With Launch of Z, IBM Mainframe Ushers in New Era of Data Protection

IBM unveiled IBM Z today, which it describes as “the world’s most powerful transaction system,” capable of running 12 billion encrypted transactions per day.

Z’s “breakthrough encryption engine” makes it possible to encrypt all data associated with any application, cloud service or database all of the time, according to IBM.

Of the nine billion data records lost or stolen since 2013, only 4% were encrypted. This makes the vast majority of data vulnerable to organized cybercrime rings, state actors and even employees misusing access to sensitive information.

A recent IBM study found that extensive use of encryption is a top factor in reducing the cost of a data breach, resulting in a $16 reduction in cost per lost or stolen record. To put that in context, the IBM X-Force Threat Intelligence Index reported that more than 4 billion records leaked in 2016 (a 556% increase from 2015).

“The pervasive encryption that is built into, and is designed to extend beyond, the new IBM Z really makes this the first system with an all-encompassing solution to the security threats and breaches we’ve been witnessing in the past 24 months,” said Peter Rutten, analyst at IDC’s Servers and Compute Platforms Group.

In an example of IBM Z as an encryption engine for cloud services, IBM today announced the opening of six new IBM Blockchain Global Data Centers in New York, United Kingdom, Frankfurt, Tokyo, Toronto and Brazil, all secured using IBM Z as the company scales this service to organizations around the globe—and as blockchain becomes an increasingly important technology to understand and utilize.

“The IBM Cloud Blockchain Service is the most successful enterprise blockchain platform because it’s the most secure,” said Rutten. “That data protection flows from the IBM Zencryption engine underneath the service which is transparent to the application and the user. This is a powerful tool to differentiate many cloud services in what is becoming a trust economy.”