Equinix Inc. EQIX recently unveiled Equinix SmartKey, an encryption and secured key management related service available on Platform Equinix aimed at simplifying the process of data protection across any cloud storage structure. Equinix had collaborated with Fortanix for the actualization of the project, which had been in the beta phase since November 2017. SmartKey is supported by hardware security module (HSM) Fortanix, which is based on Intel’s INTC Software Guard Extensions (SGX). The idea is to ease the process of data encryption across varied cloud environments including the likes of multi-tenant, hybrid, and heterogeneous cloud storage spanning across different regions via a centralized management process. The company’s management stated that SmartKey will ensure that data and keys are stored separately, thereby providing further security in case of a breach. This HSM-based service will be available at the company’s all 190 International Business Exchange (IBX) data centers across 48 markets. Per the press release, “SmartKey is available globally and will be expanding physical points of presence in multiple regions to support particular data sovereignty requirements. Colocation at an Equinix IBX data center is not required to use the service.” The company is planning to demonstrate the solution at the RSA 2018 Conference to be held between April 16 and 20, 2018 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. Notably, this is the first of its kind HSM as a service that Equinix has come up with and is anticipated to provide the company with a first mover’s advantage in the market. Equinix stock has gained 6.3% over the past year, substantially outperforming the 8.5% decline of the industry it belongs to. HSM for Cloud Security Per a recent report by Equinix, data transmission between enterprises and multi-cloud environments is expected to grow around 160% annually in the 2016 to 2020 time frame. In such a scenario where shared resources are used, the threats of the data being infected also increase, which calls for data protection. Mostly, an on-premise model is used for “cryptographic operations” but these increase costs as well. Additionally, as these solutions face difficulties during deployment in the cloud environment, enterprises are slowly turning toward HSM to solve the purpose. However, in general, HSMs store the data and the encryption keys in the same cloud environment. The unique selling point (USP) for SmartKey in this regard is the separated storage of these, ensuring further security. We believe that this surge in demand for HSM-along with its USP will increase adoption of Equinix’s SmartKey, eventually boosting the top line. Additionally, private connectivity options permitted to public and hybrid clouds including Amazon Web Services is expected to increase SmartKey’s popularity going ahead. Zacks Rank and Stocks to Consider Equinix currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some top-ranked stocks in the broader technology sector include Paycom Software, Inc. ( PAYC Quick Quote PAYC - Free Report) and NVIDIA Corp. NVDA, both sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
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Long-term EPS growth rate for Paycom and NVIDIA are projected to be 25.8% and 10.3%, respectively.
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