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Google has rolled out a beta of its Cloud hardware security module aimed at hardware cryptographic key security. Cloud HSM allows better security for customers without them having to worry about operational overhead.

Cloud HSM is a cloud-hosted hardware security module that allows customers to store encryption keys. Federal Information Processing Standard Publication (FIPS) 140-2 level 3 security is used in the Cloud HSM. FIPS is a U.S. government security standard for cryptographic modules under non-military use. This standard is certified to be used in financial and health-care institutions.

It is a specialized hardware component designed to encrypt small data blocks contrary to larger blocks that are managed with Key Management Service (KMS). It is available now and is fully managed by Google, meaning all the patching, scaling, cluster management and upgrades will be done automatically with no downtime. The customer has full control of the Cloud HSM service via the Cloud KMS APIs.

Il-Sung Lee, Product Manager at Google, stated: “And because the Cloud HSM service is tightly integrated with Cloud KMS, you can now protect your data in customer-managed encryption key-enabled services, such as BigQuery, Google Compute Engine, Google Cloud Storage and DataProc, with a hardware-protected key.

In addition to Cloud HSM, Google has also released betas for asymmetric key support for both Cloud KMS and Cloud HSM. Now users can create a variety of asymmetric keys for decryption or signing operations. This means that users can now store their keys used for PKI or code signing in a Google Cloud managed keystore. “Specifically, RSA 2048, RSA 3072, RSA 4096, EC P256, and EC P384 keys will be available for signing operations, while RSA 2048, RSA 3072, and RSA 4096 keys will also have the ability to decrypt blocks of data.

For more information visit the Google Cloud blog and for HSM pricing visit the Cloud HSM page.

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