Confidential computing provides revolutionary data encryption, UC Berkeley professor says

by | Oct 21, 2022 | Technology

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Confidential computing focuses on potentially revolutionary technology, in terms of impact on data security. In confidential computing, data remains encrypted, not just at rest and in transit, but also in use, allowing analytics and machine learning (ML) to be performed on the data, while maintaining its confidentiality. The capability to encrypt data in use opens up a massive range of possible real-world scenarios, and it has major implications and potential benefits for the future of data security.

VentureBeat spoke with Raluca Ada Popa about her research and work in developing practical solutions for confidential computing. Popa is an associate professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and she is also cofounder and president of Opaque Systems.

Opaque Systems provides a software offering for the MC2 open-source confidential computing project, to help companies that are interested in making use of this technology, but may not have the technical expertise to work at the hardware level.

Confidential computing’s journey

Popa walked through the history of confidential computing, its mechanics and its use cases. The problems that confidential computing is designed to address have been around, with different people working to solve them, for decades. She explained that as early as 1978, Rivest et al. acknowledged the privacy, confidentiality and functionality benefits that would stem from being able to compute on encrypted data, although they didn’t develop a practical solution at that time.

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In 2009, Craig Gentry developed …

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