IBM (NYSE: IBM) unveiled IBM Z, the next generation powerful transaction system, capable of running more than 12 billion encrypted transactions per day. The new system also introduces a breakthrough encryption engine that, for the first time, makes it possible to pervasively encrypt data associated with any application, cloud service or database all the time.
IBM Z’s new data encryption capabilities are designed to address the global epidemic of data breaches, a major factor in the $8 trillion cybercrime impact on the global economy by 2022. Of the more than nine billion data records lost or stolen since 2013, only four percent were encrypted, making the vast majority of such data vulnerable to organized cybercrime rings, state actors and employees misusing access to sensitive information.
In the most significant re-positioning of mainframe technology in more than a decade, when 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 system’s advanced cryptographic capability now extends across any data, networks, external devices or entire applications – such as the IBM Cloud Blockchain service – with no application changes and no impact on business service level agreements.
“The vast majority of stolen or leaked data 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.”
Technology Breakthrough: Industry-First Pervasive Encryption for the Cloud Era
A recent study found that extensive use of encryption is a top factor in reducing the business impact and cost of a data breach. To put that in context, the IBM X-Force Threat Intelligence Index reported that more than four billion records were leaked in 2016 (a 556 percent increase from 2015).
However, encryption is often largely absent in corporate and cloud data centers because current solutions for data encryption in x86 environments can dramatically degrade performance (and thus user experience), and can be too complex and expensive to manage.As a result, only about two percent of corporate data is encrypted today, while more than 80 percent of mobile device data is encrypted.
IBM Z pervasive encryption reflects a call to action on data protection articulated by Chief Information Security Officers and data security experts worldwide,and more than 150 IBM clients around the world who participated and provided feedback in IBM Z’s system design over three years.
As a result of this collaboration, IBM Z brings significant advances in cryptography technology, building on a proven encryption platform that safeguards the world’s banking, healthcare, government and retail systems. IBM Z pervasive encryption delivers breakthroughs including:
- Pervasive encryption of data – all the time. IBM Zmakes it possible, for the first time, for organizations topervasively 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. This is 18x faster than compared x86 systems (that today only focus on limited slices of data) and at just five percent of the costof compared x86-based solutions.
- Tamper-responding encryption keys. A top concern for organizations is protection of encryption keys. In large organizations, hackers often target encryption keys, which are routinely exposed in memory as they are used. Only IBM Z can 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 Zcapability can be extended beyond the mainframe to other devices, such as storage systems and servers in the cloud. In addition, IBM Secure Service Container protects against insider threats from contractors and privileged users, provides 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 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 –nearly 3x faster than alternatives based on compared x86 systems.
“The pervasive encryption that is built into, and is designed 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.
Designed for Tough New Data Protection Regulations
The IBM Z also helps clients build trust with consumers and comply with new standards such as the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that will increase data protection requirements for organizations doing business in Europe starting next year.
IBM Z,deeply integrated with IBM Security software, automates and dramatically streamlines security and compliance processes. Organizations can now immediately demonstrate that data within the scope of compliance is protected and the keys are secure. This can significantly reduce the mounting complexity and cost of compliance for auditors. The system also provides an audit trail showing if and when permissioned insiders accessed data.
Creating the Most Secure Blockchain Service
As blockchain applications become increasingly integrated into core business processes, client’s concerns are naturally shifting to security, encryption, and resiliency. The IBM Cloud is constantly evolving with industry leading compute options. Now it is evolving again to bring IBM Z onto the IBM Cloud, launching initially as an encryption engine for cloud services and to run IBM Blockchain services to provide the highest commercially available levels of cryptographic hardware. New blockchain services in centers in Dallas, London, Frankfurt, Sao Paolo, Tokyo and Toronto are secured using IBM Z’s industry-leading cryptography technology.
“The powerful combination of IBM Z encryption and secure containers differentiates IBM Blockchain services on the cloud by supporting the trust models new blockchain networks require,” said Marie Wieck, general manager, IBM Blockchain. “Enterprise clients also benefit from the ease of use making management transparent to the application and the user.”
AngelHack, in collaboration with IBM, launched “Unchain the Frame,” a global virtual hackathon with more than $50,000 USD in prizes. Developers from around the world are invited to show off their skills and creativity using technologies such as blockchain, open source applications, financial industry APIs and machine learning on IBM Z.