Confidential computing: A quarantine for the digital age

by | Jul 22, 2022 | Technology

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Undoubtedly, cloud computing is a mainstay in the enterprise.

Still, the increased adoption of hybrid and public clouds, combined with continued security breaches from both inside and outside forces, leave many with lingering concerns about cloud security. And rightly so.

This makes it all the more critical to have advanced, 21st-century privacy safeguards in place – even as this has often proved problematic in the security space. 

“At a high level, cybersecurity has largely taken an incremental form, leveraging existing traditional tools in response to new attacks,” said Eyal Moshe, CEO of HUB Security. 

But this is a “costly and unwinnable” endeavor, he pointed out, given the “determination and resources of malicious players” who can reap massive profits. Therefore, a “security paradigm shift is needed that incorporates traditional defenses but also simultaneously assumes they will not work and that every system is always vulnerable.” 

The solution, he and others say: Confidential computing, an emerging cloud computing technology that can isolate and protect data while it is being processed. 

Closing the security gap

Before an app can process data, it goes through a decryption in memory. This leaves data briefly unencrypted – and therefore exposed – just before, during, and just after its processing. Hackers can access it, encryption-free, and it is also vulnerable to root user compromise (when administrative privileges are given to the wrong person). 

“While there have been technologies to protect data in transit or stored data, maintaining security while data is in use has been a particular challenge,” explained Justin Lam, data security research analyst with S&P Global Market Intelligence. 

Confidential computing seeks to close this gap, providing cybersecurity fo …

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