Equinix announces new key management and encryption service

Data center company Equinix announced the general availability of a new global key management and encryption Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) called SmartKey.

The purpose of SmartKey is to better protect data across multi-cloud environments using encryption key management. In particular, the service helps firms globally manage encryption keys across multiple, disparate regions, countries and partners, while leveraging Equinix’s interconnected platform of over 190 International Business Exchange data centers.

Encryption is a method of scrambling data to make it unintelligible to unauthorized users. A special key provides a way to unlock the data. It is widely recommended to use encryption for anyone storing data in the cloud. Equally important is to secure the encryption key so sensitive data stored in the cloud doesn’t end up in the wrong hands.

Equinix cited its Global Interconnection Index that projects the next three years will see approximately 50% growth in the traffic capacity needed by enterprises to directly connect with, and exchange data across, multiple clouds, IT providers and third-party network destinations. Equinix said its SmartKey service is uniquely positioned to address challenges related to data dispersed across multiple clouds and third-party providers.

One challenge that SmartKey aims to address is eliminating the need to purchase and launch specialized hardware by substituting it with a private, secure and distributed SaaS capability. Additionally, the service is intended to improve security for multi-cloud, hybrid-cloud and distributed environments by separating the encryption keys from the data, ensuring the keys and data are not held by the same entity. It also provides management controls to maintain data and encryption keys in the same region or country in support of data sovereignty and regulatory requirements, according to the company.

The release of SmartKey occurred alongside Equinix announcing it had selected Fortanix’s next-generation Hardware Security Module (HSM) solution, the Fortanix Self-Defending Key Management Service (SDKMS), to power SmartKey HSM-as-a-service. Fortanix is based on Intel’s INTX Software Guard Extensions (SGX), a technology made to help protect application code and data from disclosure or modification.

“As Equinix continues to evolve our global platform with the addition of new products and services, we are delivering increasing value to companies by easing their shift to digital and the hybrid multi-cloud,” said Brian Lillie, chief product officer, Equinix. “SmartKey is the first of several emerging services we plan to introduce in the coming months. Our commitment is to deliver new and customer-inspired products and services that provide increasing value to customers and enable them to reach everywhere, interconnect everyone and integrate everything through a globally consistent data centre and interconnection platform.”

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