Mainframes might seem like the grey-beards of the IT business, with a less than bleeding edge rep compared to modern cloud-based systems. But IBM's new Z Series systems could shift that perception. They have the ability to handle 12 billion encrypted transactions per day using a new encryption engine that makes it possible to pervasively encrypt data associated with any application, cloud service or database all the time.
IBM says encryption "is often largely absent in corporate and cloud data centres because current solutions for data encryption in x86 environments can dramatically degrade performance (and thus user experience), and can be too complex and expensive to manage".
They add that only about 2% of corporate data is encrypted today, while more than 80% of mobile device data is encrypted.
IBMs solution employs pervasive encryption of everything all the time, tamper-responsive keys that self destruct if the system detects an intrusion, and encrypted APIs to secure the flow of data between applications and services.
The claims are bold and up the ante in terms of what we can expect from systems coming, not just from Big Blue, but all the other hardware vendors. We can expect this kind of security, built into the hardware we rely on, to become more common as it moves from large-scale systems like the Z series to smaller platforms.