Remote Management in the Age of Global Disruptions

As the world comes to terms with the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing becomes a focal point in flattening the curve, businesses around the globe are confronted with challenges associated with remote management.

In this climate, working remotely has become the new norm and Utimaco’s Atalla Hardware Security Module’s (HSM) remote management capability ensures that organizations can continue to protect their most valuable assets from afar.

Global pandemic aside, remote management of HSMs has many benefits which range from reduced operational costs (as a result of eliminating staff visits to the data centers) to improved productivity and efficiency with around-the-clock visibility and access to your HSM. The best part about remote management is perhaps the fact that all the above can be achieved without the Security Officers’ physical presence at the data center. This is especially relevant for businesses in the card issuance and transaction processing space, where the Root of Trust or HSMs, that store the cryptographic keys, are located in multiple data centers and placed under restricted access. Even without a worldwide pandemic on your doorstep, key and device management becomes a costly and time-consuming challenge. 

Remote HSM management is nothing new, but Utimaco is undoubtedly the leader in delivering true remote management in a one-of-a-kind transactional model that allows Security Administrators to be geographically separate. While it is common practice to load the Master Key inside of an HSM in a key ceremony via multiple key custodians, Utimaco’s solution allows you to do so without having to fly-in all responsible custodians to a single location. This is important as it significantly reduces time and costs that are associated with such key ceremonies. What’s more, it allows each key custodian to perform their necessary tasks within their timezone whenever convenient for them. Utimaco delivers this capability through our Atalla Secure Configuration Assistant (SCA), which is a versatile remote management software solution for Atalla HSMs on an easy-to-read Microsoft Windows platform. What Utimaco does is provide a way to load master and lower level keys from separate locations, at separate times – all with an easy-to-use GUI with natural event and decision flow.

Our SCA-W takes the challenge out of HSM management allowing your teams to focus on moving your business forward in the most cost-effective and efficient way. Whether you’re preparing for a global pandemic or simply looking for new ways to scale your business, remote management can help you overcome any disruptions by providing you with access to your device and keys around the clock. When used together with our compatible Next Gen Atalla AT1000, it can help you achieve enhanced security and the highest level of compliance all with the flexibility that remote management offers. Based on our invention and Payment Card Industry’s de factor standard, Key Blocks, AT1000 provides superior hardware security to deliver maximum privacy, integrity and performance for host applications. Protecting customer sensitive data, performing cardholder authentication, and managing the cryptographic keys used in ecommerce retail payment transactions remotely is now possible with the use of SCA-W and the fastest payment HSM on the market – Atalla AT1000. 

As we keep witnessing the unprecedented developments in the world that affect the day-to-day operations of organizations, there has never been a better time to evaluate if you have the right tools in place to ensure the optimal levels of flexibility and security.  On a day like today, when you need to stay inside consider the outside-the-box prospects that remote management can bring into your business. 

Stay safe and secure!

About the author

Ulrich Scholten is an internationally active entrepreneur and scientist. He holds a PhD in information technology and owns several patents on cloud-based sensors. His research on cloud computing is regularly published in highly rated journals and conference papers. From 2008 - 2015, he was associated research scientist at the Karlsruhe Service Research Institute (KSRI), a partnership by KIT and IBM, where he researched network effects around web-platforms together with SAP Research.

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