One Click and Voilà, Your Entire Data Center is Encrypted

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IBM has unveiled IBM Z, a mainframe capable of running more than 12 billion encrypted transactions per day. The mainframe and encryption engine are direct responses the growing number of data breaches, which as become a global epidemic in recent years. It can reduce the threat surface by 92 percent, according to research commissioned by IBM. A single system can support more than 12 billion encrypted transactions per day. There can be up to 32TB of memory, three times the z13 maximum, and its IO is three times faster as well. "The pervasive encryption that is built into, and is created to extend beyond, the new IBM Z really makes this the first system with an all-encompassing solution to the security threats and breaches we've been witnessing in the past 24 months", said Peter Rutten, analyst at IDC's Servers and Compute Platforms Group.

IBM said that its new mainframe utilides regulatory technology (regtech) to automate compliance processes, by allowing companies to demonstrate that the data they keep is encrypted. "The vast majority of stolen or leaked data today is in the open and easy to use because encryption has been very hard and expensive to do at scale", said Ross Mauri, General Manager, IBM Z.

The combination of stricter data governance rules and sophisticated hacks is placing a premium on encrypted data at rest and in motion as well as tighter management of encryption keys.

Even where a business is running development, test and production environments on the same machine, there is cryptographic separation between the environments, Jordan said.

Given the current climate of fear around hackers and ever-increasing amount of data breaches, IBM obviously believes this system will be an attractive proposition in terms of watertight security and keeping everything encrypted all the time. "There are companies that need that level of strength and transaction management".

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All that makes it harder for hackers to get in.

Computer hardware in general and large mainframe-style computers have taken a big hit in the dawning era of cloud computing.

IBM Z also has the ability to "self-destruct" encryption keys if any tampering is detected.

What would that additional security would cost, though? According to the company, this is faster than x86 systems, which only focus on limited slices of data. "Where the platform embraced Linux and open source software, IBM Z now dramatically expands the protective cryptographic umbrella of the world's most advanced encryption technology and key protection".

The mainframe, called IBM Z, seeks to address cyberattacks which have compromised financial data. It's as if someone told you a Tesla can store away electricity much faster than all the smartphones in your company, and the electricity to run apps on its dashboard is thus way cheaper than that used by all the smartphones: It may well be true, but you'd have to seriously rethink your business's approach to mobility to profit from it. Desens said IBM sees another opportunity for its encryption engine as analytics are combined with blockchain code deployments. Taking into account the lead times for chip design and manufacturing, it'll take at least two to three years for competing hardware to appear, she said in the report, "Pervasive Encryption: A New Paradigm for Protection". "Data centers previously had to decide what they would encrypt". One such is IBM's own Cloud Blockchain, which the company said is already using the new IBM Z to encrypt and secure services in six centers around the world.

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