Microsoft Teams up with Equinix for Greater Cloud Data Security

Since 2014, Microsoft and Equinix have been enabling businesses to take an express route (excuse the pun!) to Microsoft Azure, Azure Stack, and Office 365 cloud platforms. As the global leader of Microsoft ExpressRoute connections, Equinix has been providing our customers with greater privacy and security than other commonly used cloud connections, enabling any enterprise to build hybrid and multicloud environments with greater control and reliability.

At the Microsoft Inspire Conference (July 15 – 19) in Las Vegas, we are teaming up with Microsoft again to announce Equinix SmartKey™ for Microsoft. Recently launched this year, Equinix SmartKey is a SaaS-based, secure key management and cryptography service offered on Platform Equinix® that simplifies data protection across any cloud architecture.

HSM Reimagined

The number of workloads running in some type of public or private cloud is 60%, according to a survey of IT executives by 451 Research. This means that there will also be an increase of sensitive data being stored in the cloud that will require protection from growing global cyber-attacks. And with enterprises leveraging not just one, but multiple cloud providers to deploy their applications and data, using multicloud encryption and enterprise-wide single key management policies via proprietary hardware security modules (HSM) solutions or a single cloud key management solution, is no longer effective.

Enterprises should consider a vendor-neutral HSM-as-a-Service that provides the protection and a service level agreement (SLA) to effectively support the “shared-responsibility” model between cloud providers and their customers. In this model, the cloud provider is responsible for the security of the cloud and the customer is responsible for the security in the cloud. This is where an HSM-as-a-Service solution, such as Equinix SmartKey™, provides the most value in working with cloud providers, such as Microsoft, and its customers.

Equinix SmartKey, powered by Fortanix™, is the industry’s first HSM-as-a-Service that utilizes Intel® SGX technology for providing key management, encryption and tokenization across multiple cloud platforms. It allows our customers to address the following pain points in managing and protecting data and applications in public, private, hybrid or multicloud environments:

  • Controlling data and keeping encryption keys separate from data
  • Managing costs associated with multiple legacy HSMs
  • National Security Letters and blind subpoena
  • Unified key management solution that works across clouds

Equinix SmartKey enables enterprises and cloud service provider customers to protect data in different cloud environments on a neutral platform (avoids vendor lock-in) and simplifies the provisioning and control of encryption keys by using an easy-to-use subscription model. The keys can be deployed at the digital edge ꟷ close to the data it is protecting ꟷ and are stored within the customer’s control, separate from the data in the cloud for the highest level of protection and compliance ꟷ something that the majority of legacy HSM solutions do not offer today. Equinix SmartKey is an HSM service that runs on Platform Equinix, however, customers do not have to be within an Equinix IBX data center to access these capabilities. As the diagram below illustrates, there are many ways to access Equinix SmartKey services.

You can participate in our free trial of SmartKey for Microsoft to test these capabilities for yourself.

SmartKey for Microsoft

The integration between Equinix SmartKey and Azure ExpressRoute enables our joint customers to leverage SmartKey capabilities along with Azure cybersecurity services to solve their security and compliance issues, such as those available in Azure Key Vault, Azure Stack and Microsoft SQL Server. As demonstrating compliance is critical to enterprise security initiatives, SmartKey for Microsoft supports Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) for ensuring computer security and interoperability among systems and networks.

At Microsoft Inspire, we’ll be presenting SmartKey for Microsoft (Monday, July 16 @ 2:30 PM in the Commons Expo Hall) and discuss more of the rich data security features that we can provide customers such as:

  • Support for commonly used security algorithms
  • Private connectivity via ExpressRoute, automatic key replication and high availability
  • Enabling customer business logic in secure enclaves
  • Moving sensitive workloads to the cloud

Equinix and Microsoft are committed to provide the security and compliance assurance that enterprises and service providers require in today’s digital economy.

For additional information or to request a meeting with us at Inspire please contact