Security Encyclopedia

Key Splitting

Splitting, or key splitting, is a process where a cryptokey is divided into parts and encrypted at different locations to avoid it being reconstituted even if one part is intercepted and analyzed.

Multiparty Computation (MPC) is a proprietary standard that makes possible the splitting of cryptokeys to protect passwords and provide a passwordless authentication experience. From a user perspective, they do not need to enter a password. In the background, the system calls for the matching of cryptokey segments (here, passwords) stored at different locations to reconstruct the needed credential, and the user is authenticated. 

In some cryptokey splitting implementations, keys can be split into as many parts as needed and a threshold can be set so that a certain number of keys are sufficient to reconstruct the key.

Data itself can be split in a manner similar to key splitting. A proprietary solution to secure data in this way utilizes multi-factor secret sharing algorithms to secure data at different locations in commercial use cases. This otherwise resource-intensive technology is made possible by fast processing speeds and advances in cloud storage.


“Key splitting is one way of protecting credentials but since PKI provides a more straightforward solution, it may not be necessary to encrypt and store keys in different locations for, say, authenticating users.”