IBM Mainframe Ushers in New Era of Data Protection

IBM Mainframe Ushers in New Era of Data Protection

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IBM unveiled IBM Z, the next generation of their transaction system, capable of running more than 12 billion encrypted transactions per day. The new system also introduces encryption engine that 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 4% 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 expands the protective cryptographic umbrella. The system’s 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.

A recent study found that extensive use of encryption is a top factor in reducing the business impact and cost of a data breach. 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 can be too complex and expensive to manage. As a result, only about 2% 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. The new system brings significant advances in cryptography technology, building on encryption platform that safeguards banking, healthcare, government and retail systems. Its pervasive encryption delivers breakthroughs including pervasive encryption of data all the time, tamper-responding encryption keys and encrypted APIs.

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. GDPR will require organizations to report data breaches to the regulatory authority within 72 hours and face fines of up to four percent of annual worldwide revenues or 20 million Euro, unless the organization can demonstrate that data was encrypted and the keys were protected.

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. When available, these capabilities will include the support of workflow extensions for IBM Cloud Provisioning and Management for z/OS and real-time SMF analytics infrastructure support.

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