What is Hybrid Key Management System (KMS)?

Hybrid KMS is a centralized management of accounts across all leading CSP’s with custom API’s for integration and the ability to manage all encryption key lifecycle management activities from the central console.

Many organizations simply prefer to own and physically oversee their own HSMs, but they also seek the accessibility and convenience of the cloud. A hybrid model would contain a combination of on-premises HSMs and cloud HSMs to account for:

  • Scalability
  • Backup
  • Failover

This model is often used by organizations that have large on-premises HSM estates, but want to limit further investments in on-premises and want to tap into the scalability of the cloud. With a hybrid infrastructure, if an organization sees an unexpectedly high volume, cloud-based HSMs can seamlessly provide additional capacity, preventing slowdowns or outages. 

A few years ago, on-premises were the only option for key management. That has changed and organizations now have the option to move fully to the cloud or adopt a hybrid model. As organizations are considering these options, they can evaluate based on these parameters: 

  • FIPS 140-2 Level 3 compliance and PCI HSM standards.
  • Scalability
  • Compliance
  • High Availability
  • Integration
  • Resources
  • Cost

If an organization is facing scalability issues, interruptions, access failure, it might be time to extend their critical infrastructure beyond physical premises. Organizations have several options: moving to the cloud, renting rack space, or looking for hybrid options.