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Why Is Key Management Important in Cryptography?

As more organizations use technology to run their operations, cryptography will become increasingly important. As a result, all computing systems have vulnerabilities that cybercriminals can exploit. Therefore, the only way to protect your organization from a cyberattack is through cryptographic keys.

What is encryption? More importantly, how can it protect your organization? Whether you work in business management or finance, key management can protect your business from a significant data breach.

Key management is more critical than your algorithms when protecting your company. First, you need to account for each key to be managed appropriately. Often, organizations will use many different encryption tools and keys.

Your data is converted into ciphertext using a variety of encryption techniques. For example, encrypted text looks like a random jumble of letters and numbers to the human eye. The only way you can convert encrypted text back to readable content is through an encryption key.

Encryption keys are notoriously difficult to hack, so they are used to protect data. Unfortunately, your data is only safe if your encryption key is safe. If someone gains access to your encryption key, they can easily read all of your data.

What Is Encryption Key Management?

If an encryption key is compromised, you probably will not realize it. Often, people only discover their keys are compromised after an attacker has accomplished their goals. Therefore, the following threats can end up compromising your data security.

Improper use of keys: Keys should only be used for set purposes; otherwise, they may not protect your data correctly.
Infrequent rotation of keys: When keys are used to encrypt any data, they are more vulnerable to hacking. Additionally, more data is exposed if the key is revealed.
Weak keys: If you want your keys to be hard to crack, they need to belong and be complicated.
Overuse of keys: Using the exact key multiple times may put the key at risk.
Keeping expired keys: Once a key is expired, it should be deleted; otherwise, it could be compromised in the future.
Insider threats: Unfortunately, your employees are a significant security threat. Malicious employees can use keys for illicit purposes.

Key management is vital because it protects your organization from long-term harm. For example, if hackers end up with your encryption keys, they can steal your financial data, trade secrets and other information. Additionally, finance, tech and other industries must meet specific compliance standards for data security.

Dealing With Threats

Rotating your keys and deleting expired keys are just two things you can do to keep your company safe. First, a good management system can provide superior protection through a hardware security module (HSM) and other security features. Additionally, you can prevent significant threats by setting up strong user authentication and audit logs.

Whether you are concerned about compliance requirements or data security, there are many reasons why key management is so important. First, a single data breach can significantly damage your organization’s reputation. You can prevent financial information and proprietary data from getting out by protecting your data. Visit Micro Focus if you have any questions about how to go about protecting your data.

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