Import HSM-protected keys to Key Vault

For added assurance, when you use Azure Key Vault, you can import or generate keys in hardware security modules (HSMs) that never leave the HSM boundary. This scenario is often referred to as bring your own key, or BYOK. Azure Key Vault uses nCipher nShield family of HSMs (FIPS 140-2 Level 2 validated) to protect your keys.

This functionality is not available for Azure China 21Vianet.


For more information about Azure Key Vault, see What is Azure Key Vault?
For a getting started tutorial, which includes creating a key vault for HSM-protected keys, see What is Azure Key Vault?.

Supported HSMs

Transferring HSM-protected keys to Key Vault is supported via two different methods depending on the HSMs you use. Use the table below to determine which method should be used for your HSMs to generate, and then transfer your own HSM-protected keys to use with Azure Key Vault.

Vendor Name Vendor Type Supported HSM models Supported HSM-key transfer method
nCipher Manufacturer,
HSM as a Service
  • nShield family of HSMs
  • nShield as a service
Method 1: nCipher BYOK (with strong attestation for key import and HSM validation)
Method 2: Use new BYOK method
Thales Manufacturer
  • Luna HSM 7 family with firmware version 7.3 or newer
Use new BYOK method
Fortanix Manufacturer,
HSM as a Service
  • Self-Defending Key Management Service (SDKMS)
  • Equinix SmartKey
Use new BYOK method
Marvell Manufacturer All LiquidSecurity HSMs with
  • Firmware version 2.0.4 or later
  • Firmware version 3.2 or newer
Use new BYOK method
Cryptomathic ISV (Enterprise Key Management System) Multiple HSM brands and models including
  • nCipher
  • Thales
  • Utimaco
See Cryptomathic site for details
Use new BYOK method

Next steps