Data Centers

IBM Z mainframe has built-in encryption to fight 'epidemic of data breaches'

IBM recently unveiled its latest mainframe, IBM Z, with an encryption engine capable of protecting company data in the cloud, in an application, and in a database.

The new IBM Z mainframe, unveiled Monday, has a built-in encryption engine to protect businesses against the "global epidemic of data breaches," a press release said. Application data, cloud data, and data stored in a traditional database can all be encrypted.

Some 9 billion data records have been lost or stolen in the past four years, the release said. And only 4% of those records were encrypted, which means that a majority of the captured data was still valuable to attackers.

The IBM Z has been designed specifically to make encryption easier to deploy on a large scale. The mainframe's security capabilities can be extended across networks, data, devices, and applications, the release said. And, it won't impact any SLAs.

SEE: Information Security Management Fundamentals (TechRepublic Academy)

"The vast majority of stolen or leaked data today is in the open and easy to use because encryption has been very difficult and expensive to do at scale," Ross Mauri, general manager of IBM Z, said in the release. "We created a data protection engine for the cloud era to have a significant and immediate impact on global data security."

Another reason that many enterprises forgo encryption is that many of the solutions geared toward x86 environments can negatively affect performance. Because of this, only about 2% of corporate data is currently encrypted, the release said.

The IBM Z isn't short on power, though. According to the press release, the IBM Z is capable of of handling more than 12 billion encrypted transactions each day. The system runs at 5.2GHz and can support up to 2 million Docker containers or 1,000 concurrent NoSQL databases.

In terms of cryptographic capabilities, the IBM Z boasts pervasive encryption that is 18x faster than comparable solutions on x86 systems.

Key management in the IBM Z is designed to respond to tampering efforts by invalidating the encryption keys at any sign of foul play. Additionally, the IBM Z makes use of encrypted APIs, the release said.

Compliance and security processes can be automated with IBM Z, and it complies with GDPR. IBM also integrates with IBM Blockchain services, the release said, and IBM has announced new container pricing as part of the IBM Z debut.

The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers

  1. IBM Z is a new mainframe from IBM with a built-in encryption engine that can protect all of a company's data—in a database, the cloud, or an application.
  2. The system runs at 5.2GHz and can support up to 2 million Docker containers, 1,000 concurrent NoSQL databases, and 12 billion encrypted transactions each day.
  3. IBM Z integrates with IBM Blockchain services, and it offers automated compliance and security as well.

Also see

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Image: Connie Zhou for IBM

About Conner Forrest

Conner Forrest is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He covers enterprise technology and is interested in the convergence of tech and culture.

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