5 tools to simplify encryption key management

If you use SSH or services that require encryption keys, securely storing that data to allow secure access to your accounts can be challenging. Here are some services to help you keep track of them

The concept of encryption
Photo: Gizomathai / Adobe Stock

Save these keys randomly and they may fall into the wrong hands. Or, you simPly can lose track of what services it serves (at some point, you lost the key too). What if you are a developer and need some kind of vault to hold the encryption key privacy which can then be linked to the installed services? What do you do

Save these keys randomly and they may fall into the wrong hands. Or, you may just lose track of what services you go to (at some point, you lose the key too). What if you are a developer and need some kind of vault to hold the encryption key privacy which can then be linked to the installed services? What do you do

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You may want to consider an encryption key manager. These are different from password managers because, in some cases, they actually work in the background to interact with different applications and services that rely on those keys. Of course, if you only need a way to securely secure those keys so that you can manually retrieve them later, you can choose to use a simple password manager.

But we want more.

So, I have five such tools, each of which uses your encryption key to save, protect, and (in some cases) do outstanding work.

Let’s dig deeper into these applications and services to see which might be the perfect match for your needs or company.

HashiCorp Vault

A screenshot of HashiCorp's login
Photo: HashiCorp

HashiCorp Vault is a powerful tool for storing certificates, passwords and a variety of privacy (including encryption keys) that you can safely use to place your containers. If you’re serious about the safety of your containers, the HashiCorp Vault should be on your radar. With HashiCorp Vault you can create and secure access tokens, passwords, certificates and encryption keys to help you find the balance you need between lock-down security and usability.

With HashiCorp Vault, your developers will also save time because they do not have to struggle to find a reliable way to manage privacy in their deployment and using services connected to third-party APIs. HashiCorp Vault helps you increase security across the cloud and app across your entire IT landscape with hundreds of integrations. With the ability to create 10,000+ unique tokens per day, your teams can use the HashiCorp Vault to make automation a reality. HashiCorp Vault can be used for free (including open-source, self-managed version), or you can choose managed cloud plan (starting from 3 cents per hour) or enterprise plan (sales for communication for information).

Sea horse

A screenshot of the Seahorse interface
Photo: Sea Horse

Seahorse is an open-source tool, available in many Linux distributions, that makes it user-friendly to create, store, and manage encryption keys. Seahorse can work with SSH keys, GPG keys, passwords and certificates… all from within a GUI that simplifies every step of the process. Save multiple keys (of each type), sign them, and even sync your keys with the remote key server.

One caveat to using Seahorse is that you need to be careful to make sure the keyring is locked if the tool is not used (otherwise anyone can see your stored passwords). Seahorse lets you import keys from a file and export keys to a file. Seahorse is free to use and is pre-installed on many Linux distributions. Seahorse is not available for MacOS or Windows.

Manage Engine Key Manager Plus

A screenshot of the data generated by the Manage Engine
Photo: Manage engine

If you are looking for a web-based SSH and SSL Certificate Management solution, ManageEngine Key Manager Plus can very well solve this complex problem. This platform makes it easy to integrate, control, manage, monitor and monitor your SSH keys and SSL certificates. If your business relies heavily on SSL keys across an entire IT landscape of servers, you owe it to your administrators to enable them with tools to make those keys easier to manage.

ManageEngine Key Manager Plus can be installed on a local server or you can choose a hosted plan. Either way, you’ll find a real-time dashboard to keep tabs on your keys, reports, schedules and even auditing tools. ManageEngine Key Manager Plus can be used for free as a trial, but you will need to pay for a license soon, so you need to contact the company to get a quote.

Google Cloud Key Management

A screenshot of Google Cloud Key Management
Photo: Google

Google Cloud Key Management lets you enjoy measurable, centralized, cloud key management that can provide compliance and privacy and help strengthen your company’s security. This service allows you to use the Hardware Security Module (HSMs) and approve / deny any requests for your encryption keys on an on-premises basis.

With Google Cloud Key Management, you can also use your own managed keys to control data encryption across all Google Cloud products. Google Platform lets you create, use, rotate and destroy cryptographic keys AES256, RSA 2048, RSA 3072, RSA 4096, EC P256, and EC P384 so that it can easily handle most of your encryption keys. Google Cloud Key Management costs 3 / active key.

GnuPG

A screenshot of logging in to GnuPG
Photo: Gnu

If you’re looking for a local, command-line-only tool for managing your encryption keys, GnuPG is the real standard. With this tool, you can easily manage key pairs (add, sign, delete, revoke, and edit). GnuPG is a free implementation of the OpenPGP standard (defined by RFC4880) and can work with files and even integrate with many email clients for encryption of your communications.

GnuPG is pre-installed on most Linux distributions and is also available for Macs and Windows (via Gpg4win). GnuPG has been around since 1997, so it has a reputation for being one of the most trusted implementations of PGP.

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