Confidential computing and how to leverage it productively

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Confidential computing

Security leaders believe that the latest confidential computing tech can be used to improve enterprise 

Organizations like Facebook, Alibaba, Swisscom, Microsoft, Red Hat, Oracle, Intel, Google, etc., have come together to develop a tech that lets secure encrypting the data. It uses hardware to isolate the data, the trusted execution environment (TEE). Encryption of data takes place in memory, and TEE utilizes embedded hardware keys inaccessible to cloud providers.

Why is the TEE needed?

Security leaders say that the conventional encryption at-rest and in-transit method needs enterprises to shift their workloads to the cloud. This proves to be risky as it is complicated to keep sensitive data private and process it simultaneously.

Moreover, there’s no easy way to encrypt data while it’s being processed. This necessitated the need for confidential computing that encrypts data while it is still under processing, i.e., data in-use.

This opens up the possibility where encrypted and private services are the cloud standard. Such transformational tech will develop the confidence that client data isn’t accessible to cloud providers or liable to insider attacks.

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The tech has moved from an experimental project to being deployed across the world in prominent enterprises. For successful deployment of confidential computing on both cloud and on-prem environments, it requires certain elements.

Depending on the tools and services used, running workloads confidentially will have differing processes. The base point is that organizations are averse to compromising performance and usability at the cost of security.

The TEE is not restricted to only security; it can be used for delegation of tasks in the main CPU or image processing etc. It also allows algorithms to live in it, so allowing the processing of data at a faster pace without it getting shared.

Investments, techniques, and technologies needed for confidential computing

Security leaders say that clients need to leverage the benefits of security tech provided by high-performance and modern CPUs for proper delivery on confidential computing. To support such environments, organizations need to update their low-level platform and hypervisor stack and work with the open-source Linux community and modern OS vendors to ensure seamless technology support.

CISOs say that storage and networking drivers are also vital for implementing secured workloads and ensuring that the enterprise is capable of properly managing confidential computing traffic.

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Confidential computing’s benefits to large scale remote-work environment

CISOs initially expected a slowdown in adopting digital strategy during the first couple of months of the pandemic. The trend has, however, changed, and clients have increased the adoption of cloud-based services. Thus enterprises are now left with a new normal that includes new digital strategies and a distributed workforce working remotely.

A remote workforce is an added advantage for confidential computing. It helps enterprises partner on the sensitive workloads present in the cloud across competitors and geographies while maintaining confidential and sensitive datasets’ privacy.

This practice helps to develop transformation technologies. Confidential computing allows for collaboration between organizations in the cloud without exposing their code or data.