Private key management and firmware signing for UEFI and BMC firmware is seen as a growing potential vector of harm, both for manufacturers and their end users. The inappropriate storage of keys, when stored together with the source code they protect, is increasingly a key contributor to this threat - since an attack on the protected code can compromise its key as well.
Fortunately, use of a dedicated signing server, called a Hardware Signing Module or HSM, can isolate and protect keys from such an attack. Placing an HSM in the cloud adds an additional layer of security for vulnerable keys.
Aside from not using an HSM for private key management and signing, the deployment of HSM devices for key management is a complex and expensive undertaking, requiring significant investment in equipment, dedicated personnel and integration into the IT infrastructure in order to make them work.
AMI® CLEFS™ Cloud Environment for Firmware Signing is a secure, on-demand cloud-based hardware security module (HSM) platform that provides a wide range of signing and key management services through a simple online portal
Most importantly, the keys are kept secure and hidden from AMI, the service provider. The key ID generated by the HSM is stored securely in the cloud, with only the customer having access to this information. In this way, AMI CLEFS delivers truly secure and reliable firmware signing, along with integrated tools from AMI that make the service easy to use.
AMI CLEFS is also scalable, with keys being sold in tiles of a fixed number of keys per tile. Since old keys for old BIOS versions need to be kept while new keys are created for new devices, AMI CLEFS customers can simply add additional tiles as needed.
Moreover, AMI CLEFS delivers tremendous benefit to end users. OEM and ODM customers can take advantage of pay-as-you-go, subscription pricing with no upfront capital investment in hardware, software or dedicated personnel. Its flexible pricing model means that additional key management capacity is available at the click of a button to support the maintenance of legacy keys for previous versions of firmware.
This service is also easily integrated into the customer’s existing key management workflow. AMI CLEFS includes preconfigured APIs and purpose-built tools to quickly deploy these secure key management services to protect vital firmware security keys.
Instead of storing source code together with the keys that protect them, AMI CLEFS separates source code and keys, removing the potential for the keys to be compromised. Private keys are used by the HSM to sign the firmware image produced by the build server, keeping the server that stores firmware source code free from sensitive information, in order to secure and protect images built from that source code.
Note that this is a separate contract/agreement for services aside from existing customers’ BIOS or BMC source code agreements with AMI. Interested parties should contact the AMI Software Sales Team at 1-800-828-9264 for more information.
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