IBM claims breakthrough in mainframe encryption

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IBM is looking to tackle the problem of what hackers can do with the information they acquire from data breaches by encrypting everything stored on its new mainframes. Solitaire modeled the cost of running a business on IBM's z14 and compared it with data from thousands of businesses using x86 systems of different sizes to selectively encrypt data. At the heart of IBM Z is an encryption engine that will encrypt data associated with any application, cloud service or database.

IBM say's that the system is created to address the "global epidemic of data breaches" where of the nine billion data records lost or stolen since 2013, only 4% were encrypted.

This IBM Z capability can be extended beyond the mainframe to other devices, such as storage systems and servers in the cloud.

"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.

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.

Big Blue announced that its latest IBM Z mainframe computer will be able to encrypt all of the data in an enterprise all of the time, bringing encryption to everything from cloud services to databases.

It hopes the new mainframe will enable companies to comply with new data protection laws, such as the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the U.S.'s Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) guidance on the use of encryption in the financial services industry. This group includes government agencies and numerous world's largest financial institutions, retailers, healthcare organizations, and insurance firms - in other words, primary targets for professional hackers. In addition, IBM Secure Service Container protects against "Snowden-style 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.

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It is becoming increasingly important for organisations to be able to prove that data is protected in the face of regulations like the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and encryption requirements set for financial institutions by regulators in the Singapore, Hong Kong, and the U.S. at a federal and state level. They will face fines of up to 4pc of annual worldwide revenues, or €20m, unless the organisation can demonstrate that data was encrypted and the keys were protected. Clients can now co-locate applications to optimise qualities of services that are priced competitively with public cloud and on-premises platforms.

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

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.

The world's largest MongoDB instance with 2,5-times faster NodeJS performance than x86-based platforms.

The industry just gained another ally in the global fight against cybercrime with the launch of the new IBM z14 mainframe. It supports 2,000,000 Docker containers and 1,000 concurrent NoSQL databases. That's possible because the z14 has three times the memory (up to 32 terabytes) and three times faster input-output than its predecessor, and a significant reduction in SAN latency when using zHyperLink.

There are some applications that can profit from having one of IBM's mysterious black monoliths in the data center today.

There is coming z/OS software that will provide capabilities for private cloud service delivery, that will include support of workflow extensions for IBM Cloud Provisioning and Management for z/OS and real-time SMF analytics infrastructure support.

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