IBM Support

A Clear Key / Secure Key / Protected Key Primer

White Papers


Beginning with the latest updates to the z10 microcode and the new support in ICSF, FMID HCR7770, IBM cryptographic hardware supports three types of keys. This paper describes the basic differences between clear key, secure key and protected key, and is an introduction to how the hardware provides additional protection for secure keys. Understanding the difference between the three will help in designing the right cryptographic solutions and in determining the hardware requirements for the cryptographic work.

Original Publication Date

22 July 2010

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Document Information

Modified date:
22 July 2010