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DS5.8 - Cryptographic Key Management

This topic is intended to enable collaboration and sharing of information to facilitate a better understanding and approach to implementing this COBIT control objective based on the risk, value and guidance provided by its corresponding control practices.

COBIT Control Objective DS5.8 - Cryptographic Key Management is contained within Process Popup Ensure Systems Security.

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Cryptographic Key Management

Determine that policies and procedures are in place to organise the generation, change, revocation, destruction, distribution, certification, storage, entry, use and archiving of cryptographic keys to ensure the protection of keys against modification and unauthorised disclosure.

View value and Risk Drivers  help

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Value Drivers

  • Defined and documented key management
  • Keys handled in a secure manner
  • Secure communication
  Risk Drivers
  • Keys misused by unauthorised parties
  • Registration of non-verified users, thus compromising system security
  • Unauthorised access to cryptographic keys

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  1. Ensure that there are appropriate procedures and practices in place for the generation, storage and renewal of the root key, including dual custody and observation by witnesses.
  2. Make sure that procedures are in place to determine when a root key renewal is required (e.g., the root key is compromised or expired).
  3. Create and maintain a written certification practice statement that describes the practices that have been implemented in the certification authority, registration authority and directory when using a public-key-based encryption system.
  4. Create cryptographic keys in a secure manner. When possible, enable only individuals not involved with the operational use of the keys to create the keys. Verify the credentials of key requestors (e.g., registration authority).
  5. Ensure that cryptographic keys are distributed in a secure manner (e.g., offline mechanisms) and stored securely, that is:
    • In an encrypted form regardless of the storage media used (e.g., write-once disk with encryption)
    • With adequate physical protection (e.g., sealed, dual custody vault) if stored on paper
  6. Create a process that identifies and revokes compromised keys. Notify all stakeholders as soon as possible of the compromised key.
  7. Verify the authenticity of the counterparty before establishing a trusted path.

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by Aditya K. Sood, Ph.D., and Rehan Jalil
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The use of artificial intelligence (AI) in cyber security will help organizations enhance existing application security capabilities.
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by Ed Moyle
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State-of-the-art cryptographic techniques and methods to protect data owners’ personal data have pros and cons and are continually evolving.

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