Key Management

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The "Symmetric & Asymmetric Database Encryption" section introduced the concept of public and private keys with basic examples in which users exchange keys. The act of exchanging keys becomes impractical from a logistical point of view, when many different individuals need to communicate with each-other. In database encryption the system handles the storage and exchange of keys. This process is called key management. If encryption keys are not managed and stored properly, highly sensitive data may be leaked. Additionally, if a key management system deletes or loses a key, the information that was encrypted via said key is essentially rendered "lost" as well. The complexity of key management logistics is also a topic that needs to be taken into consideration. As the number of application that a firm uses increases, the number of keys that need to be stored and managed increases as well. Thus it is necessary to establish a way in which keys from all applications can be managed through a single channel, which is also known as enterprise key management.[24] Enterprise Key Management Solutions are sold by a great number of suppliers in the technology industry. These systems essentially provide a centralised key management solution that allows administrators to manage all keys in a system through one hub.[25] Thus it can be said that the introduction of enterprise key management solutions has the potential to lessen the risks associated with key management in the context of database encryption, as well as to reduce the logistical troubles that arise when many individuals attempt to manually share keys.[24]