Enterprise Storage

The Top 5 Hardware Security Modules (HSM)

Explore the top 5 Hardware Security Modules (HSM) offering secure cryptographic key storage, encryption, and tamper resistance to protect sensitive data and applications.

The Top 5 Hardware Security Modules (HSM) include:
  • 1. Utimaco HSMs
  • 2. Futurex HSMs
  • 3. nShield HSMs by Entrust
  • 4. Thales Luna and payShield HSMs
  • 5. Yubico YubiHSM 2 and YubiHSM 2 FIPS

Hardware Security Modules (HSM) are physical devices that safeguard and manage digital keys for strong authentication and provide crypto processing. These devices are traditionally delivered as a plug-in card or an external device that attaches directly to a computer or a network server. Their main functions include key generation, encryption, and decryption, as well as authentication, and digital signature functionality. HSMs offer a higher level of security than a traditional, software-based key management system by processing encryption and decryption tasks independently from other hardware.

The hardware security module market is expanding as the need for effective and robust data security increases. These hardware devices are often tightly integrated with secure data storage solutions, encryption software, digital identity solutions, and secure transaction processing systems to create an comprehensive environment that enforces robust security protocols.

This guide will explore the top 5 HSMs, exploring their features and capabilities, making it easier for you to select the most appropriate solution for your use case.

Utimaco Logo

Utimaco is an established provider of cybersecurity and compliance solutions, offering both on-premises and cloud-based Hardware Security Modules, identity management systems, data protection software, and data intelligence solutions. Renowned for their comprehensive HSMs, Utimaco caters to a broad array of market segments, delivering high reliability and security standards.

Utimaco’s General Purpose HSMs are designed to accommodate multiple use cases and market segments in accordance with a number of compliance and regulatory standards such as eIDAS, VS-NfD, FIPS, and GDPR. These HSMs come in different models based on performance capabilities and physical security requirements, making the product suitable for enterprises, government bodies, and large infrastructure projects. Utimaco’s unique selling point is its ability to provide HSMs with robust physical and logical security. This is reflected in their secure digital processes, which range from PCI compliant payment card processing to data tokenization and blockchain solutions. Their solutions also help banking and financial institutions across the world to comply with PCI DSS and FIPS 140 regulations.

Utimaco’s solutions stand out for their high customization options and their ability to seamlessly integrate into existing IT infrastructure. They are known for their use of a wide range of cryptographic algorithms and scalable application interfaces.

Utimaco Logo
Futurex Logo

Futurex is an IT company specializing in cryptography, offering advanced Hardware Security Modules (HSMs) for enterprise-grade hardware encryption. They provide solutions for both payment and general-purpose encryption, as well as decision frameworks for key lifecycle management. Futurex HSMs can be deployed on-site, through the global VirtuCrypt cloud service, or a hybrid model.

Key features of Futurex HSMs include robust encryption, tamper protection, and logical security. All HSMs are FIPS 140-2 Level 3 and PCI HSM-validated, as well as providing robust scalability. Futurex’s HSM solutions can perform both payment and general-purpose processing on a single platform and feature powerful HSM virtualization capabilities for multi-application ecosystems. One of Futurex’s key products is the Vectera Plus, a general-purpose HSM used by organizations needing strong encryption and key management. For payment encryption, the high-performance Excrypt Plus serves banks, retailers, transaction processors, FinTechs, payment gateways, and other payment service providers of all sizes. For unrivaled cryptographic functionality, the Excrypt SSP Enterprise v.2 offers high speed HSM, delivering transaction processing speeds of up to 50,000 TPS within a 1U rack space.

Futurex’s HSMs offer a strong toolset for encryption and key management, providing scalable on-premise and cloud-based solutions and remarkable integration flexibility. They are ideal for entities that require strong, reliable, large-scale encryption and data security.

Futurex Logo
Enntrust Logo

Entrust provides powerful, reliable solutions to manage identities, payments, and digital infrastructure. This includes multi-cloud deployments, mobile identities, hybrid work, machine identities, electronic signatures, and encryption. One such solution is nShield Hardware Security Modules which is designed for secure cryptographic processing.

nShield HSMs offer a tamper-resistant environment for tasks such as key generation and protection, data encryption, and comprehensive key management. These HSMs are available in various FIPS 140-2 & 140-3 certified form factors, offering considerable flexibility for different deployment scenarios. A standout feature of nShield HSMs is the unique Security World architecture, bringing unparalleled control and capability. Security World offers strong, granular control over keys, policy access, and usage. It moves away from labor-intensive HSM cloning, endorsing simpler, automated HSM file backups. In addition, Security World ensures unlimited key storage, flexibility aligned with organization-specific needs, and central manageability of nShield HSMs, irrespective of the number deployed.

The benefits of using nShield HSMs by Entrust include a powerful architecture, data and application protection, versatility in performance, compliance, and acceleration in digital transformations. This robust solution helps organizations to securely manage their digital infrastructure while reducing operational workloads.

Enntrust Logo
Thales Logo

Thales Hardware Security Modules (HSMs) are a series of tools specifically designed to protect sensitive data. These modules reduce risks and cater to compliance needs across various areas including PKI, database encryption, blockchain, and code signing. Thales HSMs are engineered to guard cryptographic keys, ensuring your digital transformation continues seamlessly.

The Thales Luna General Purpose HSMs are available in various forms and performance options and are designed to secure cryptographic keys that safeguard transactions, applications, and sensitive information. Thales Luna HSMs are specifically engineered to offer a blend of high security, exceptional performance, and easy integration, making them suitable for enterprise, financial, and governmental organizations. Luna Network HSM, a network-attached hardware security module, offers encryption key protection for diverse application environments, including on-premises, virtual, and cloud-based. Thales’s payment HSMs and management tools provide secure and efficient transaction protection for processing environments. The payShield family of solutions, which includes payShield Cloud HSM, payShield Manager, payShield Monitor, and Payshield Trusted Management Device, plays a crucial role in secure face-to-face and remote digital payments.

Thales HSMs offer a robust, flexible, and scalable solution for protecting critical data and ensuring secure transactions, ideal for businesses concerned about their digital safety and data integrity.

Thales Logo
Yubico Logo

Yubico, renowned for setting secure access standards globally, offers YubiHSM 2 and YubiHSM 2 FIPS products. They provide remarkable cryptographic security for servers, applications, and computing devices, covering modern infrastructures where traditional HSMs might fail.

YubiHSM’s compact, ultra-portable form factor ensures rapid incorporation to offer hardware-backed security. YubiHSM 2 and YubiHSM 2 FIPS both come with many features, including impressive cryptographic protection and a tamper-resistant device for secure key storage and crypto operations. They are network shareable and can interface via YubiHSM KSP, PKCS #11, and native libraries. Their independent USB support is advantageous for virtualized settings. They are also crush resistant and IP68-rated, requiring no batteries or moving parts. YubiHSM products can also improve key management by preventing the local distribution and copying of cryptographic keys, ensuring the secure storage of cryptographic keys on hardware. They enable organizations to make YubiHSM 2 features accessible via industry-standard PKCS#11 and offer even stronger security by storing YubiHSM 2 authentication keys on a YubiKey.

The YubiHSM 2 and YubiHSM 2 FIPS products by Yubico offer enhanced cryptographic security. They are portable, affordable, and are easy to integrate. Their features, including robust hardware security and secure key storage, make them an optimal choice for securing a variety of modern infrastructures.

Yubico Logo
The Top 5 Hardware Security Modules (HSM)