Azure Key Vault is a cloud service that provides a secure store for secrets. It can be used to securely store and control access of secrets, such as authentication keys, storage account keys, passwords. Key Vault service supports two types of containers: vaults and managed hardware security module(HSM) pools.
Azure Key Vault helps solve the following problems:
Secure key management is essential to protect data in the cloud. Use Azure Key Vault to encrypt keys and small secrets like passwords that use keys stored in hardware security modules (HSMs). For more assurance, import or generate keys in HSMs, and Microsoft processes your keys in FIPS validated HSMs (hardware and firmware) – FIPS 140-2 Level 2 for vaults and FIPS 140-2 Level 3 for HSM pools. With Key Vault, Microsoft doesn’t see or extract your keys. Monitor and audit your key use with Azure logging—pipe logs into Azure HDInsight or your security information and event management (SIEM) solution for more analysis and threat detection.
Use Key Vault and you don’t need to provision, configure, patch, and maintain HSMs and key management software. Provision new vaults and keys (or import keys from your own HSMs) in minutes and centrally manage keys, secrets, and policies. You keep control over your keys—simply grant permission for your own and partner applications to use them as needed. Applications never have direct access to keys. Developers manage keys used for Dev/Test and seamlessly migrate to production the keys that are managed by security operations. Simplify and automate tasks related to SSL/TLS certificates—Key Vault enables you to enroll and automatically renew certificates from supported public Certificate Authorities.
Improve performance and reduce the latency of your cloud applications by storing cryptographic keys in the cloud, instead of on-premises. Key Vault quickly scales to meet the cryptographic needs of your cloud applications and match peak demand, without the cost of deploying dedicated HSMs. Achieve global redundancy by provisioning vaults in Azure global datacenters—keep a copy in your own HSMs for more durability.
Want to learn more about how ISVs can safeguard cryptographic keys and other secrets used by cloud apps and services?