As a result, older strategies like passwords and firewalls are no longer enough, which is when the importance of confidential computing comes in.
Confidential Computing Defined
Confidential computing is securing data and code everywhere possible, from computing environments to storage, networks, on-premises, the cloud, and the Edge. Worldwide, as more and more business and consumer processing occurs online, confidential computing aims to secure its data and code. Since first introduced, industries like financial services, healthcare, government, retail, and cloud service providers have jumped in and begun piloting new ways to secure data far beyond traditional encryption and password security.
As the access to data and computing power becomes ever-more widespread, the need for confidential computing will only grow. The Everest Group believes the growth in the market will be "exponential," starting from $1.9 billion in 2021 and expanding by 40% to 95% yearly through 2026. They believe the main drivers are security and cloud projects and the need to manage financial, government, and other private data.
Confidential computing currently relies on establishing a secure, hardware-based enclave. This Trusted Execution Environment (TEE) prevents unauthorized access from any malicious person wishing to view data or modify applications. Furthermore, thanks to the practice of attestation, the TEE can prove that its origin and current state are secure. Then, with the assistance of a third party, the trustworthiness of the code inside the TEE can be verified.
The Confidential Computing Consortium
From the outset of confidential computing, Intel has sought to advance the cause in various ways. One was by helping to found the Confidential Computing Consortium, a collaborative project at the Linux Foundation. As a result, many experts have worked in concert to create the protocols and technology necessary to make confidential computing a reality.
Intel Project Amber
However, Intel has not stopped at the Confidential Computing Consortium. Instead, with Project Amber, they've worked with enterprises, CSPs, systems integrators, and Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) to focus on three advances:
Independent Attestation - Currently, much of the attestation process is managed by infrastructure service providers like cloud vendors. Independent attestation opens the process by permitting third parties to audit and verify data and code. As a result, you can ensure you are preventing breaches, and data will remain secure without disrupting ongoing business processes.
Portable and Uniform Attestation - While ISVs and CSPs struggle to develop in-house models, uniform attestation allows them to use the same process across the multi-cloud, hybrid cloud, and on-premise environments. Therefore, they can refocus on their core business by outsourcing attestation to a third party.
Policy Verification - Beyond attestation, today's sensitive workloads require audit and compliance capabilities to satisfy business, consumer, and government stakeholders.
With Intel's deployment architecture, software providers can achieve vendor-agnostic security with SLAs that support up to 99.9% uptime.
The Benefits of Third-Party Attestation
Attestation Mobility - With attestation mobility, workloads move between cloud and on-prem environments more easily because attestation is not tied to one vendor.
Freedom from In-house Attestation Systems - Thanks to Project Amber, CSPs and infrastructure providers don't have to waste resources building their attestation systems. With the scalability of Amber, providers large and small can instead focus on their core offerings.
Multi-Party Confidential Computing - Thanks to TEEs and independent attestation, clients such as banks can share anonymized data to prevent fraud and comply with business line separation regulations.
Confidential Computing Use Cases - Confidential computing is rising to the challenge of securing vital intellectual property and addressing new security threats. It's no secret that AI and machine learning provide never-before-seen insights to enterprises and ISVs. As they do, however, organizations need to find ways to secure this knowledge from wrong-doers.
How it Works
With Project Amber, client libraries become part of a workload before deployment into the cloud. They enable the Project Amber endpoint to verify the TEE security state and the workload's identity. AI workloads are encrypted and later decrypted within the TEE allowing their execution.
Leverage Confidential Computing for Maximum Security
Your solution and its data are too vital not to warrant the use of hardware-based, confidential computing. Therefore, when it comes time to grow your solution across prem, cloud, and multi-cloud environments, look to a systems integrator like UNICOM Engineering.
As an Intel Technology Provider, UNICOM Engineering has helped drive the latest solutions with our partners for decades. Our skilled team actively designs solutions based on the latest 3rd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors and related technologies. As a result, our customers benefit from solutions optimized for telecom, cloud, enterprise, network, security, IoT, and HPC workloads with expanded I/O, storage, and network connectivity options by leveraging our services. Learn more about how UNICOM Engineering can help you transition to next-gen solutions by scheduling a consultation.