Confidential Computing: The Future of Cloud Computing Security

Confidential Computing: The Future of Cloud Computing Security

Two years ago, a group of tech companies introduced a new roadmap for cloud computing security. Confidential computing “uses hardware-based techniques to isolate data, specific functions, or an entire application from the operating system, hypervisor or virtual machine manager, and other privileged processes,” says IEEE Spectrum. So, what sets this apart from other digital defense efforts? How does it work?


Today’s Cloud Computing Security 


Today, businesses and agencies are looking for a new way to keep their data secure in the cloud. That’s even more key for financial services clients, vehicle makers, health insurance providers and telecommunication service providers. These sectors face specific compliance rules as well as a growing number of broader data protection rules.


Therefore, groups in these fields need to uphold what IEEE Spectrum calls the “three pillars of data security” — protecting data at rest, in motion and in use. These apply to cloud computing security as well. The first and second have been managed over the years through encryption and tokenization, among other methods. But the last one has proven more difficult to achieve — even more so in the cloud. Computation requires data to not be protected. That gives attackers a chance to dump the contents of memory and thus steal sensitive data.


This is how it used to be, at least. It’s a different world now.


How Confidential Computing Works


Back in 2019, several cloud providers, CPU makers and software companies came together to create the Confidential Computing Consortium (CCC). This plan gave rise to confidential computing. It’s a way to encryp ..