How HSMaaS is democratising high-trust security for all IT professionals

April 4, 2023

Hardware security modules (HSMs) have long been prohibitively expensive for small and medium-sized enterprises. However, with the advent of HSM as a service (HSMaaS), IT professionals from businesses of all sizes can now access higher trust security solutions to improve their security posture and compliance. In this press release, I explore the benefits of HSMs, the challenges associated with their adoption and how HSMaaS is making it easier and more cost-effective to take control of your keys and certificates. I also provide tips on how to choose the right HSMaaS provider for your organisation, says Gerrit Viljoen, Strategic Business Development Manager (CISM) at Altron Security..

The world of digital security is constantly evolving and has brought significant benefits to organisations. However, it has become increasingly challenging for security professionals to keep up with regulations, internal business objectives and security goals that drive the business. Finding suitable tools and services that meet the necessary controls can be a struggle and cost often outweighs the benefits.

HSMs are one of the most effective controls for high-trust protection of keys, truly random key generation, meeting security standards regulations, centralised key storage and optimised cryptographic processing. However, due to the prohibitive cost and the traditional physical device limitations, HSMs were exclusively used by top-tier businesses in financial and large corporate sectors.

Smaller enterprises could not afford to implement HSMs, which forced them to settle for software-based solutions that do not offer the same level of security. This leaves these solutions vulnerable to zero-day exploits, which leave attackers a large surface to exploit. However, HSMs built for the cloud can solve this problem.

The ultimate solution would be an HSM built for the cloud that is FIPS 140-2 level three compliant and has all the necessary features like bring your own key (BYOK), secrets management, key management, encryptions (TDE) and tokenisation included. This solution allows security professionals from small to large enterprises to obtain higher trust security solutions to improve security posture and compliance, without the previously prohibitive cost element.

Altron Security has made HSMaaS available to South African companies, enabling them to access the full suite of HSMaaS hosted within South Africa. This move addresses the data privacy and data sovereignty concerns many South African companies faced with HSMs previously.

With HSMaaS, security professionals don't have to entrust the control of their key generation, encryption and decryption functions as well as their infrastructure, data and applications to cloud providers. They can take back control of their keys and certificates and align with their business objectives to safeguard key and certificate operations.

Segregation of duties has always been a cornerstone of security and HSMaaS helps in segregating certain functions. It also allows for central management and retrieval of keys when there are threats, minimising the threat surface.

To enable businesses to take back control and not expose everything to a single party while staying compliant with high trust and assurance across multiple could and traditional hosted platforms, they must manage their own keys. The old saying goes: "Don't leave the keys to your kingdom lying around, someone is bound to take them away from you."

As an IT professional, it is crucial to prioritise digital security in your organisation. Embrace the benefits of HSMaaS to improve security posture and compliance without the previously prohibitive cost element. Ensure that you manage your own keys, safeguarding key and certificate operations, and minimise the threat surface. With HSMaaS, high security is now at everyone's fingertips.