Explain the difference between HSM vs TPM.

1.4K    Asked by Amitraj in Business Analyst , Asked on Mar 14, 2022

TPM (Trusted Platform Module) and HSM (Hardware Security Module) are considered cryptoprocessors, but what are the differences exactly? Does one of them have more advantages than another?

Answered by Anil Jha

HSM vs TPM Trusted Platform Modules

A Trusted Platform Module (TPM) is a hardware chip on the computer’s motherboard that stores cryptographic keys used for encryption. Many laptop computers include a TPM, but if the system doesn’t include it, it is not feasible to add one. Once enabled, the Trusted Platform Module provides full disk encryption capabilities. It becomes the "root of trust" for the system to provide integrity and authentication to the boot process. It keeps hard drives locked/sealed until the system completes a system verification, or authentication check. The TPM includes a unique RSA key burned into it, which is used for asymmetric encryption. Additionally, it can generate, store, and protect other keys used in the encryption and decryption process. Hardware Security Modules A hardware security module (HSM) is a security device you can add to a system to manage, generate, and securely store cryptographic keys. High performance HSMs are external devices connected to a network using TCP/IP. Smaller HSMs come as expansion cards you install within a server, or as devices you plug into computer ports. One of the noteworthy differences between the two is that HSMs are removable or external devices. In comparison, a TPM is a chip embedded into the motherboard. You can easily add an HSM to a system or a network, but if a system didn’t ship with a TPM, it’s not feasible to add one later. Both provide secure encryption capabilities by storing and using RSA keys. Source: https://blogs.getcertifiedgetahead.com/tpm-hsm-hardware-encryption-devices/

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