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Encryption key management is the administration of processes and tasks related to generating, storing, protecting, backing up and organizing of encryption or cryptographic keys in a cryptosystem. This involves all processes from the cryptographic protocol design, design of key servers, user procedures and other relevant processes used in cryptography.
Encryption key management is critical to the success and security of a cryptosystem and is arguably the most difficult and complex aspect of a cryptosystem since it involves the creation of a viable system policy, user training, interactions between different departments within the organization and the proper coordination between all of these entities. It is intended to provide a centralized point for management of keys, which enables administrators to securely manage the key lifecycle and making distribution more reliable, secure and easier.
Encryption key management is a necessity for effective data protection, but there is no one-size-fits-all solution for it; that is why organizations have to either tailor their own system or select from a handful of vendors who are still also developing their own systems. There are various efforts under way in terms of creating an encryption key management system.