Equinix launches new cloud security service to manage encryption keys

14 March 2018 | Natalie Bannerman


Equinix announced the launch of SmartKey, its global key management and encryption software-as-a-service (SaaS) offering that simplifies data protection across the cloud.

The new solution uses Equinix’s global interconnection platform of more than 190 international business exchange (IBX) data centres across 48 markets to securely host encryption keys away from the data located across networks.

Brian Lillie 200 x 200Brian Lillie, chief product officer at Equinix, said: “SmartKey is the first of several emerging services we plan to introduce in the coming months. Our commitment is to deliver new and customer-inspired products and services that provide increasing value to customers and enable them to reach everywhere, interconnect everyone and integrate everything through a globally consistent data centre and interconnection platform.”

The Global Interconnection Index reports that over the next three years there will be a 50% growth in the traffic capacity needed by enterprises to directly connect with, and exchange data across, multiple clouds, IT providers and third-party network destinations. As a result this creates a directly need that SmartKey is uniquely positioned to solve including: improving security across the various ecosystems by separating the he encryption keys from the data, so that both keys are held by different entities; deploying a private and secure SaaS solution eliminating the need to purchase and deploy specialised hardware; enabling firms to manage encryption keys across various regions and platforms; offering management controls to maintain data and encryption keys in the same region in support of data sovereignty or regulatory requirements.

“Given the cybersecurity risks of today's distributed application, cloud and data environments, customers are turning to encryption as one of the most effective controls to protect their critical information, and as a result the need for private, secure, globally available key management becomes paramount. Equinix SmartKey solves this challenge by seamlessly integrating with public and hybrid clouds globally while providing the privacy that puts control of data back where it belongs--in the hands of the customer,” added Lance Weaver, vice president of emerging services at Equinix.

SmartKey is the first in a series of adjacent coverage, connectivity and service initiatives that Equinix will deliver via the evolution of its Platform Equinix. When used as part of an Interconnection Oriented Architecture (IOA) strategy, SmartKey enables security and data professionals to have a globally consistent end-to-end encryption strategy.

“Digital transformation efforts by enterprises and service providers alike are moving more data and systems to the cloud, pushing an ever-increasing amount of sensitive enterprise and customer data to be stored in multi-tenant, shared computing and storage environments, said Christina Richmond, program vice president of worldwide security services at IDC. “This trend is being driven by data sovereignty requirements like GDPR, creating demand for secure data localization solutions like key management-as-a-service offerings such as Equinix SmartKey.”

SmartKey leverages IntelSGX technology, which ensures confidentiality of customer information. The service is also powered by Fortanix’s next-gen Hardware Security Module and features Fortanix runtime encryption technology to ensure the privacy of keys.

“Intel’s silicon and software technologies can improve data centre privacy, security and scalability, explained Rick Echevarria, vice president of software and services group and general manager, platforms security division at Intel. “Intel’s collaboration with Equinix advances these capabilities and delivers innovation in data encryption and privacy technologies that span multiple industries.”

“Fortanix is excited to partner with Equinix on the SmartKey service. Fortanix Runtime Encryption combined with Intel SGX is designed to protect the cryptographic key material from malicious threats, including insiders with root access. Together with Equinix, we can now ensure that this highest level of confidentiality reaches the broadest set of customer environments,” added Ambuj Kumar, CEO at Fortanix.

Equnix’s SmartKey is available worldwide and will be expanding physical points of presence in multiple regions to support particular data sovereignty requirements.