IBM unveils powerful new encryption mainframe

IBM’s new Z14 mainframe brings end-to-end encryption to all your data						
						Enterprise															By:				CIOL Writers

IBM’s new Z14 mainframe brings end-to-end encryption to all your data Enterprise By: CIOL Writers

"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". Capable of running more than 12 billion encrypted transactions per day, IBM z makes it possible, for the first time, to encrypt all data associated with any application, cloud service or database, all the time. Taking into account the lead times for chip design and manufacturing, it'll take at least two to three years for competing hardware to appear, she said in the report, "Pervasive Encryption: A New Paradigm for Protection". "And we're really doing it for the first time at scale, which has not been done up to this point, because it's been incredibly challenging and expensive to do". IBM Z is the latest in a series of "z" mainframe systems developed by the corporation. If hackers were to take over the test environment, say, and access its encryption keys they would still not be able to decrypt production data.

IBM's Z mainframe is set to be most significant system overhaul from IBM in more than 15 years and has been designed with involvement from more than 100 financial services and other industry mainframe clients and users.

"This is a significant technology that they are bringing to the market", Peter Rutten, analyst for IDC's Servers and Compute Platforms Group, said about the new encryption capabilities. By contrast, more than 80 percent of mobile device data is encrypted. "With this technology, the whole system in its entirety is".

IBM Z integrated with IBM Security software, streamlining security and compliance processes.

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The mainframe will be used initially as an encryption engine for IBM's cloud computing technology and blockchain (distributed ledger technology) services.

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.

IBM Z allows organisations to encrypt the application programming interfaces (APIs) used to call data from a cloud service, for an additional layer of security, IBM said. According to the company, this is faster than x86 systems, which only focus on limited slices of data.

IBM has unveiled IBM Z, a mainframe capable of running more than 12 billion encrypted transactions per day.

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"For quite a long time, people have looked at Intel as a convenient platform, but IBM would love to break that stranglehold and have people take a look at the mainframe", Hurwitz said. "But companies that need mainframes to run the backbone of large, complex business systems will find the upgrade to z14 worthwhile", he said.

"The pervasive encryption that is built into, and is created 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. IBM said the dedicated silicon means cryptographic performance is about 18 times faster than current x86 systems.

IBM says the z14 has 10 per cent more performance per core than z13, and there are up to 170 configurable cores, meaning up to 35 per cent more total capacity in a single footprint compared to a z13.

An analysis from Toni Sacconaghi Jr for Bernstein Research says IBM's hardware business is in secular decline, and, while mainframe hardware contributes just 3 per cent of Big Blue's revenues, the overall mainframe platform accounted for almost a quarter of total IBM revenues and an estimated 40 per cent of profits in 2016.

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The new encryption technology will also help mainframe customers meet new data compliance requirements, such as the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation, said Judith Hurwitz, president of Hurwitz & Associates, a market research, consulting and analyst firm.

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