EKM provider enabled option controls Extensible Key Management (EKM) device support in SQL Server. By default, this option is off. SQL Server 2012 Extensible Key Management enables third-party EKM/HSM vendors to register their modules in SQL Server. When registered, SQL Server 2012 users can use the encryption keys stored on EKM modules. This enables SQL Server to access the advanced encryption features these modules support, such as bulk encryption and decryption, and key management functions such as key aging and key rotation.
The following is an example of this option:
exec sp_configure 'EKM provider enabled', 1goRECONFIGUREgo