SafeNet has launched what it calls the ‘first crypto hypervisor' that aims to solve key management issues.

According to the company, the Crypto Hypervisor delivers key vaulting and encryption services on demand in a cloud operational model that enables organisations to virtualise their crypto resources and ensure that all data can be safely encrypted, even as it moves in a virtualised environment. 

Speaking to SC Magazine, SafeNet CEO Dave Hansen said that this is a significant announcement in the hardware security module (HSM), as if offers multiple instances within a box. He said: “We needed to support the next generation of users in the cloud. This is based on the HSM platform to generate keys, store them and digitally sign.

“The operating system sits on a box and not an isolated server, it is a dedicated box with anti-tampering and the HSM is traditionally the Fort Knox of crypto.

“This will allow large enterprises to offer the ability to manage more keys in the cloud. Administrators will be able to plug in multiple customers on the same box and the customers can manage it. It can also be run in the cloud with multiple servers.”

Hansen said that this will permit less data centre reliance and more use of the cloud and the user's own environment and referred to it as ‘elastic key vaulting'.

“This is something worth getting into the cloud for, it is now even easier to leverage technologies,” Hansen said.

“The administrator runs it, so the end-user doesn't have to manage boxes and it makes management easier. Users want an ‘as-a-service' model, well this is a big thing for the largest customers.”

Christian Christiansen, program vice president of security products and services at IDC, said: “Storing the keys in special-purpose hardware, such as a hardware security module, is the recommended best practice. However, until now, hardware encryption solutions have not provided sufficient agility and flexibility needed in virtualised and cloud environments.”