IBM is looking to tackle the problem of what hackers can do with the information they acquire from data breaches by encrypting everything stored on its new mainframes.
The company's Z mainframe system is powerful enough to automatically encrypt all of the data that passes through it. IBM Z differs from traditional mainframes that only encrypt small slices of information due to their lack of power. As the number of data breaches has risen significantly, sensitive company data is now more likely to end up in the hands of hackers.
IBM shed further light on the reasoning behind the decision to encrypt all of the data handled by its new Z mainframes, in a statement on its site, saying:
“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 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.”
IBM Z also has the ability to 'self-destruct' encryption keys if any tampering is detected. This could be particularly useful for businesses that rely on the company to handle their online payments. IBM's transaction engine is currently responsible for handling 87 per cent of credit card payments.
While hackers would still be able to get a hold of data following a breach, they would be unable to access it as IBM Z would have previously encrypted it.
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