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Secret management with Key Protect

Key Protect is a tool that provides centralized management of encryption keys and sensitive information. Key Protect manages two different types of keys: root keys and standard keys.

Root keys are used to encrypt information in other systems, like the etcd database of the cluster, or data in Object Storage, or a MongoDB database. The details of which are the subject for a different article.

Standard keys are used to store any kind of protected information. The Key Protect plugin reads the contents of a standard key, identified by a given key id, and stores the key value into a secret in the cluster.

Getting the Key Protect instance id

  1. Set the target resource group and region for the Key Protect instance.

    ibmcloud target -g {RESOURCE_GROUP} -r {REGION}
  2. List the available resources and find the name of the Key Protect instance.

    ibmcloud resource service-instances
  3. List the details for the Key Protect instance. The Key Protect instance id is listed as GUID.

    ibmcloud resource service-instance {INSTANCE_NAME} 

Creating a standard key

  1. Open the IBM Cloud console and navigate to the Key Protect service

  2. Within Key Protect, select the Manage Keys tab

  3. Press the Add key button to open the "Add a new key" dialog

  4. Select the Import your own key radio button and Standard key from the drop down

  5. Provide a descriptive name for the key and paste the base-64 encoded value of the key into the Key material field

    Note: A value can be encoded as base-64 from the terminal with the following command:

    echo -n "{VALUE}" | base64

    If you need to encode a larger value, create the value in a file and encode the entire contents of the file with:

    cat {file} | base64
  6. Click Import key to create the key

  7. Copy the value of the ID