Everything You Need to Know About Confidential Computing

More often, a mention of digital security often boils down to the role of a system administrator or the developer of a system. In other instances, you may go further thinking of a new player in the security field such as a Site Reliability Engineer (SRE).

One of the most important things to do in a digital setup is to avoid any forms of blunders related to security. However, ensuring that an app developer doesn’t have direct control over the security of a system goes a long way in ensuring that an app is fully secure.

But how can you do this? While this can be an overwhelming thing to do, the good news is that confidential computing is there to sort these security issues out.

But what exactly is confidential computing and what does it entail? Before delving deeper into this digital security marvel, it’s paramount that we touch base on digital security issues closer to home.

It goes without saying that computing plays a critical role in many industries today. From cloud edge technology to public premises, computing has completely changed how different companies work.

However, as more and more companies and businesses embrace the digital wave, it’s becoming clearer that there is a big need for companies to protect sensitive business information such as data and IP. Not only are these seeking transparency for their systems, but they are also looking to take full control of their security systems.

Today, cloud computing is mainly focused on encrypting data that is either in transit or at rest. However, encrypting data that’s currently in use has proved to be a daunting task for many technicians and engineers alike.

What is Confidential Computing?

Basically, confidential computing is a technology that enables data that has been encrypted to be processed while in storage without giving the rest of the system any room for exposure. This way, sensitive data is better protected by providing user transparency as well as full control of the system.

Since its launch in August 2019, confidential computing has been used far and wide with the OpenWave SDK being the first contribution to the confidential computing consortium.

What Is a Confidential Computing Consortium?

Just like any other consortium, the Confidential Computing Consortium is a conglomerate of different participants in the digital security world. This includes professional cloud vendors, different hardware vendors, cloud providers, and academics in the field whose aim is to spearhead the acceleration process of confidential computing in the digital space.

The key mandate of the consortium is to not only develop different open source tools but ensure that they positively influence technical aspects of the market as well. Apart from these, the consortium is also involved in anchoring different initiatives to educate users on how confidential computing works.

Apart from OpenWave, other major contributors to confidential computing include:

Red Hat Enarx: This powerhouse uses TEE technology to ensure that private serverless applications are kept secure. It also provides crucial hardware independence to its users.

Intel SGX: This is another software in a confidential computing consortium that is designed to protect data and crucial application code from any form of disclosure and modifications.

Fortanix: This is a community that understands well the vast majority of confidential computing deployments. This application runs on a Runtime Encryption Platform.

What are The Benefits of Confidential Computing?

It’s always the norm that when a new technology is launched, it comes with myriads of benefits. Confidential computing is no less different. Below are some of the key benefits that you can get from confidential computing:

  • It enables a complete end to end security encryption for data.
  • It ensures your data is well secured while being processed.
  • It gives customers the ability to have full command of the system and the entire processing of data.
  • It increases trust and transparency among its users.
  • It keeps unauthenticated users away from acceding vital data.
  • It makes it possible for data to be moved between different environments without risking any breach.

These companies have come a long way in ensuring that user data is kept secure at every stage. Whether a company is specialized in a public cloud, the edge, or on-premises servers, the confidential computing consortium is working to ensure that users can move between different environments with ease. The consortium is also working on different other initiatives including:

  • Supporting the system by hosting different open source projects that are quite technical
  • Bringing together different industry players in order to grow confidential computing value
  • Formulating regulatory standards
  • Inventing and building different open source tools
Dragan Sutevski

Posted by Dragan Sutevski

Dragan Sutevski is a founder and CEO of Sutevski Consulting, creating business excellence through innovative thinking. Get more from Dragan on Twitter. Contact Dragan