Cases of data leaks are on the rise. As such, companies need to think about better ways to protect their data. The need to protect data has led to the emergence of many data security solutions.  

Confidential computing is among the initiatives that have been established. Confidential computing consortium was founded by Google Cloud, Alibaba Cloud, Microsoft, IBM, and Tencent.  In fact, Google has gone ahead to create a designated strategy around this initiative. As such, it has provided Asylo, an open-source framework that not just works with Google cloud but with other clouds as well.

In this post, we shall be looking at confidential computing and how it works. Read along to find out.

Understanding Confidential Computing

Securing data is not something that should be ignored. It needs a holistic approach as hackers are always looking for an opportunity to exploit your security weaknesses.

When your data is encrypted, anyone who wants to modify it needs to have a decryption key. While there’s nothing wrong with this, it can create an opportunity with ill intentions to exploit your company’s sensitive data. This is especially the case if your encryption keys are leaked or stolen.

One of the main challenges of using cloud data encryption is that cloud providers will access the encryption keys. Among other things, this put the data encrypted in the cloud open to misuse and damage.

This is where confidential computing comes into play. Ideally, under the confidential computing environment, not even the service providers can access the data when it’s being processed.

Confidential computing is based on the trusted execution environment (TEE), meaning the data in it is protected by the use of a software or hardware. As such, it adds an extra layer of protection for your sensitive data.

How Confidential Computing Operates?

When companies think about data security, their main focus is the safety of their sensitive data when in storage and transit. While this is important, you need to think about how to protect your data when it is being processed.

As earlier stated, confidential computing helps protect sensitive data during the processing stage. Trusted Execution Environments or TEE protects the code and data. It does this by proving an environment and other facilities that support the applications no matter what system you’re using.

Ideally, TEE offers a secure environment for the processing of data. In other words, TEEs works by removing voids or unauthorized access.

Confidential Computing: The Benefits?

Many benefits come with using confidential computing. They include:

  • It allows end-to-end encryption
  • It protects your sensitive data when being processed
  • It gives you more control of your data and their processing
  • Protects your sensitive data against any authorized access by outsiders
  • Ensure sensitive data protection when moving data between two different environments

Considering Confidential Computing: Here’s What You Need to Keep in Mind

While confidential computing has gained increased popularity in the recent past, its ecosystem is yet to be fully organized. As such, it may be unclear what technologies and solutions fall within this category. Even so, you can learn more about confidential computing and choose the best solution for you by asking yourself these questions.

What Kind of Data Are You Planning to Protect?

Before you choose any data protection service, it is important to consider the type of data you plan to protect. To that end, if the data encryption in use involves the decryption of data in the application, then you need to think twice about using that solution.

Do You Need a Software or Hardware-Based Solution?

You will also need to think about which software matches your current architecture. Is it software or hardware-based? If your data involves numeric or textual data that should be processed in real-time, then service-based solutions will come in handy.

What Type of Data Needs You Processing?

This is also very important when looking for a data security solution. For instance, data processes involved in searching sales reports are different from those searching for a client record. Ideally, your data security choice should be informed by the business data processes.

Do You Need Real-Time Results?

If you’re dealing with data analytics, you may want to consider a solution that allows for multiple calculation processes as opposed to encrypted data. Even so, you should also consider the performance latency.

So, Are TEEs The End Game?

When it comes to data security, there’s never an end game. Even so, confidential computing is an effective technology that can help protect your sensitive data, when done right.