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June 2007

Encryption key management blunders can render deployments useless

If you plan on implementing PKI, take the following lesson learned the hard way from those who have gone before: Triple your proposed budget and double the implementation schedule. The heart of the problem is that integrating and implementing key management takes more effort and energy than most organizations realize. These complexities and difficulties are why companies often steer clear of extensive use of data encryption. Faulty key management renders encryption useless and is a prime reason organizations that say they are encrypting databases still get breached. It can also negate any exception encryption gives you under breach disclosure laws. Even though Califor-nia's SB 1386 requires organizations to report any disclosure of unencrypted data, improperly implemented encryption will put you back on the hook if the data may have been exposed. The security of any encryption solution is based on the secrecy of the key, not the algorithm or cipher text. If the keys are not properly controlled, an attacker can acquire them. The ...

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