Hardware Security Module (HSM)

What is a Hardware Security Module?

Hardware Security Modules (HSM) offer reliable protection for applications, transactions and information through encryption. A Hardware Security Module is a secured piece of hardware in which sensitive (key) material can be stored, such as a web server certificate's private key. This way an HSM effectively separates a key pair from the data and application. Any information stored on the HSM cannot be removed from it, and is used to make high speed calculations, which is the second function of an HSM. The advantage of storage on an HSM instead of, for example, a USB-token is it's greater volume and calculation speed.


Generating credit card numbers and automated digital signing of emails and PDF documents (for example invoices or insurance policies) can be named as examples of how an HSM can be applied. HSM's are always linked to an application, either as a stand-alone unit to a network, or an integrated part of a server.


A wide range of HSM's exists, each with a different set of properties, causing a rather large price range for different HSM units. Xolphin offers PDF Signing certificates for large volumes (from 2,000 signatures annually) on SafeNet or Utimaco HSM's. Both offer models using a PCI card for an attractive price and a model connected to Ethernet, which is more user friendly. Both models offer a safe environment for high speed signing and both meet Adobe's requirements for storage of PDF Signing Certificates according to the Adobe AATL program.

Order an HSM certificate

If you order HSM certificates with us, it will be provided without HSM. It's possible to order HSM along at an additional cost. Please contact us for more information.

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