What is the world’s leading secret management platform? There is no definite answer to this question. Different enterprises have different needs and preferences. The best system for them will depend on what suits their needs and wants best. The following top secrets management platforms, however, are definitely worth considering.
Often regarded as the standard for enterprise secrets management, HashiCorp Vault is a popular and reliable solution for managing and securing passwords, tokens, API keys, and various other secrets. It is built for efficient secrets management in dynamic environments.
HashiCorp Vault does not rely on IP addresses for security enforcement, and it implements multiple security layers, identity-based security enforcement, and multiple clouds and private data centers without definite network perimeters.
The solution provides static secrets, dynamic secrets, and certificate automation for enterprises, and it also offers integration with several other services and applications, including AWS, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, MySQL, and MongoDB, among others.
Easy to deploy and scale, Akeyless Vault takes secrets management to a higher level, with its cross-platform software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution for all kinds of organizations. It is designed to provide a unified interface for managing all types of secrets across environments, such as passwords, tokens, API-keys, TLS certificates, SSH certificates, and encryption keys. It is notable for its emphasis on supporting DevOps workflows, allowing quick connection through a multitude of plugins including those for Kubernetes, Jenkins, Terraform, Docker, and CircleCI. Also interesting to point out that Akeyless supports plugins created by the open-source community.
Among other features, you’ll find a very intriguing solution for Zero-Trust Remote Access that extends Akeyless secrets solution to also manage the privileged human access as a lite PAM solution, including session recording and real-time revocation.
Akeyless touts near-instant deployment with its SaaS option, as it does not require any installation and configuration. Whether it’s for hybrid or multi-cloud setups, secrets management is made easy without the hassles or difficulties encountered when dealing with multi-region architectures and maintenance needs.
One of the most important features of Akeyless is its innovative encryption keys management system powered by its Distributed Fragments Cryptography (DFC) technology, which functions as a Virtual HSM FIPS 140-2 Certified. Akeyless DFC pre-produces fragments of encryption keys which are stored in multiple different cloud regions, and refreshed constantly. This feature makes it virtually impossible for anyone to retrieve secrets to be used in felonious, contentious, or objectionable purposes, and de-facto impossible for Akeyless to access their customer’s key (aka Zero-Knowledge).
Akeyless Vault eliminates the need to provision, set, patch, and maintain HSMs and other key management software. Additionally, it is designed to be highly scalable and efficient.
AWS Secrets Manager
Amazon has its own secrets management solution called AWS Secrets Manager, which simplifies the process of rotating, managing, and retrieving database credentials, app keys, private keys, and several other secrets. Essentially, it works by taking away the need to hardcode delicate data in plain text.
Security is on top of the list of AWS Secrets Manager’s features. It encrypts secrets then decrypts them only when needed through a secure TLS connection. To make sure that secrets are extremely difficult to hack, the system does not write or cache secrets to persistent storage media. It also provides robust access control functions with fine-grained identity and access management policies.
AWS Secrets Manager undertakes a programmatic retrieval of secrets, wherein users only have to replace plain text secrets in applications with codes that can pull out the needed data without creating any opportunity for unauthorized parties to access or reveal the stored secrets. Moreover, AWS Secrets Manager allows secrets usage monitoring and auditing.
Without any marketing and the usual bells and whistles that come with commercial software solutions, Square Keywhiz appears plain and simple. It is advertised as a system for distributing and managing secrets for organizations that follow a service-oriented architecture. However, it is a dependable secrets management solution with an excellent range of functions.
Keywhiz is designed to work with a wide variety of infrastructure secrets, database credentials, GPG keyrings, symmetric keys, API tokens, and SSH keys among many others. It automates the handling and distribution of various secrets required in using certain services or accessing accounts.
To work, Keywhiz makes use of four components, namely the Keywhiz Server, Keysync, Keywhiz CLI, and public key infrastructure (PKI). Keywhiz Server is responsible for supplying JSON APIs necessary when accessing and managing secrets. Keysync is the client application that handles the secure retrieval of secrets using mTLS. Keywhiz CLI, on the other hand, is a Java program used for the administration of Keywhiz. Lastly, the PKI component is responsible for the distribution and rotation of secrets from other services or platforms.
Azure Key Vault
For those who host their applications on Azure servers, the cloud provider provides a native secrets management application called the Azure Key Vault. It is a Microsoft service, so the likelihood of it failing on what it promises to deliver is close to nil.
Built to be intuitive and simple to deploy, Azure Key Vault makes it easy to generate and import encryption keys in a matter of minutes. It boosts security and control over passwords and other secrets with FIPS 140-2 hardware security modules.
An open-source solution created to be easy-to-use and secure, Confidant is distinctive for its user-friendly approach when it comes to secrets access and storage. It generates unique KMS data keys that correspond to the modifications of secrets using Fernet symmetric cryptography.
Confidant features an efficient AngularJS web interface that creates a smooth secrets management experience. This interface simplifies the handling of forms of secrets to services and enhances the monitoring of changes in the secrets and their usage. It can produce tokens that can be used in service-to-service authentication or when exchanging encrypted messages between services.
Also, Confidant provides at-rest encryption for versioned secrets. This secrets management solution saves secrets in an append-only approach in DynamoDB. This entails the production of distinctive KMS data keys through the Fernet symmetric authenticated cryptography.
The list above does not necessarily indicate the ranking of the different secrets management managers. As mentioned, not all organizations have the same needs and preferences. What is the best for one may not be perceived similarly by others. Still, Akeyless Vault, HashiCorp Vault, AWS Secrets Manager, Azure Key Vault, Square Keywhiz, and Confident are some of the best solutions available at present. What’s important is for organizations and development teams to choose a secrets management platform that ensures the security and integrity of their data.