Privacy, Security and Confidential Computing - What You Need to Know

Confidential computing is a fast-growing segment of the broader digital privacy and security market. The technology being developed under this umbrella offers users new ways to protect their data by limiting its visibility to specific parties or preventing it from being stored or transmitted at all. Moreover, it is part of broader trends such as cloud storage, artificial intelligence (AI) and edge computing that are transforming the cybersecurity landscape. Here is an overview of confidential computing and its implications for your business…


What is Confidential Cloud Computing?


Confidential computing is a type of cloud computing that promises to protect sensitive data from unauthorized access by limiting its visibility to specific parties or preventing it from being stored or transmitted at all. Furthermore, confidential computing is part of broader trends such as cloud storage, artificial intelligence (AI) and edge computing that are transforming the cybersecurity landscape.


Benefits of Confidential Computing


Confidential computing is important because it offers a fresh take on privacy, security and data control by addressing a situation that has become increasingly common in the age of the cloud. In many cases, sensitive data is being processed by third parties, who are responsible for adhering to certain privacy and security standards. Yet, in practice, the security of data is a constant concern for businesses. Hackers have proven adept at breaching corporate networks, and cloud service providers have also been hacked.


How Does Confidential Computing Work?


Confidential computing aims to secure data by limiting the number of people with access to it or preventing it from being stored at all. If data is encrypted, for instance, it can be stored in its original form without the risk of unauthorized access. Some technologies can also ensure that even if a computer is breached, the data will remain encrypted and inaccessible to the hacker. Another approach that would fall under the confidential computing umbrella is to create synthetic data. In this case, the data itself is not stored, but a computer program generates fake data that looks real. Data that is not stored can’t be hacked, and synthetic data cannot be used to re-create original data.


Privacy and Confidential Computing: Use Cases 


There are a number of key use cases for confidential computing. First, the technology can enable businesses to store sensitive data in the cloud without needing to transfer it to the cloud. This means that the data would never leave the organization. Second, it can be used to create synthetic data. Companies in certain industries, including health care and financial services, are required to store specific types of data. If this data is generated by confidential computing, it won’t need to be stored and will therefore be less vulnerable to hackers.


Key Takeaway


The popularity of confidential computing as a term arose when some cloud platforms launched new services that promised to protect data. These offerings offer users a choice between storing sensitive data or generating dummy data for analysis without ever accessing the actual information. These new services build on existing encryption techniques, such as hashing, to add an extra layer of security. With confidential computing, sensitive data is transformed into new forms of non-human readable information, with no way to reverse the process. Confidential computing is a fast-growing segment of the broader digital privacy and security market.

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