Tech 2023: Exploring The Significance of HSM as A Service

Last Updated: 

June 22, 2023

AS cybersecurity risks rise, new systems and IT processes are frequently targeted by hackers and attackers for malicious reasons. One of the systems targeted is those that generate cryptographic keys used for various purposes such as authorising transactions, cyber security, and database access. 

These systems are targeted to get digital signatures and certificates, which can grant hackers access to entire organisation computer systems.

To protect these systems, IT departments can use hardware security modules to protect them from physical and internet-related attacks. HSM includes using hardware protection systems such as tamper-proof and hardened protection shells to protect the systems from physical access. 

Protection is essential for cryptographic processing infrastructure from any form of attack. Like other protection strategies, it ensures secure cryptographic key generation process distribution, storage, and management.

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Key takeaways on exploring HASM as a service

  1. Importance of HSM: Hardware Security Modules (HSMs) play a crucial role in protecting cryptographic systems and generating secure cryptographic keys, safeguarding organisations from cyber attacks.
  2. Protection Against Physical and Internet Attacks: HSMs provide physical protection through tamper-proof shells and protect against internet-related attacks, securing cryptographic key generation, distribution, storage, and management.
  3. On-Premise HSM as a Service: Organisations with air-gap protected systems and on-premise platforms can benefit from HSM as a service, which offers additional protection against physical access and enhances system security.
  4. Cloud-Based HSM as a Service: Subscription-based HSM as a service is ideal for hosting cryptographic infrastructure on the cloud, providing faster data sharing for authentication and offering flexibility and scalability.
  5. Relevance to Various Organisations: Organisations involved in encryption, authentication, decryption, digital signing, and data protection can greatly benefit from HSM as a service to achieve higher levels of security, compliance with data regulations, and business agility.
  6. Impacts on Remote Working: HSM as a service supports remote working arrangements by providing secure authentication keys and verification protocols, ensuring data security even if employee systems are compromised.
  7. Payment Systems and Services: HSM as a service is crucial for banks, e-commerce platforms, and online payment services to protect access, authenticate transactions, and provide secure log-ins for financial systems.
  8. Compliance with Data Regulations: HSM as a service helps organisations meet data privacy and confidentiality regulations, preventing data breaches and potential legal fines while enhancing risk management systems.
  9. Cost-Saving Advantages: Implementing HSM as a service reduces physical security costs, eliminates weaknesses in traditional access strategies, and enables cost-effective migration to cloud-based systems.
  10. Cloud-Based Security and Scalability: HSM as a service facilitates the migration of organisational functions to the cloud, ensuring scalable operations, managing certificates, preventing unauthorised access, and monitoring cloud access.
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On-premise HSM as a Service Vs. Cloud-Based HSM

To understand the goal of HSM as a service, one needs to analyse the critical impacts and their roles in the organisation. Openly, it is suitable for cryptographic infrastructure and systems from attacks, especially attacks on their functions. 

Most of these systems are air-gap protected systems, on-premise platforms, and company database systems; hence HSM as a service is critical for additional systems protection from any physical access.

HSM as a service is a subscription-based offering to protect cloud-based cryptographic infrastructure. 

The subscription is ideal for companies that do not prefer an air gap system but want to host the cryptographic infrastructure on the cloud. This is critical for faster data sharing for authentication details. The cloud-based system operates just like the on-premise system but is more flexible and faster cryptographic key dissemination.

Whether on-premise or cloud-based, these companies greatly benefit from the subscription model to protect their cryptographic infrastructure and hardware. Due to the complexity of the cryptographic infrastructure, you should streamline all the infrastructure to ensure all the systems and contents are protected. 

HSM as a service  covers all these infrastructures suitable for companies already deployed or planning to deploy the systems. Therefore, the consultant hired will help you streamline the system and determine the best way to deploy an HSM security strategy to meet flexibility, scalability, and enterprise solutions. 

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Which Organisations Need HSM as A Service?

Organisations such as banks, security companies, data protection agencies, and any organisation that need cryptographic protection require the protection service. In short, any organisation with some of these functions, such as encryption, authentication, decryption, and digital signing, would require the security of the cryptographic infrastructure.  

These organisations need security strategies to achieve higher levels of security, and trust, maintain business agility, and higher service levels related to cryptographic security. To ensure compliance with regulatory practices related to data security, the team can depend on the HSM as a service to comply with DSS, HIPAA, PCI, and GDPR guidelines. 

Therefore, companies with sensitive data and processes that must comply with sensitive data protection acts can heavily rely on HSM as a service.

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Why Deploy HSM as a Service?

The deployment of the HSM as a service widely depends on the nature of company functions and operations to boost security strategies.

1. Impacts on Remote Working 

Due to the increased remote working arrangements, companies are facing significant challenges and security issues. Attackers can target employee systems, data-sharing networks, and system access networks. 

Such activities require authentication and verification to guarantee additional data security. Using keys for authentication surpasses password, pin, and biometrics-based securities. 

You can rely on the cloud HSM platforms to redistribute security authentication keys for such needs. As long as the cryptographic infrastructure is secure, even if hackers access the systems, they can hardly access other data protected by authentication keys and verification protocols. 

All company employees can access and receive these keys regardless of location. To meet such needs, the company must enforce cloud HSM to support all the remote working arrangements and plans.  

2. Payment Systems and Services

Banks and major organisations currently depend on e-commerce, digital, and internet services, hence the need to protect access. For instance, when customers are engaged in digital bank transactions, they need authentication keys and digital signatures to verify and authenticate the transactions. 

Besides banks, consumers paying for online services using their PayPal, credit, and debit cards would depend on the provided authentication keys, app access, and security.

HSM, as a service, guarantees secure log-ins for all online bank transaction apps and websites. This includes keys provided and shared via mobile for users to access the system. Such keys are suitable for signing all payments and financial system access. 

Globally, relying on financial systems such as SWIFT would require secure cryptographic keys to authorise transactions and financial transfers.

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3. Compliance with Data Regulations

Every company that collects, transfers, and shares data must abide by data regulations about privacy, access, and confidentiality. By introducing secure sign-in strategies such as entrusted keys and other cryptographic, companies can protect sensitive company and consumer data from exploitation and access. 

The HSM as a service is critical for ensuring data security and privacy. These cryptography strategies can prevent all the intended attacks which may violate privacy and data regulations. This will save the company unnecessary legal fines for violating data regulation acts. 

The service is also essential to company risk management systems and strategies. These strategies would boost data risk plans, ideal for a positive company reputation and image for strict data policies and regulations.

4. Cost-Saving Advantages

It can be the ideal additional layer of security for on-premise systems. This will also eliminate other significant physical security strategies previously used. Therefore, it reduces some of the physical security costs. 

Hardware access strategies such as biometrics, passwords, and multifactor may have certain shortcomings; however, the HSM provides additional protection without weaknesses for external and physical attacks. 

5. Cloud-Based Security

Due to the costs of operating on-premise systems, all organisational functions are being migrated to cloud platforms. With HSM cloud platforms and infrastructure, companies can migrate all operations to the cloud, thereby reducing all the systems infrastructure, security, and other related costs. 

The inclusion of cloud HSM systems allows organisations to use systems scalably and expand fast, thereby helping in global systems security. Further, it helps in cloud certificate lifecycle management activities and prevents unauthorised access. 

With the HSM cloud cryptography, the company can also monitor all the cloud access preventing any unauthorised access. 


As companies race to boost data security strategies to protect all cryptographic devices and systems access, HSM as a service is becoming significant. 

HSM as a service is critical for securing cloud and on-premise cryptography infrastructure, further boosting company security risk management. HSM can be deployed for payment activities, remote working arrangements, and to ensure data security and regulations compliance. 

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