March 2, 2024
Fortanix debuts Key Insight to manage enterprise encryption keys


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Fortanix, the seven-year-old Santa Clara, California-based startup focused on enterprise key management and data security for companies that use software, is upgrading its Fortanix Data Security Manager (DSM) platform for securing cloud, on-premises, and hybrid digital data with a powerful new tool.

The tool, Key Insight, was unveiled this week at Amazon Web Services (AWS)’s annual re:Invent 2023 conference in Las Vegas. Fortanix describes it as “the first and only solution to provide consolidated insights and control of all cryptographic keys to protect critical data services.”

In other words, Key Insight is like a tracking system for all your organization’s digital encryption keys — a very intelligent one.

The threat of encryption keys falling into the wrong hands

Cryptographic keys service all sorts of purposes in computer security, and encryption keys in particular are designed to allow information to be encrypted — or turned from its original state into a special secret code — so that only trusted and properly permissioned users can decrypt, translate, and access it.

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When you encrypt the information on your Mac computer or PC, it is encryption keys that allow you to access it and change it later. Organizations of all sizes rely on encryption keys to keep their sensitive data safe and relegated to only authorized users.

Encryption keys are a good practice for any software and data-dependent organization to follow. But they are not foolproof. Hacks at Microsoft, GoTo, CircleCi, and laptop maker MSI in recent years have shown that encryption keys can fall into the wrong hands if those entrusted with them are not careful or don’t have the right protective infrastructure. Key Insight, along with the larger Fortanix DSM, aims to provide just that to organizations, specifically those who store information in the cloud (and these days, who doesn’t)?

An intelligent cryptographic key tracker with an information rich-dashboard

Not only does the new Fortanix Key Insight tool maintain awareness of all the cryptographic keys your employees and trusted users and applications rely upon on, but it also provides an easy-to-use dashboard showing which keys are mapped to which services and users. And it does so in a glanceable, information-rich format.

Some of the information Fortanix Key Insight provides to enterprise customers includes the total number of keys, the number of accounts using them, the regions in which they are being used, and the services they are linked to, as well as the encryption status of said services. It also shows the “key source,” or where they originated/were issued from, and if they were used recently and by how many different accounts.

Fortanix Key Insight dashboard. Credit: Fortanix.

“Key Insight provides a unique combination of discovery, assessment and remediation of encryption keys and cloud data services in one Enterprise Key Posture Management (EKPM) solution, helping enterprises prevent data breaches and failed regulatory audits,” said Anand Kashyap, co-founder and CEO at Fortanix.

Based on the information displayed in Fortanix Key Insight, organizations can see which encryption keys and attached services/applications and users show evidence of increased risk, anomalous behavior, and/or deviation from the company’s policies and industry-specific regulatory requirements. Using this information, Fortnaix’s enterprise customers can have IT security team members deactivate certain keys or conduct investigations to close the security holes and reduce risks of improper access to information.

Fortanix Key Insight can further be used by organizations to help ensure they are complying with relevant industry data storage and security regulations and best practices “(e.g., NIST, GDPR, PCI, etc.),” according to Fortanix.

Building on a history of AWS integrations

Fortanix is providing live demos of Key Insight and other capabilities to interested parties and potential customers at its re:Invent booth number 118 during the week.

AWS re:Invent 2023 is a fitting venue for Fortanix to debut the new feature given that Fortanix DSM and other Fortanix products are already available for enterprises to use, for hourly fees, through the AWS Marketplace.

The company started in 2016 and has raised a total of $122 million from big-time investors including Intel Capital, Goldman Sachs, In-Q-Tel, and others. It also partners with AWS cloud rivals Google and Microsoft.

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