IBM New Security Technology Breakthrough: Nightmare For Hackers
IBM, the computing giant said on monday that it has achieved a breakthrough in security technology that will allow every business, from banks to retailers to travel-booking companies, to encrypt their customer data on a massive scale — turning most, if not all, of their digital information into gibberish that is illegible to thieves with its new mainframe.
As the number of data breaches companies steadily grows — resulting in the leakage every year of millions of people’s personal information — IBM argues that universal encryption could be the answer to what has become an epidemic of hacking.
The last generation of mainframes did encryption very well and very fast, but not in bulk,” Ross Mauri, general manager of IBM’s mainframe business, said in an interview. Mauri estimates that only 4 percent of data stolen since 2013 was ever encrypted.
The key, according to IBM officials, is an update to the computer chips driving the powerful mainframe servers that house corporate or institutional information and process millions of transactions a day worldwide, from ATM withdrawals to credit card payments to flight reservations. The company’s latest mainframe processor devotes 6 billion transistors — the digital switches that allow computers to run calculations — to encryption alone, reflecting a four-fold increase over today’s standards, said Mauri.
Cryptography, the science of turning legible information into coded gobbledygook, is already commonly used among certain email providers and storage services. But because of the enormous computational power needed to quickly encrypt and decrypt information as it passes from one entity to another, many businesses use encryption only selectively, if at all.
Credit: Washington Post