As business grew, so did the threat of compromise or theft of data. To address these risks, both software methods and hardware devices were produced to secure networks, systems and data. HSMs are dedicated devices, incorporated with both logical and physical protection mechanisms, designed to provide separate, secure operating environments where confidential or sensitive information could be treated without risk of exposure.
The benefits of an HSM include strong protection of the life-cycle of cryptographic keys, accelerated cryptographic operations, multi-factor, and ‘four-eyes’ authentication, and resistance to side-channel attacks that rely on logical or direct access to the hardware. Using an HSM for protection against the risks of compromise or theft of data, results in a higher security and performance efficiency
HSMs are critical security components for the security of data and business applications. In certain industries and for specific use-cases, the use of an HSM is mandatory. And the case could be made, that where it isn’t -yet- mandatory, it is still best practice to use an HSM where an HSM can be used.
As they are dedicated hardware modules with high-speed cryptographic operations capability so a single HSM or an HSM cluster (managed by a single server application) is used by various services and applications via HSMaaS (HSM as a Service) model. The corporate level cloud-based and network-attached HSMs are used by a large number of clients/tenants and thus need to have the capability of allowing for multi-tenancy.. In a forthcoming article we will discuss use cases where Multi-tenancy makes sense, from a technical or business point of view.]
Multi-tenant HSM architectures can offer the following as advantages, but may also suffer from certain disadvantages:
The use of HSMs for the security of business applications has been mandatory in payment related applications for many decades. As the number and the cost of breaches is on the rise, many CISOs are reconsidering their security architectures – to include the us of HSMs. Consequently, in breaches and . multi-tenant HSM architectures are getting popular but still come with a number of drawbacks and security risks. If you hare interested in finding out how Utimaco will solve the challenges and limitations that are part and parcel of the multi-tenntat cloud in the market today – do get in touch.