How does Confidential Computing protect data?

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How does Confidential Computing protect data?

Confidential Computing creates a trusted execution environment (TEE) for privately processing sensitive information. TEEs are built with hardware-based security features like Intel SGX or AMD SEV and software-based solutions like ARM TrustZone or Microsoft's Virtual Secure Mode.

The TEE provides an isolated and highly secure environment for data encryption. It prevents the operating system or hypervisor from accessing data running on the same physical server. Confidential computing also enables encrypting and executing the code within the TEE, where no external entity can access or modify it.

Financial institutions, Federal agencies, Defence units, healthcare, and government organizations use Confidential Computing to ensure the highest levels of security and privacy.

How does Confidential Computing interact with other security measures, such as encryption?

Confidential computing and encryption are two specific security measures used to enhance sensitive data security. They can complement each other by providing multiple layers of security to protect sensitive data in transit, at rest, and in use.

Encryption converts plaintext data into ciphertext using a cryptographic algorithm so only authorized parties with the necessary decryption key can access the original plaintext. Encryption is a standard security measure used in several industries to protect data in transit and at rest.

Confidential computing, however, entails creating a secure and isolated environment for sensitive data processing, even when that data is being processed on a potentially untrustworthy third-party system.

Confidential computing solutions, such as Trusted Execution Environments (TEEs) or Secure Enclaves, protect sensitive data during processing by encrypting it within a secure enclave or executing it within a trusted, isolated environment from the rest of the system.

Confidential computing solutions may sometimes use encryption as part of their underlying security measures, such as encrypting data within a secure enclave or transmitting data between different parties via secure encrypted channels.