Cybercrime is on the rise all over the world, mainly due to the technology advancements. It is estimated that daily there are around 2328 online crimes. Between 2001 and 2021, at least 6.5 million people have been affected by cybercrime. The estimated financial loss over the same time is roughly $26 billion.
Every year, 43% of cyber assaults target small firms. IBM discovered that phishing accounted for 16% of all cyberattacks worldwide. PurpleSec reports that 39.3% of phishing emails contained a Microsoft Word document, 19.5% had executable software, 14% contained rich text, and 8.7% were informed of an Excel spreadsheet.
Since most organizations collect sensitive data from their client, appropriately protecting such information is paramount. You must safeguard the card details, banking information, and health records. Misuse of sensitive data can result in detrimental digital tragedy.
Even with the encrypted data, it’s easy for hackers to disclose the private key. That is why small and large businesses need Hardware Security Modules (HSM) to prevent data leakages.
What Is HSM?
HSM is the short form for the Hardware Security Module. It’s a specialized hardware device or appliance designed to offer ultimate security for cryptographic operations and sensitive data.
The sole aim of HSM is to hide and protect the cryptographic materials. The major cryptographic operations that the HSM can perform include key exchange, authentication, decryption, key management, and encryption.
Since HSM has strict security measures, it’s ideal for use in the financial sector, healthcare, government, and more. They are tamper-resistant, and the controlled access makes them excellently secure. It’s impossible to compromise HSM virtually.
What Are The Important Features of HSM?
The elements of HMS which enhance their safety measures include the following;
- Access control: HSMs regulate who has access to the devices and information they secure. Some hardware security modules (HSMs) are programmed to become unusable or erase cryptographic keys if they detect tampering, while others fail to function properly.
- Isolation: They’re hidden in a locked data center section to protect them from intruders. Instead of storing their HSMs on-site, some companies have them at an off-site data center.
- Secure Design: Hardware security modules (HSMs) rely on specialized hardware compliant with government standards, including FIPS 140-2, Common Criteria, and the HSM criteria of the Payment Card Industry (PCI).
- Secure OS: The operating system of HSM has premium safety features.
- Tamper-resistant: A hardening procedure protects HSMs from both deliberate and accidental harm.
How Does the HSM Work?
HSM is a must-have device for any company dealing with sensitive or valuable data. They generate the cryptographics using an on-board random number generator.
Applications and infrastructure will contact the HSM for help with cryptographic tasks like encryption and digital signature generation. The required action is then carried out by the HSM internally. That ensures cryptographic keys are never exposed to the outside world.
Multiple applications, such as online banking with mobile payment processing and cryptocurrencies, rely on HSMs to encrypt their data. The PCI employs HSMs with the extra security characteristics necessary for monetary transactions. The devices are used for PIN management, mobile application credential provision, and verification capabilities.
HSMs not only handle keys and provide safe execution but also keep extensive audit trails of every activity and access. If you need to keep tabs on cryptographic processes or verify that only authorized users have used the HSM, the logging and auditing feature is invaluable.
What Are the 5 Benefits of HSM?
1. Enhanced Security
HSMs add an extra layer of protection to your business system. Keys generated using nShield’s high-entropy random number generator and implemented on FIPS-approved hardware are more secure.
Due to high-end security features, you can use HSM to prevent physical and logical threats to the cryptographic keys and data. That makes sensitive information much less likely to be stolen or accessed without permission.
2. Compliance and Regulation
Various business and government standards guide the acquisition and use of client information. However, the use of HSM can help you comply with the following;
- Financial Institutions Processing Standards (FIPS)
- General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
- Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
- Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI-DSS).
3. High Performance
Business delays are the common errors that lower employee morale and decrease productivity. To avoid such costly mistakes, try using HSM. They are designed for high-speed cryptographic operations.
HSM will serve you better and faster during online transactions and secure communications. These activities require rapid encryption and decryption.
Scalability is paramount in a promising business. Due to the scalability nature of HSMs, you can expand it to suit the demands of a growing business. When more work has to be done, a cluster of HSMs can be deployed.
Encryption keys generated by software are easily accessible to hackers. A data breach may occur if even a single key were to be misplaced or stolen.
Keeping your cryptographic keys and processes in an HSM is a tried and true method for securing your data.
The HSM devices have failover mechanisms. Therefore, you can still access the required data continuously in case of hardware failures. The backup plan for the HSM devices is vital in ensuring data integrity and business continuity.
When cryptographic keys are stored in a hardware security module (HSM), they are protected from unauthorized access. To create a trustworthy network, nShield HSMs store and manage cryptographic keys and procedures in a trusted hardware platform.
Protecting sensitive information and transactions is easy with nShield HSMs. You can purchase it as an appliance for use in a data center on-site or rent it via an as-a-service subscription. The HSMS device will improve business security, boost performance, enhance scalability, and guarantee business continuity.