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Google today is announcing the launch of a Key Management Service for its Google Cloud Platform (GCP) portfolio of public cloud services. The tool, which is available now in beta, offers developers a cloud-hosted system for dealing with and monitoring encryption keys. While it’s integrated with some of Google’s existing Cloud Platform services, such as Identity Access Management, it can also be used to handle encryption keys for non-Google systems.

This is in addition to the existing option to bring your own encryption keys, which Google introduced in 2015.

“As an alternative to custom-built or ad-hoc key management systems, which are difficult to scale and maintain, Cloud KMS makes it easy to keep your keys safe,” Google product manager Maya Kaczorowski wrote in a blog post.

The launch comes more than two years after public cloud market leader Amazon Web Services (AWS) introduced its Key Management Service. Cloud storage software company Box subsequently introduced a key management service built on top of it. Public cloud infrastructure providers Microsoft and IBM (through Bluemix) have also launched cloud-based key management services.


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The Google tool offers a companion application programming interface (API), which lets developers programmatically create, use, rotate, and destroy keys, Kaczorowski wrote.

While Google competes on features, it also challenges other clouds when it comes to pricing and geographical availability. Google is active in both of those areas. In March, Google committed to opening 12 new regions of data centers for operating cloud infrastructure.

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