Google Releases New Cloud Encryption Key Management Service
Almost every major cloud provider is coming up with innovative products and add-ons that’ll add value to their customers. In this line, Google has released a new cloud encryption key management service to make it easy for organizations to create and use encryption keys to protect their data. This service is currently available in the beta version in 50 countries including the US, Canada, Australia and Denmark.
This service, in many ways, is a necessity considering the number of hacking incidents that have taken place over the last year, including the widely spoken rigging of the US election. It can add an extra layer of protection for confidential data stored on the cloud. A salient feature of this KMS system is that you can not only manage keys for encrypting user credentials, but also take API tokens associated with applications and store them outside Google Cloud.
At the same time, managing encryption keys is also easy with this service. Enterprises can create, use, recycle, and destroy millions of AES-256 standard symmetric keys in any cloud-hosted solution or environment, with a set of simple user-interface driven clicks. These keys can also be automated to rotate at certain intervals, so the password keeps changing all the time, and only authorized users can access the application.
In addition, Google KMS integrates well with existing services from Google such as the Cloud Identity Access Management system and the Cloud Audit Logging services, to help customers have greater control over their encryption keys. Also, this service falls between the default encryption options that’s considered to be fairly lenient and the customer supplier encryption keys (CSEK) that are the most stringent. So, its stringent enough to be easy to use and at the same time, to protect your data strongly. Such a feature can be particularly useful for companies that operate in regulated sectors such as healthcare and finance, as they can meet the regulatory requirements laid down by different statutory bodies.
These unique features are sure to bring in greater adoption through this year. The pricing is also fairly reasonable, and depends on the level of usage. Currently, Google plans to charge $0.06 for every active key per month, and the rate for using the key is $0.03 for every 10,000 operations. This means, an organization that stores and uses 500 encryption keys over 100,000 operations can expect to pay around $30 a month. While this is not cheap, it’s fair considering that encryption by itself is an expensive process.
In short, Google’s KMS is sure to address gaps that exist in cloud security by giving it an additional layer of protection. It’s no surprise that Google is the first company to release such a product, as it’s always been a strong advocate of end-to-end encryption of data on the Internet. For enterprise customers, this service is expected to address many fears and concerns regarding hacking, which unfortunately, have been more prevalent than we’d like. This service will hopefully put an end to some of the security loopholes on the Internet.