Increasing use of encryption and growing need for centralized automated key management

The greatly increased adoption of the use of encryption is driving the need for centralized and automated key management solutions – this is the finding of a new survey report “Encryption and Key Management’ issued by Aberdeen Group and co-sponsored by nCipher plc.
Best-in-Class organizations demonstrated a tremendous increase in the number of applications and locations deploying cryptography in order to protect sensitive data compared with one year ago and consequently an increase in the number of encryption keys they have to manage. Eighty-one percent increased the number of applications using encryption, 50 percent increased the number of locations implementing encryption and 71 percent increased the number of encryption keys under management compared with one year ago.
To address this increased adoption Best-in-Class companies have shifted their thinking and were 60 percent more likely than the industry average to take a more strategic, enterprise-wide approach to encryption and key management than the traditional more tactical approach of addressing particular and isolated points of risk within the infrastructure. To further quantify this shift the survey describes the significantly higher priorities and corresponding investments on important encryption and key management technologies as well as organizational and process related topics by Best-in Class companies. The survey concludes that these pioneering organizations have already benefited by lowering the instances of actual or potential exposure while simultaneously reducing actual key management costs by an average of 34 percent.
“Best-in-Class organizations have not only deployed encryption more widely for the protection of sensitive data, but also have begun to implement centralized key management and automated key distribution solutions to deliver higher scalability, lower operational costs, reduce risk, establish consistent security policies, and sustain regulatory compliance” says Derek Brink, vice president and research director at Aberdeen Group. “Clear ownership and accountability for the creation, revision and enforcement of encryption and key management policies and practices is a critical factor for successful implementation. Products such as nCipher’s keyAuthority provide such companies with a tool to accelerate deployment and provide a platform for future growth.”
“This research by Aberdeen provides a valuable insight into the rapidly evolving market for data protection systems. It is clear that encryption technology is now a mainstream security tool and that it performs a central role in what is widely described as a data centric approach to IT security,” says Richard Moulds, vice president of marketing at nCipher. “With over ten years of experience in building encryption solutions for some of the world’s most security conscious organizations nCipher is proud to have co-sponsored this research work and we are excited to have the opportunity to work closely with customers that are now, often for the first time, considering the use of encryption on a more widespread basis and wish to benefit from the experience gained by the types of Best-in-Class companies identified in this survey.”

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