@CloudExpo Authors: Elizabeth White, Andreas Grabner, Steven Lamb, Rich DeFabritus, Pat Romanski

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Key Management Interoperability Protocol (KMIP) 1.1 and KMIP Profiles 1.1 Become OASIS Standards

The OASIS international open standards consortium announced the approval of version 1.1 of the Key Management Interoperability Protocol (KMIP) Specification and KMIP Profiles. KMIP enables interoperable communication between cryptographic environments and key managers, reducing the operational, training, and infrastructure costs for key management in the enterprise. KMIP 1.1 and the related KMIP Profiles 1.1 are now official OASIS Standards, a status that signifies the highest level of ratification.

“The beauty of KMIP is that it delivers a single protocol that any cryptographic environment—tape drives, application encryption software development kits, database encryption applications—can use to talk to any key manager,” explained Robert Griffin of RSA, the security division of EMC, co-chair of the OASIS KMIP Technical Committee. “That means developers need to learn just one set of tools, and changes in key management strategy can be put in place without having to retrofit applications. The savings are tremendous.”

In addition to the main specification, KMIP Profiles define functionality sets that address specific scenarios (such as vaulting keys created within a storage environment). KMIP Profiles also define the authentication that must be used to ensure message confidentiality and integrity.

“It’s exciting to see how far we’ve come since we began work on KMIP in 2009,” said Subhash Sankuratripati of NetApp, who also co-chairs the OASIS KMIP Technical Committee. The group now includes representatives of more than 32 vendors and end user organizations from around the world. “KMIP is widely regarded as the key management interoperability solution, and version 1.1 has already been implemented in an array of products.”

Many of those products will be on display at the RSA Conference 2013 in San Francisco, 25-27 February 2013. Cryptsoft, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, QuintessenceLabs, Thales e-Security, Townsend Security, and Vormetric will demonstrate the full key management life-cycle including creating, registering, locating, retrieving, deleting, and transferring symmetric and asymmetric keys and certificates between the vendors’ systems. The demonstration builds on the substantial interoperability testing that was conducted throughout the development of KMIP 1.1.

KMIP 1.1 is offered for implementation on a royalty-free basis. Companies, non-profit groups, governments, academic institutions, and individuals are welcome to participate in the OASIS KMIP Technical Committee, which is currently working on version 1.2 of the specification. As with all OASIS projects, archives of the KMIP Technical Committee’s work are accessible to both members and non-members, and OASIS hosts an open mail list for public comment.

Support for KMIP 1.1

“As a co-editor and key contributor to KMIP 1.1, Cryptsoft is committed to providing our OEM partners and customers with innovative, standards-based technologies and as such are pleased to support v1.1 of the OASIS KMIP specification. Building on the solid foundation of KMIP v1.0, version 1.1 of the specification further addresses the full spectrum of enterprise key management requirements across physical, virtual and cloud-based deployments.”
-- Tim Hudson, Chief Security Architect, Cryptsoft

“As the foundation of data protection and governance, strong cryptography and key management controls are critical elements in any enterprise encryption strategy. With the approval of KMIP 1.1, organizations can more effectively apply encryption to protect sensitive data while reducing the costs associated with managing keys across the enterprise. HP recognizes the significance of this milestone and looks forward to continued partnership with OASIS in promoting industry consensus for global security and compliance.”
-- Frank Mong, VP & General Manager of Solutions, HP Enterprise Security

“Our clients are demanding open, interoperable solutions for securing their cloud environments. Through our collaboration with the other members of the KMIP Technical Committee, and by offering support for this important revision of the KMIP standard in our currently shipping offerings, IBM is working hard to deliver on our clients requirements.”
--Todd Moore, IBM Director for Interoperability and Partnerships, IBM

Thales e-Security
“This announcement is a great step forward on the road to making enterprise key management a reality. KMIP 1.1 allows organizations to develop a key management strategy that is independent of the numerous uses of encryption across their enterprise. As an originator of the KMIP standard, Thales is pleased to actively contribute to the OASIS Technical Committee and promote the KMIP standard worldwide.”
-- Bob Lockhart, Chief Solutions Architect Key Management, Thales e-Security

“KMIP is widely recognized as the leading industry standard protocol for key management between an encryption client and a key management server. This standard is seeing rapid industry adoption, and we are delighted to be demonstrating our support for OASIS KMIP at RSA Conference.”
-- Ashvin Kamaraju, VP of Product Development, Vormetric

Additional information:

OASIS KMIP Technical Committee:

KMIP 1.1 OASIS Standard:

About OASIS:
OASIS (Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards) is a not-for-profit, international consortium that drives the development, convergence and adoption of open standards for the global information society. OASIS promotes industry consensus and produces worldwide standards for security, Cloud computing, business transactions, Web services, Smart Grid, content management, and other applications. OASIS open standards offer the potential to lower cost, stimulate innovation, grow global markets, and protect the right of free choice of technology. OASIS members broadly represent the marketplace of public and private sector technology leaders, users and influencers. The consortium has more than 5,000 participants representing over 600 organizations and individual members in 100 countries: http://www.oasis-open.org.

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