IBM Unveils New Mainframe, IBM Z, With Strengthened Data Encryption Capabilities

IBM has unveiled one of the world’s most powerful transaction systems, capable of running more than 12 billion encrypted transactions per day. IBM Z, the “next generation” of IBM’s mainframe technology, would make it possible for organizations to pervasively encrypt data associated with an entire application, cloud service or database in flight or at rest with one click. 

IBM Z would be capable of running more than 12 billion encrypted transactions per day. The new system also introduces a “breakthrough” encryption engine that makes it possible to pervasively encrypt data associated with any application, cloud service or database all the time.

colocation-eastern-europe“The vast majority of stolen or leaked data today is in the open and easy to use because encryption has been very difficult and expensive to do at scale,” said Ross Mauri, General Manager, IBM Z. “We created a data protection engine for the cloud era to have a significant and immediate impact on global data security.”

IBM Z’s pervasive encryption breakthroughs would include:

  • Pervasive encryption of data – all the time – IBM Z would make it possible for organizations to pervasively encrypt data associated with an entire application, cloud service or database in flight or at rest with one click. The standard practice today is to encrypt small chunks of data at a time, and invest significant labor to select and manage individual fields. This bulk encryption at cloud scale is made possible by a massive “7x increase” in cryptographic performance over the previous generation z13 – driven by a “4x increase” in silicon dedicated to cryptographic algorithms.
  • Tamper-responding encryption keys – A top concern for organizations would be protection of encryption keys. In large organizations, hackers would often target encryption keys, which are routinely exposed in memory as they are used. IBM Z would be able to protect millions of keys (as well as the process of accessing, generating and recycling them) in “tamper responding” hardware that causes keys to be invalidated at any sign of intrusion and can then be restored in safety. The IBM Z key management system is designed to meet Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) Level 4 standards, where the norm for high security in the industry is Level 2. This IBM Z capability can be extended beyond the mainframe to other devices, such as storage systems and servers in the cloud. In addition, IBM Secure Service Container would protect against insider threats from contractors and privileged users, provide automatic encryption of data and code in-flight and at-rest, and tamper-resistance during installation and runtime.
  • Encrypted APIs – IBM z/OS Connect technologies would make it easy for cloud developers to discover and call any IBM Z application or data from a cloud service, or for IBM Z developers to call any cloud service. IBM Z now allows organizations to encrypt these APIs – the digital glue that links services, applications and systems.
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