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Townsend Security Data Privacy Blog

IBM i Security: FIELDPROC, Encryption Key Management, and Compliance

Posted by Liz Townsend on Apr 29, 2013 2:30:00 PM

In October of this year, IBM will end support of V5R4 of IBM system i. This decision will force their customers running on V5R4 to upgrade to either V6R1 or V7R1. Many customers are currently in the process of or have already completed this upgrade. For IBM i administrators out there who have not yet begun this critical upgrade, it's important to know the differences between V6R1 and V7R1. The most notable difference is the new FIELDPROC capability offered exclusively in V7R1. Short for field procedure, FIELDPROC allows automatic, column level encryption in the DB2 database without any program changes.

FIELDPROC Encryption Patrick Townsend, CEO and Founder of Townsend Security, recently sat down with data privacy expert Patrick Botz at this year's COMMON exposition to discuss FIELDPROC, encryption key management, and what these changes mean for retail merchants who must comply with PCI-DSS. Here is an excerpt from that discussion:

Patrick Townsend: Patrick Botz, can you tell us why encrypting sensitive data is more important than ever, and how FIELDPROC can help IBM i customers easily encrypt sensitive data and meet compliance regulations?

Patrick Botz: I think encryption is something that we're realizing everyone should have been doing a long time ago. Today many businesses are required or recommended to encrypt sensitive data by data security regulations such as PCI-DSS, HIPAA/HITECH, GLBA/FFIEC, and many state laws. This is evidence that encryption is extremely important today, not just from a security point of view, but from a compliance point of view. FIELDPROC is an excellent tool that IBM has added in V7R1 that makes it easier for ISVs to provide efficient and easy to use encryption without having to change programs. This is huge for customers. In fact, I've worked with at least two customer groups so far who's primarily reason for upgrading to V7R1 is to be able to use products that use FIELDPROC.

Townsend: Jumping from V5R4 to V7R1 is a supported path, right?

Botz: Right!

Townsend: Patrick, I know that you're company, Botz & Associates, does a lot to help IBM i customers with their security projects, can you describe a typical  encryption project and how FIELDPROC has saved them time, money and aggravation in terms of getting the project done?

Botz: Yes, there is a pattern these projects tend to follow. Before they embark on their encryption project, the first discussion I have with and IBM i customers is to answer questions such as, how many programs am I going to have to change and how long is it going to take because we can't afford to have our systems down. Then when we start talking about the different products that take full advantage of FIELDPROC, and how they won't have to change their programs to do encryption with FIELDPROC. Once we get to that point, customers are ready to jump in and they're excited! The next step is to discuss if they want to encrypt just the fields with personally identifiable information (PII) or the whole database. From that point on it's a pretty easy process to get data encrypted.

I see many IBM i customers trying to do their own encryption, and one of the things I say to people is, "Have you heard the phrase 'it's not rocket science'? Well, with encryption, to make sure you get it right, it approaches rocket science." The fact is that customers really need to pick a solution that handles not only the encryption, but the key management as well. In my opinion the most important part of encryption is key management. I like to use the analogy of using a padlock: If you buy the world's best padlock for your backyard shed and then you pound the nail on the shed right next to the padlock and hang the key there, is that best padlock doing you any good...

In case you missed the presentation by Patrick Townsend and Patrick Botz, we recorded their session and have made it available for online listening. Download the podcast "FIELDPROC Encryption on the IBM i" to learn more about:

-Encryption Key Management with FIELDPROC
-The importance of certifications
-And what QSA and compliance auditors will look for in your key management system

Patrick BotzPatrick Botz is an internationally known information security expert, specializing in security as a business requirement first, and as technology second. His passion for SSO began while working at IBM which he joined in 1989. He held several positions at IBM, including  Lead Security Architect and founder of the IBM Lab Services security consulting practice. He architected the SSO solution for OS/400 and i5/OS, and he holds several security-oriented patents.

Topics: Encryption, IBM i, FIELDPROC

IBM i FIELDPROC - Do You Need to Update Your PTFs?

Posted by Liz Townsend on Sep 6, 2012 10:50:00 AM

FIELDPROC EncryptionFIELDPROC has been out for just over a year and there have been several Program Temporary Fixes (PTFs) that affect the FIELDPROC implementation issued by IBM. These PTFs are related to data masking, triggers, and other aspects of FIELDPROC. Although there haven’t been many changes within the past few months, administrators need to be aware that in order to be up-to-date and current on V7R1, cumulative patches (PTFs) need to be applied.

Issues in the program can occur if you are not up-to-date. For example IBM added a new parameter in a PTF that is utilized in a called FIELDPROC program. As an encryption provider, we had to make changes to support that additional parameter. If your V7R1 system has different updates than your encryption vendor, you may run into usability issues. If you are just now updating your V7R1, it is good to know that all PTFs have been rolled up into the most recent cumulative PTF package which is available on the IBM website.

If you are just updating to V7R1 now, you will get all of the PTFs automatically; however, if you installed V7R1 six months ago we recommend that you make sure you are up-to-date.

To learn more about FIELDPROC and V7R1, listen to "IBM i Security - Skip V6R1 and Updgrade to V7R1" - one of our most popular podcasts!

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Topics: IBM i, FIELDPROC

What is FIELDPROC for IBM i and Why Should I Use It?

Posted by Liz Townsend on Aug 24, 2012 8:04:00 AM

Download Podcast: Benefits of Automatic Encryption

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Listen to our podcast to learn how easy it is to use FIELDPROC for automatic encryption.

Click Here to Listen Now

If you’re a company using an IBM operating system (AS/400, iSeries) to store your data, but you still haven’t upgraded to V7R1; or if you have upgraded but are not sure how to utilize the new FIELDPROC procedure to best protect your data, don’t be discouraged! I recently sat down with Patrick Townsend, President and CEO of Townsend Security to discuss what FIELDPROC is and how it aids in helping you secure your sensitive data.

What is FIELDPROC?
“FIELDPROC is a new feature in V7R1 that was not available in earlier releases of the AS/400 and iSeries. FIELDPROC stands for Field Procedures--it’s a column and field level exit point for the IBM i iDB2 database. There is no need for application changes to encrypt your data when using FIELDPROC.

As an Exit Point, FIELDPROC is not actually encryption software. FIELDPROC allows system administrators to select which data they want to encrypt on a column by column and row by row basis, however IBM does not provide actual encryption or key management software that is called on by the exit point. Encryption and Key Management must be implemented by vendors like us who have encryption solutions tailored for FIELDPROC.”

[Learn More: 10 Questions to Ask Your Key Management Vendor]

What Was Encryption on IBM i Like Before FIELDPROC?
“Before the implementation of FIELDPROC, encryption was almost always a complicated, multifaceted application software project involving many application changes. After identifying all fields needing encryption, IBM developers often used SQL views and triggers to implement encryption, but that was only a partial solution. Developers would have to modify their RPG or COBOL code, and then implement calls to an Application Programing Interface (API) to encrypt and decrypt data on an insert or update. All of those application changes had to be made using IBM’s encryption APIs or vendors like us who offer AES encryption solutions on the IBM i platform and offer independent APIs. After the application changes and encryption were implemented, IBM developers had to test the system over and over again to detect and eliminate points of failure. A grueling process.”

How do I Encrypt My Data With V7R1 FIELDPROC?
“When you encrypt with V7R1 FIELDPROC, the entire process is automated with no need for application changes. IBM i system administrators first need to identify all fields they want to encrypt. Next, install FIELDPROC exit point software, and then activate it. Used along side an encryption program, the DB2 database automatically, without application changes, calls on the FIELDPROC exit program to encrypt and decrypt, and retrieve encryption keys. One thing to remember is that using FIELDPROC only as an exit point is not by itself adequate for data security. IBM i administrators must also implement proper key management solutions if they want to not only secure their data but also be PCI DSS compliant.”

IBM customers are just now moving to V7R1 from earlier versions (V5R4, V6R1) due to the increased security features that can be implemented with FIELDPROC. In fact, these security features are in such high demand that many V5R4 customers skip V6R1 and go straight to V7R1, and IBM supports this migration. If you’re still running these applications on an older version of the IBM i, you can update to V7R1 and eliminate all of these time consuming application changes.

If you want to learn more about FIELDPROC and how to easily encrypt data on your IBM i, download our podcast “The Benefits of Automatic Encryption.”

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Topics: Encryption, IBM i, FIELDPROC

Advantages of Third-Party IBM i (AS400) Encryption

Posted by Paul Taylor on May 18, 2012 1:46:00 PM

automatic encryptionThe newest version of the IBM i (AS400) operating system, V7R1, brings sophisticated new security tools from IBM’s larger systems to mid-range markets. These new features allow third-party companies such as Townsend Security to offer NIST-certified automatic AES encryption, so that you can now encrypt your sensitive data without application changes!

With the update from V5R4 or V6R1 to V7R1, the AS400 can now protect data more efficiently by using FIELDPROC, an “exit point” technology that works in the database instead of in application programs. Previously, IBM i (AS400) encryption was an application-level process where a user had to first identify the field such as credit card numbers, social security numbers, or other private information and then decide on an approach that usually involved modifying applications. This required programmers to make changes and undergo a sophisticated test cycle.

The new FIELDPROC exit point allows a user to identify all fields they wish to encrypt with Townsend Security’s automatic AES encryption without making application changes.

It is crucial to keep in mind that administrators can use strong encryption in a weak manner by neglecting the use of proper encryption key management. In using a third-party encryption  provider such as Townsend Security, a company with more than 20 years of IBM i (AS400) experience has three distinct advantages:

  1. AES encryption is automatic, meaning that no changes in applications need to be made. This saves your company time and money by focusing on your business instead of a complicated encryption project.
  2. NIST-certified encryption will pass all state, federal, and industry compliance regulations. Townsend Security guarantees our NIST certified Alliance AES/400 solution will meet or exceed encryption standards in PCI, SOX, HIPAA/HITECH and other regulations.
  3. Third-party encryption can be faster. Alliance AES/400 from Townsend Security can encrypt one million credit card numbers in one second of CPU time--100 times faster than competing encryption libraries on the same IBM i platform.

Because encryption has a reputation for creating performance problems, the newly specialized FIELDPROC tool optimizes encryption and sets up secure caches. Townsend Security’s Automatic AES Encryption integrates seamlessly with these features to create the most secure data environment available on the IBM i (AS400) today.

Download our podcast on "The Benefits of FIELDPROC Encryption" to learn more about FIELDPROC capabilities and the benefits of automatic encryption.  Additionally, we have a podcast titled "FIELDPROC Performance - Speed Matters" for those who are wondering how it will impact their systems.

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Topics: Encryption, AES, FIELDPROC

Skip V6R1 on IBM i and Upgrade to V7R1 - A Security Note

Posted by Patrick Townsend on Mar 1, 2012 9:17:00 AM

IBM i FIELDPROCEveryone in the IBM i (AS/400, iSeries) world with responsibility for these large servers knows that IBM will soon announce the next release of the IBM i operating system, and that version V5R4 will go off of support a short time after that. While the date of the next release and the sunset date for V5R4 have not been announced, IBM has a fairly predictable pattern of new OS releases and support schedule. You can read Timothy Pickett Morgan’s thoughts in an article he wrote titled "The Carrot: i5/OS V5R4 Gets Execution Stay Until May."

So right now IBM shops running V5R4 are busy planning their upgrades. Many are planning to move just one version ahead to V6R1.

News Update! IBM just announce the support end date for V5R4. It’s September 30, 2013. You can read it here.

Upgrading your IBM i (AS/400) to V6R1 instead of V7R1 is a bad idea. Here’s why:

In V7R1 IBM provided a new automatic encryption facility in DB2/400 called FIELDPROC (That’s short for “Field Procedure”). This new facility gives IBM i customers their first shot at making encryption of sensitive data really easy to do. With the right software support you can implement column level encryption without any programming. The earlier trigger and SQL View options were very unsatisfactory, and the new FIELDPROC is strategically important for customers who need to protect sensitive data.

Another key feature in V7R1 is a new version of the Secure Shell sFTP application. This is rapidly becoming the file transfer method of choice. And IBM provides version 4.7 in V7R1. If you are doing a substantial amount of file transfers with sFTP, or you plan to do so, you will want all of the latest security patches in OpenSSH.

I know that an operating system upgrade is a lot of work, and that’s why IBM i shops are reluctant to do it very often. And when they do an upgrade, there stay there as long as possible. But FIELDPROC is only available in V7R1, it is not patched back to V6R1. And the latest version of OpenSSH is provided in the V7R1 distribution.

So I think you should skip V6R1 and go directly to V7R1. You won’t want to be locked in to a version of the OS without important security features. And the jump from V5R4 directly to V7R1 is a fully supported path by IBM. I hope I’ve convinced you to consider this important security option as you look at your OS upgrades this year. 

Download our podcast on "The Benefits of FIELDPROC Encryption" to learn more about FIELDPROC capabilities and the benefits of transparent encryption.  Additionally, we have a podcast titled "FIELDPROC Performance - Speed Matters" for those who are wondering how it will impact their systems.

Patrick

Are you going to COMMON in Anaheim? I will be doing four sessions on security on the IBM i. Be sure to stop by the booth and say Hello!

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Topics: IBM i, V7R1, FIELDPROC

FIELDPROC Questions: Tape Backup and Data Masking

Posted by Luke Probasco on Dec 22, 2011 10:01:00 AM

automatic encryptionWhile FIELDPROC was introduced nearly two years ago with IBM i V7R1, it is becoming new to administrators who are finally upgrading to the latest IBM i OS.  Lucky for you newbies, we have plenty of experience with this release and can share a wealth of knowledge for your encryption project.  FIELDPROC allows us to bring you automatic encryption – encryption with no application changes!  We recently hosted a webinar titled “Automatic Encryption on the IBM i” and received some great questions.  Patrick Townsend, Founder & CTO, recently took some time to answer a few questions that we received during the webinar.  If you have any further questions on FIELDPROC and how your organization can implement automatic encryption with no application changes, send them our way.

When you back up encrypted data to tape, does it back it up un-encrypted?

No.  Data that is encrypted by FIELDPROC, when you do a backup, is going to be encrypted on the backup tape.  If you a put a file under FIELDPROC control and you back it up, you can then just dump that tape and see that the data is encrypted on the tape.  Backup operations do not trigger FIELDPROC decryption and you can securely back up a file on to tape for it to be protected.  That is a part of the built-in capabilities within FIELDPROC.  However, if you copy a file with the “copy” command, the database WILL trigger FIELDPROC and decrypt that data.

Can masking be done by group profile or only by a specific user?

Good question.  Yes, you can use group profiles for user access controls and masking.  We understand that a lot of our customers have a large number of users and have leveraged using group profiles.  We fully support group profiles around both access controls and masking. It is important to note that we do not use native object authority for our user access controls and masking. Instead we use a white-list approach that allows you to control and monitor QSECOFR and any user with All Object (*ALLOBJ) authority.

Are there any performance impacts of using encrypted data as indexes, as far as reads or chains, or other I/O functions? 

IBM has done a great job of implementing FIELDPROC in terms of how it gets called and when it gets called.  There is no particular performance impact for reads, as opposed to writes.  We have done tests with encryption and decryption and they are both very efficient and very effective.  There is a tiny measureable difference between encryption and decryption, and that has to do with key scheduling, but believe me, it is extremely insignificant.  I think you will find about equivalent performance with both encryption and decryption.

View our webinar “Automatic Encryption on the IBM i” for more information about FIELDPROC and how your organization can easily meet compliance regulations that require encryption – with no application changes!

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Topics: IBM i, V7R1, FIELDPROC

FIELDPROC Questions: Performance Problems & Working With BI Tools

Posted by Luke Probasco on Dec 20, 2011 9:59:00 AM

automatic encryptionLast week we hosted a webinar titled “Automatic Encryption on the IBM i” and got some great questions!  Now that IBM i 7.1 (V7R1) has been out for almost two years, we are starting to see more and more companies upgrade their IBM i’s to this latest release of the OS.  As a result, questions and concerns about FIELDPROC have been rolling in.  This feature allows organizations to automatically encrypt their data with no application changes, making it easier than ever to meet compliance regulations with encryption (PCI DSS, HIPAA/HITECH, etc.). 

Previously, encryption was a big project that often brought fear into the eyes of the IBM i administrator.  Not only do we have a FIELDPROC encryption solution that avoids the need for development, but we feel it is the best available encryption for your organization.  Performance is a key differentiator among encryption providers, and we challenge you to find a faster solution.

Additionally, we have been getting questions on how FIELDPROC affects Business Intelligence (BI) tools.  Patrick Townsend, Founder and CTO, has taken a few minutes to address some of these questions from our recent webinar. 

I have heard bad things about FIELDPROC performance.  You seem to think it performs ok.  Can you talk about that?

I think some of the less than stellar things you have heard about FIELDPROC performance comes from people who have implemented poor FIELDPROC encryption solutions.  Different encryption libraries can have very different performance results.  We have tested our optimized encryption libraries, and when compared to others, have found a 100 times difference in the speed of our libraries – even when you are doing something like 256-bit AES encryption.  I think some people have had a bad experience with encryption and FIELDPROC, and I am sure you will have a different experience with our solution. 

We make it really easy to evaluate AES/400, our FIELDPROC encryption solution.  If you have had a bad experience around FIELDPROC, you should take a look at our solution.  I think we will convince you that we have the best FIELDPROC encryption solution available.

How does FIELDPROC encryption affect OLAP reporting tools like ShowCase and Cognos?

The implementation of FIELDPROC is going to work as long as you have a standard DB2/400 database on the IBM i platform and you are running V7R1.  If you have a Business Intelligence tool that runs on top of DB2/400, then FIELDPROC will work for you.  FIELDPROC is a facility that is implemented at the database level and not on the application level.  Personally, I think that if you have sensitive data in any Business Intelligence database, the user controls and masking controls that we have implemented in our FIELDPROC encryption solution should look very good to you because it gives you the ability to maintain the power of those Business Intelligence tools without accidentally exposing sensitive data and creating additional risk.  FIELDPROC, by itself, will not do masking or user controls for you, but our implementation of FIELDPROC in our Alliance AES/400 product will do that for you and will help you protect that data.

View our webinar “Automatic Encryption on the IBM i” for more information about FIELDPROC and how your organization can easily meet compliance regulations that require encryption – with no application changes!

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Topics: automatic encryption, V7R1, Performance, FIELDPROC

FIELDPROC Encryption Performance: Tests You Can Do Before You Buy

Posted by Luke Probasco on Dec 15, 2011 7:41:00 AM

FIELDPROC encryption performanceBefore you deploy an encryption solution, there is one often-overlooked consideration to be aware of – performance.  A slow encryption solution can change a “job-well-done” into “we need to get this solution off our servers and go buy from Townsend Security STAT!”  This actually happened to a retail customer of ours.  Their initial encryption implementation was so slow that it prevented them from being able to use it in production.  True story.

So are there any performance tests you can do before you decide on a FIELDPROC encryption solution?  You bet.

Before you begin, you need to decide how many fields in a table you have to encrypt.  If you need to meet the PCI DSS compliance regulation, you might only need to encrypt one field (credit card number).  If you are protecting PHI (Protected Health Information) in the medical segment or PII (Personally Identifiable Information) for privacy notification laws, then you may have several fields in a table that need to be protected. Every column that you need encrypted is going to add to the overall performance burden.

A good first performance test is with just with one column.  We recommend creating a table with one million records, implement FIELDPROC, and then seeing how long it takes to encrypt the data in that table.  These results will give you an idea how your system will perform when you are only encrypting one field (a credit card number to meet PCI DSS, for example).

Next, if you need to encrypt several fields (ZIP code, phone number, credit card number, etc.), do a test on a table with that many fields.  You will learn a lot very quickly about the performance of FIELDPROC and your encryption solution.  If you do these tests, and we think it is absolutely important that organizations try this test before they deploy a FIELDPROC encryption solution, you will learn a lot about how the encryption will impact your production environment. 

Summary

Look at what you need to protect, try and create as close to a real-world test as you can, and see how your performance results are.  It is very simple to do.  We can even provide you with a sample database and table with a million records so that you can create and test on your machine.

Listen to our podcast “IBM i FIELDPROC Performance: Speed Matters” for more information on encryption performance with FIELDPROC on IBM i 7.1

FIELDPROC Performance Test Podcast

Topics: Encryption, IBM i, Performance, FIELDPROC

FIELDPROC Encryption Performance Impacts on the IBM i

Posted by Luke Probasco on Dec 6, 2011 11:09:00 AM

FIELDPROC encryptionNow that IBM i 7.1 has been available for over a year, more and more companies are finally adopting the latest OS.  It is a great release and we encourage your organization to upgrade.  As a data privacy company, the main reason we are excited about this release is because it finally allowed us to bring you automatic encryption – encryption with no application changesThe days of modifying your applications to meet compliance regulations (PCI DSS, HIPAA/HITECH, GLBA/FFIEC, etc.) are over.  If this sounds to good to be true, read on.

With the introduction of the FIELDPROC exit point, IBM i administrators now have something similar to what Microsoft SQL and Oracle users have had for some time.  FIELDPROC allows you to implement encryption without changing your applications.  As we attend industry events, one of the top questions we get asked is “Great!  What are the performance impacts?”  This is where the answer is “Depends.”

Any time you are doing encryption in a database environment, there are considerations about performance.  With FIELDPROC, you really have to pay attention to this question because it is an automatic facility and every time a row or record in the database is accessed, the FIELDPROC program is going to get called to do encryption or decryption.  For example, if you have 10 million records in a table and you read that entire table, you are going to make 10 million calls to a FIELDPROC program to do decryption – even if you aren’t using that particular field.  We have heard horror stories from people who have implemented poor FIELDPROC solutions and were not aware about how important investing in a proven encryption solution is.  We are very happy with the performance of our FIELDPROC solution. 

Our FIELDPROC solution uses our own NIST-certified AES encryption libraries (which is very important in many compliance requirements).  They are very highly-optimized, very fast, and have clocked in at under one second for 1 million encryptions (for more details on these tests, listen to our podcast on the topic). And as you know, the encryption library is only half of the encryption process.  The other part is encryption key management.  We have an encryption key management appliance that is FIPS 140-2 certified (again, important for meeting compliance regulations) and implements best practices for encryption key management.  Aside from your server, these components are the two things that effect encryption performance of FIELDPROC the most.

Listen to our podcast “IBM i FIELDPROC Performance: Speed Matters” for more information on encryption performance with FIELDPROC on IBM i 7.1

FIELDPROC Performance Podcast

Topics: Encryption, Performance, FIELDPROC

FIELDPROC – One Place Encryption Performance Really Matters

Posted by Patrick Townsend on Nov 21, 2011 11:00:00 AM

FIELDPROC encryptionIBM introduced FIELDPROC (Field Procedures) in V7R1 of the IBM i (AS/400, iSeries) operating system to provide for an automatic method of implementing encryption at the column level. While new to the IBM i platform, FIELDPROC is not actually a new technology. It was first implemented on the IBM System z mainframe platform about 20 years ago. But it is new to the IBM i and is now starting to get a lot of attention as customers start the upgrade process to V7R1.

The attraction of FIELDPROC is that it gives you a way to implement AES encryption on the IBM i without changing your application code. As long as you have an application that can perform key retrieval and encryption (IBM does not supply this) you are ready to implement FIELDPROC. 

But you should be aware of the one really big impact of FIELDPROC on your application – performance. A FIELDPROC program is called dynamically from the DB2 database engine. That is, it is not statically bound to the database, and it is not incorporated as a service program (dynamic ally linked library). The dynamic nature of the FIELDPROC invocation added on top of the encryption CPU load can lead to really bad surprises when you roll into production.

Before you deploy your own or your vendor’s FIELDPROC code, do some simple tests. I suggest that you do these simple tests on a database of 1 million records:

  • Start FIELDPROC to place the entire table under encryption control.
  • Read the entire database to force a decryption on every record.
  • Update the encrypted field in every record to force a decryption and encryption for every record.

If you have multiple fields in a table under FIELDPROC control, you will want to do additional performance tests as well. If you encrypt 20 fields in the table, what will happen when FIELDPROC gets called 20 times with every database read?

We are a vendor of a FIELDPROC solution and I will share some results with you from one of our in-house systems. To line up with compliance regulations and encryption best practices, we used our FIPS-140-2 certified encryption key management appliance and our NIST certified AES encryption library. These results are not independently verified, but you can you can download the tests and try them on your system (always a good idea).

The Platform:

An entry level 9407 model 515 with a single POWER5+ processor, 1 Gigabyte of memory, two 70-Gigabyte model 4327 disk drives (no RAID), and a CPW rating of 3800. The latest V7R1 cumulative PTFs are installed. This is the slowest thing we have in the house.

The Database:

A simple, uniquely keyed DB2 database created with DDS and containing 5 character fields and one packed numeric field. One of the non-keyed character fields is encrypted with FIELDPROC. The file contains 1 million records.

Encryption Key Management:

Our FIPS-140-2 NIST certified Alliance Key Manager encryption key server installed on the local network. Our FIELDPROC application will automatically and securely retrieve the encryption key when needed.

Encryption Library:

Our NIST certified, optimized, 256-bit AES encryption software library.

The Application Environment:

No other applications running on the system at the same time; the system is in normal state (not dedicated); all applications are OPM model with no optimization; tests are run in batch.

The Results:

Start FIELDPROC to place the database under initial protection:

Elapsed time:  68 seconds
Records per second:  14,705
Application CPU:  34.33

Read all records to force a decryption:

Elapsed time:  62 seconds
Records per second:  16,129
Application CPU:  37.43

Update all records to force a decryption, an encryption, then an update:

Elapsed time:  88 seconds
Records per second:  11,363
Application CPU:  81.26

aes encryption performanceI think this is a pretty good baseline of minimum performance our customers will see with our FIELDPROC solution. Most of our customers run with the more modern POWER6 or POWER7 processors which bring a lot more CPW power to the task (a new entry level POWER7 process has 10 times the CPW rating). More and faster disk drives and more memory will definitely help performance. So you should see substantially better performance in real-world environments.

I hope this provides some helpful guidelines for your FIELDPROC project.  Download an evaluation copy of our Alliance AES Encryption for FIELDPROC to see for yourself just how easy you can be protecting your sensitive data.

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Topics: Encryption, IBM i, FIELDPROC

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