Gartner Research

Enterprise Key Management Systems

Published: 16 January 2009

ID: G00203649

Analyst(s): Ramon Krikken


As the use of encryption in an enterprise increases, so do the potential headaches surrounding management of the associated cryptographic key materials. Enterprise key management systems (EKMSs) are designed to address problems with managing cryptographic keys for data at rest. In this report, Analyst Ramon Krikken discusses drivers, risk, and requirements; EKMS functions and selection criteria; details of products in the EKMS market; and recommendations on deploying EKMSs in the cryptographic ecosystem.

Table Of Contents

Summary of Findings


  • Drivers and Risks in Enterprise Key Management
  • Enterprise Key Management Functions
  • Relating EKMS to Public Key Infrastructure
  • Customer Perspectives and EKMS Requirements
  • EKMS Selection Criteria and Product Capabilities
    • Support for Cryptographic Entities
    • System and Database Security
    • Key Distribution Security
    • High Availability and Recovery
    • System and Key Management
    • Key Domains and Grouping
    • Policies and Automation
    • Auditing and Monitoring
  • The Effect of Key Management Standards
    • IEEE 1619.3
    • TCG KMSS
    • IETF KeyProv
  • Market Impact
    • Market Segmentation
    • Market Dynamics
  • Recommendations
    • Develop a Cryptography Strategy First
    • Develop a Key Management Practice Second
    • Carefully Evaluate Product Capabilities and Roadmaps
    • Make Security of an EKMS a Primary Objective
    • Make Availability Another Primary Objective
    • Pay Special Attention to Key Recovery
    • Prepare to Support Multiple EKMS Products

The Details

  • HP StorageWorks Secure Key Manager
  • IBM Tivoli Key Lifecycle Manager
  • nCipher KeyAuthority
  • NetApp Lifetime Key Management
  • RSA Key Manager
  • SafeNet KeySecure
  • Sun Microsystems StorageTek Key Management System
  • Venafi Encryption Director
  • Voltage Security Key Management Server
  • Other Vendors
    • Cisco Storage Media Encryption Key Management Center
    • PGP Universal Server
    • Quantum Encryption Key Manager


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