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Townsend Security Data Privacy Blog

How MySQL Enterprise Transparent Data Encryption Works

Posted by Ken Mafli on Feb 25, 2020 12:11:46 PM

What is MySQL Encryption for Data-at-Rest?

MySQL Enterprise encryption for data-at-rest enables the encryption of tablespaces with transparent data encryption (TDE). It is relatively easy to set up and with the use of a compliant key management server (KMS)—secure.

MySQL Enterprise Transparent Data Encryption (TDE)

InnoDB, MySQL’s storage engine, offers transparent data encryption (TDE) for your sensitive data-at-rest. It secures the tablespaces via a “two tier encryption key architecture” that consists of:

  • Tablespace encryption keys that encrypt the tablespaces.
  • A master encryption key that encrypts the tablespace keys.

Encrypting Everything in MySQL EnterpriseThe only thing that you must add is a trusted, third-party encryption key manager. But more on that later.

With these items in hand, the system works like this:

  • A tablespace is encrypted, generating a tablespace encryption key.
  • The tablespace key is encrypted via the master key.
  • The encrypted tablespace key is stored locally in the tablespace header.
  • The master key is stored in a trusted, third-party encryption key manager.
  • The master key’s full lifecycle is managed via the encryption key manager.

In this way, when a user or application needs to access the encrypted data, they just need to authenticate that they are authorized to access the data. From there, InnoDB uses the master key to decrypt the tablespace key and tablespace key is used to decrypt the data. The end user never sees this process, it is transparent to them.

Advantages of Using MySQL Encryption

Advantages of MySQL Enterprise Encryption

Meets Compliance Regulations

Organizations are under increasing pressure to comply with a patchwork of compliance regulations. The good news, MySQL Enterprise edition uses standards based AES encryption for data-at-rest and is also KMIP compatible, so centralized key managers can plug-in to properly manage the master keys. Here are a few compliance regulations that MySQL Enterprise encryption helps you comply with:

Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS)

Nick Trenc, IT Security Architect at Coalfire Labs, had this to say about encryption and PCI DSS compliance:

One of the key components to the protection of cardholder data at any merchant location is the use of strong cryptography along with just-as-strong cryptographic key management procedures. PCI DSS Requirement 3 outlines what the PCI council believes to be the baseline for strong cryptographic key management procedures and is a key element of any PCI DSS audit.

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

According to GDPR, your security controls must be adequate to account for the risk of accidental, unlawful, or unauthorized disclosure or loss of personal data. If you are not adequately prepared to fend off attacks from hackers or unscrupulous employees and prevent a data breach, you could face stiff fines and lawsuits. Only proper encryption and centralized key management will ensure that should an attack occur, the data will be useless to the attacker.

California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)

Here is what Patrick Townsend said about encryption and CCPA:

If you want to avoid the risk of direct or class action litigation related to data loss you should encrypt the sensitive data. Individual and class action litigation only applies to unencrypted sensitive data that is disclosed or lost, for whatever reason. The CCPA is clear on the need for encryption. If you lose unencrypted sensitive data this is direct evidence that you violated your duty to provide reasonable security procedures and practices to protect the sensitive information.

The good news: enabling MySQL Enterprise encryption, coupled with encryption key management, will help keep you in compliance with these regulations. If you are protecting cardholder data, consumer data, or just internal HR records, encrypting that data with MySQL’s TDE will help you meet compliance and keep that sensitive data safe.

Easy to Deploy

MySQL encryption is easy to configure. Entire databases can be encrypted with just a few command line edits. Here are some selected examples from MySQL’s Reference Manual:

  • To enable encryption for a new file-per-table tablespace:
    • mysql> CREATE TABLE t1 (c1 INT) ENCRYPTION='Y';
  • To enable encryption for an existing file-per-table tablespace:
    • mysql> ALTER TABLE t1 ENCRYPTION='Y';
  • To disable encryption for file-per-table tablespace:
    • mysql> ALTER TABLE t1 ENCRYPTION='N';

Alliance Key Manager also makes this process easy. Since we are fully integrated with MySQL Enterprise, the configuration process is pretty straight forward. Many times, you can be up and running in a matter of minutes.

KMIP Compatible

As MySQL Enterprise encryption is KMIP 1.1 compatible, you can easily deploy your prefered key manager to manage your encryption keys. This means you are able to use a FIPS 140-2 compliant encryption key manager, like our Alliance Key Manager.

How It Works

 

MySQL Enterprise has made protecting your sensitive data easy. What’s more, setting up Alliance Key Manager for MySQL is easy as well. Here’s how it works:

  • First, install and set up the primary and failover Alliance Key Manager servers.
  • Download the admin authentication certificates from the Alliance Key Manager server to create a secure TLS connection and perform authentication.
  • Then, create a directory to store your KMIP config file and store certificates needed for the Alliance Key Manager admin / client connection.
  • Next, you will need to specify your primary key server and high availability failover key server.
  • Finally, create a master key in Alliance Key Manager and use that to encrypt your tablespace keys in MySQL.

That's it, you have successfully encrypted your MySQL Enterprise database and properly managed the keys! To learn how Alliance Key Manager can help you easily protect your sensitive data in MySQL.

Final Thoughts

Encrypting your sensitive data in with MySQL’s Enterprise encryption has these advantages:

  • It’s standards based AES-256 encryption. This means that your data is secured with the encryption algorithm that NIST recommends.
  • It’s KMIP compliant. Your encryption is only strong if your keys are secure. With a trusted third-party key manager protecting your master keys, your encryption will remain strong.
  • The encryption is transparent to users and applications. No manual processes are needed to access the databases. The data is there, on demand, for all authorized users and applications.

If you haven’t taken advantage of MySQL encryption, now is the time. MySQL encryption makes it simple. Alliance Key Manager makes it secure. Talk to us today.

 

What Data Needs To Be Encrypted in MySQL?

 

 

Topics: MySQL, Alliance Key Manager for MySQL

Press Release: Alliance Key Manager Now Supports Encryption Key Management for MySQL Enterprise Edition Database

Posted by Luke Probasco on Nov 19, 2019 12:00:00 AM

Townsend Security’s Alliance Key Manager for MySQL offers unparalleled security, flexibility and affordability for all users of MySQL Enterprise Edition and MySQL Cluster CGE. 

What Data Needs Encryption In MySQL?Townsend Security today announced Alliance Key Manager for MySQL, an affordable FIPS 140-2 compliant encryption key manager to help users of the MySQL Enterprise Edition database meet compliance requirements (PCI DSS, GDPR, CCPA, HIPAA, etc.) and security best practices. Users of the MySQL database can now easily protect private data like customer PII and intellectual property without modifying existing applications or the database by using the database’s Transparent Data Encryption (TDE) coupled with Townsend Security’s Alliance Key Manager for MySQL.  

While MySQL offers industry standard 256-bit AES encryption, it is recommended to use an external encryption key management solution like Alliance Key Manager for MySQL to manage the encryption keys. Alliance Key Manager uses the industry standard Key Management Interoperability Protocol (KMIP) to access encryption keys and MySQL users can deploy the solution and install the PKI certificates on the database server to easily begin protecting encryption keys.

"MySQL is the world’s most popular open-source database, and consequently, stores enormous amounts of sensitive data," said Patrick Townsend, CEO of Townsend Security. "MySQL Enterprise Edition includes standards based encryption, along with KMIP support for key management, and MySQL users can be confident that they are protecting their private data against a breach and meeting compliance requirements.” 

MySQL encrypts data at rest in real-time using industry standard AES algorithms prior to writing to storage and decrypted when read from storage. As a result, hackers and malicious users are unable to read sensitive data from tablespace files, database backups or disks. By using native MySQL command line operations, encryption is easy to deploy and keys can automatically be protected by Townsend Security’s Alliance Key Manager. MySQL users can deploy the key management solution as a hardware security module (HSM), VMware virtual machine, or in the cloud as a native AWS EC2 instance or Microsoft Azure virtual machine. Alliance Key Manager supports seamless migration and hybrid implementations. 

“Encryption and key management is easier than ever and I think that MySQL Enterprise Edition users will be delighted to find how easy and affordable it is to deploy an enterprise-class centralized encryption key management solution,” continued Townsend. “Protecting PII, enterprise IP, and meeting compliance regulations are all things that enterprise’s are concerned with on a daily basis. MySQL databases are used in mission-critical applications by large and small organizations, so the real-time high availability failover capability of Alliance Key Manager will make IT administrators very happy. By pairing MySQL and Alliance Key Manager, security teams can rest a little bit easier.”

Alliance Key Manager for MySQL is available for a free 30-day evaluation.

What Data Needs To Be Encrypted in MySQL?

Topics: Press Release, Alliance Key Manager for MySQL

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