Quantum has announced the Quantum Encryption Key Manager (Q-EKM) solution. Available later this month as a scalable solution across Quantum’s portfolio of Scalar tape libraries, Q-EKM leverages industry-standard algorithms to securely manage encryption keys.

Used in conjunction with the hardware-based encryption in LTO-4 tape drives, Q-EKM simply and cost-effectively centralizes key management for backup, restore and disaster recovery processes.
With this announcement Quantum has bolstered its leadership position in providing a range of data security and management solutions that encompass disk and tape data protection technologies and enable customers to meet required levels of data confidentiality, integrity and availability across distributed environments.
According to data compiled by Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, there have been hundreds of recorded data breaches over the past two-and-a-half years, and almost 167-million records containing sensitive personal information have been compromised to-date. Incidents have forced businesses to bear the financial cost of mitigating potential damage to the impacted customers and employees and exposed them to legal risk. Further, more than thirty states have passed security laws requiring individuals to be notified of security breaches which can do great harm to a company’s reputation.
Quantum recognizes the complexities associated with securing and managing backup and disaster recovery processes across remote offices and data centers. Customers can replicate encrypted data between Quantum disk-based systems leveraging data de-duplication, securely manage and monitor their data protection environment, including Quantum systems, from a single location or console, and now Q-EKM joins this suite of solutions to enable a scalable and centralized management of tape encryption and keys.
“As more and more of a company’s data in transit is encrypted for regulatory compliance and off-site data protection, easily and affordably managing the security and integrity of encryption keys is paramount,” says Tony de Sousa, CEO of Quantum Africa. “Quantum is actively engaged in multiple data protection standards organizations and has demonstrated its industry leadership through a full range of security and management solutions leveraging these standard approaches.
"The Quantum Encryption Key Manager is the next step in delivering application-agnostic solutions that are easy to use and relieve administrative strain from the edge to core of the enterprise.”
Q-EKM is a Java software program that generates, protects, stores and manages encryption keys. These keys are created using a sophisticated algorithm designed to ensure that each key is unique and unpredictable. The Q-EKM employs key construction based on the 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) currently recommended by the U.S. government for use in protecting even classified data – virtually ensuring that each generated key is effectively protected from attack.
By generating encryption keys out of the data path or “out of band,” Q-EKM does not impact backup performance and is application agnostic, ensuring easier and faster decryption of data from LTO-4 media. In contrast, solutions that utilize an application-based key manager may transmit “in band,” utilizing backup resources, or may require the same system that wrote the data to be used in the event of a restore. As a result, these solutions can be especially problematic in distributed enterprise environments running multiple backup applications and tape libraries.
Q-EKM software licenses will be available later this month through Quantum and its network of channel and distribution partners. The solution is scalable across the company’s LTO-4-equipped Scalar i500 and Scalar i2000 tape library portfolios. Once installed and configured, Q-EKM is entirely automated, handling the entire key management process and removing this administration burden from the customer.