Many organizations are overwhelmed when they consider Hardware Security Module (HSM) technologies, but they should not be. The (HSM) is one of the most important elements in any architecture where cryptography is utilized to issue MFA credentials. Without protecting the keys in the HSM, an organizations’ entire cryptography environment can be easily compromised by the theft of just one poorly protected key.

When set up properly, the HSM provides protection for security keys in a manner that makes it impossible to hack with any of today’s digital attacks. It does this by:

  1. Placing the keys into a separate hardware device that is tamperproof
  2. Enforcing multi-person control to manage keys
  3. Deleting keys if the HSM is under attack so keys cannot be stolen
  4. Requiring multiple levels of cryptographic authentication for access
  5. Generating keys in hardware so that these keys are never exposed to the network

This article provides a quick tutorial on the Thales Network HSM configuration controls to help organizations acquire the skills to rapidly set up an HSM. While this article focuses on the Thales HSM, there are many other HSMs that could be used as well. However, Thales implements a unique architecture that allows for unlimited scale, effective high availability, key management and application independence while maintaining the highest security level in the industry. It is also one of the easiest to set up and manage for large scale enterprises.

Quick Tutorial

The video below provides a quick tutorial to get familiar with the configuration controls of the Thales HSM. It describes how the core controls can be used to make the configuration to the HSM. It steps through the controls below and will provide operators with the fundamental skills to use the controls to set up the HSM. If you have any questions, please send us an email to

  1. Display Screen: Provides feedback of the configuration choices of the HSM.
  2. Scroll Wheel: Used to navigate through the different configuration options
  3. Select Button: Used to select the configuration option that has been highlighted by the scroll wheel
  4. Navigation buttons (left, right): Used to select the lower level configurations