant efficiencies using Fortanix DSM. A single Fortanix solution can replace a range of legacy HSMs, key management systems, and other security products, simplifying the vendor landscape and reducing operational costs. Many customers can also achieve cost savings by migrating to our SaaS solution, eliminating hardware purchase costs as well as on-going hosting and administrative costs.

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