Microsoft, Google and Intel Form a Data Security Consortium

Encrypting or securing stored data is pretty common which is why data breaches occur when the data is either in transit or being actively used.

As enterprises grow and move between different environments like the public cloud, on-premises servers, etc. data security is becoming more important than ever.

To keep your data secure at every point, major tech companies from around the world including Alibaba, ARM, Baidu, IBM, Intel, Google Cloud, Microsoft, and Red Hat have come together to form a ‘Confidential Computing Consortium (CCC)’.

CCC will help in ‘Defining and Accelerating’ open source technology for truly private data access, advance common open-source standards and promote the use of confidential computing by bringing hardware vendors, developers and open source experts together.

In a joint statement, the CCC said,

Confidential computing focuses on securing data in use. Current approaches to securing data often address data at rest (storage) and in transit (network) but encrypting data in use are possibly the most challenging step to providing a fully encrypted lifecycle for sensitive data. Confidential computing will enable encrypted data to be processed in memory without exposing it to the rest of the system and reduce exposure for sensitive data and provide greater control and transparency for users.

Even though the consortium has started working towards its goals, it might be a while until we see actual results. For now, individual companies in the consortium have made a few contributions in one way or another:

  • Microsoft has contributed the Open Enclave SDK which allows users to write and execute codes in Trusted Execution Environments.
  • Intel has shared Software Guard Extension (SGX) for hardware protection of code.
  • Red Hat has contributed a tool called Enarx for the abstraction of secure environments for running private serverless applications.

CCC is the first of its kind and could lead to completely secure data at every stage. As the demand for data security is increasing day by day approaches like confidential computing and federated learning might change the way things work.