IBM Unveils New Encryption Technology to Combat Data Breaches

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ibm Z
IBM Z. Photo Credit: Connie Zhou for IBM

IBM has rolled out its newest mainframe, IBM Z, which delivers new data encryption technology. The system aims to bring significant advances in cryptography technology to safeguard the world’s banking, healthcare, government and retail systems, and address the global epidemic of data breaches.

IBM Meet the New Z
IBM hardware engineer Rhonda Sundlof (top) and engineer Karl Casserly test the IBM Z. Photo Credit: Connie Zhou for IBM

IBM Z is the first system ever to encrypt all data associated with any application, cloud service or database all of the time – cheaply and at scale without any software changes required and no impact on business service level agreements.

The company said that this newest release was the most significant system overhaul from IBM in more than 15 years. It was designed with input from 150 clients who cited data breaches and encryption as their biggest challenge and concern.

In 2016, more than 4 billion data records were compromised, a 556% increase over 2015. Of the more than nine billion data records lost or stolen in the past five years, only 4% were encrypted, making the vast majority of such data vulnerable to organized cyber crime rings, state actors and employees misusing access to sensitive information.

“The vast majority of stolen or leaked data today is in the open and easy to use because encryption has been very difficult and expensive to do at scale,” said Ross Mauri, the general manager of IBM Z. “We created a data protection engine for the cloud era to have a significant and immediate impact on global data security.”

IBM Z features the industry’s fastest microprocessor and a new scalable system structure that delivers up to a 35% capacity increase for workloads compared to the previous generation z13, and can support more than 12 billion encrypted transactions per day on a single system.

Building “the most secure blockchain service”

As blockchain applications are increasingly integrated into core business businesses, IBM has brought IBM Z onto the IBM Cloud, launching initially as an encryption engine for cloud services and to run IBM Blockchain services.

The firm said IBM Z was built to be “the platform of choice for blockchain.” Six New blockchain services in centers in Dallas, London, Frankfurt, Sao Paulo, Tokyo and Toronto are already being secured using IBM Z.

“The powerful combination of IBM Z encryption and secure containers differentiates IBM Blockchain services on the cloud by supporting the trust models new blockchain networks require,” said Marie Wieck, the general manager of IBM Blockchain. “Enterprise clients also benefit from the ease of use making management transparent to the application and the user.”

IBM Blockchain is a suite of cloud services to help clients create and manage blockchain networks.

Additionally, IBM has announced a collaboration with AngelHack in the launch of “Unchain the Frame,” a global virtual hackathon with more than US$50,000 in prizes.

Developers from around the world are invited to show off their skills and creativity using technologies such as blockchain, open source applications, financial industry APIs and machine learning on IBM Z.