What is Encryption Key Management?

What is Encryption Key Management?

Encryption, in simpler terms, means converting plain text into gibberish (known as ciphertext) based on algorithms. Organizations use encryption to protect sensitive data such as personal information, passwords, and secrets. It secures and improves the security of communication between client apps and servers. For example, suppose someone gets access to the encrypted data (the ciphertext). In that case, if not authorized to decrypt the data, the entity cannot make sense of the information and practically cannot use it. This ciphertext can be decrypted only with data encryption keys.

Key management includes creating, storing, managing, using, controlling, and destroying encryption keys. The key management strategy is critical because it protects data integrity, and confidentiality and the encryption key are stored with the data in the cloud for complex production environments. The best Key management practice is when an organization has complete control of its keys. The prime action is to separate keys from data for more control, backup, and disaster recovery.

A more effective solution is the external key management system. Nearly all cloud vendors allow this setup. For example, the Key Management Software as a Service (SaaS).

In this buyer's guide for Modern Key Management and Data Security, we have listed the questions you can pose to vendors and the most critical capabilities to look for when evaluating a key management system.