IBM unveils data protection engine for cloud era

James Marshall
July 17, 2017

"The pervasive encryption is the game-changer here", Mike Desens, vice president of offering management for IBM Z, said in an interview.

According to IBM, only 4% of the more than 9 billion data records lost or stolen since 2013 were encrypted, indicating that most data is vulnerable to cyber attackers.

"There is a global epidemic of data theft".

"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 at IBM Z.

IBM said its new data encryption capabilities are created to address the global epidemic of data breaches, faster, and at a cheaper cost, with container pricing and other payment possibilities. IBM has therefore also announced that six IBM Cloud Blockchain data centres will beusing IBM Z as their encryption engine, namely those in Dallas, London, Frankfurt, Sao Paolo, Tokyo and Toronto. As a result, encryption performance is seven times faster than on IBM's previous-generation z13 mainframe and, according to IBM, 18 times faster than systems powered by Intel Corp.'s x86 chips.

The company's Z mainframe system is powerful enough to automatically encrypt all of the data that passes through it. IBM Z differs from traditional mainframes that only encrypt small slices of information due to their lack of power.

IBM has rolled out what it called the biggest revamp of mainframe technology in more than a decade with a system that aims to stem the damage caused by data breaches through pervasive encryption.

The other driving factor is the increase in regulations by governments around the world aimed at protecting information, including the European Union's (EU) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which goes into effect next year. In addition, the company said the IBM Secure Service Container protects against "Snowden-style" insider threats from contractors and privileged users.

These solutions work with pervasive encryption to provide comprehensive data security capabilities to protect your information.

The company outlined three container pricing models for affordable and flexible cloud-based deployments, including for new microservices and applications, application test and development and payment systems.

Applications that do need to decrypt the data will run under a special user ID that can access the decryption key - but such user IDs typically cannot be used to log in to the system, making it harder for hackers to both grab a file and decrypt it.

Payment systems pricing based on the business metric of payments volume a bank processes, not the available capacity.

IBM mainfraes already support 87% of all credit card transactions and almost $8-trillion payments a year, 29-billion ATM transactions each year, worth almost $5-billion per day, 4-billion passenger flights each year; more than 30-billion transactions per day - more than the number of Google searches every day; and 68% of the world's production workloads at only 6% of the total IT cost.

IBM's new mainframe brings security to a whole new level with end-to-end encryption. It supports 2,000,000 Docker containers and 1,000 concurrent NoSQL databases. With 32Tb of memory, IBM Z offers one of the largest memory footprints in the industry. The Z also has three times the memory for faster response times and analytics performance and three times faster data movement. It does this without any software changes or disruption to business applications and operations.

As part of the announcement, IBM also previewed new z/OS software that provides foundational capabilities for private cloud service delivery, enabling a transformation from an IT cost center to a value-generating service provider.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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