Confidential Computing

Confidential computing is a technology that encrypts data-in-use while it is being processed. It uses hardware-based techniques to isolate data, specific functions, or an entire application through a trusted execution environment (TEE). The TEE makes it impossible to view data or operations performed on it from the outside by providing a protected container to secure portions of the hardware’s processor and memory. The data is encrypted elsewhere outside of the central processing unit

Organizations hesitate in today’s tech ecosystem to migrate sensitive applications and data to the cloud because of concerns about privacy, security, and data exposure. Confidential computing works to allow different organizations to combine datasets for analysis without being able to access each other’s data. It requires substantial cooperation between software and hardware vendors for applications and data to work with the TEEs. 

Uses of confidential computing 

  • Protects data from malicious parties 
  • Ensures data is compliant with regulations such as GDPR
  • Provides developers with tools to create applications that can be transported across different cloud platforms
  • Ensures safety and security of any sensitive data that needs to be secured
  • Confirms data in use is protected when transporting workloads to different environments

Confidential Computing Consortium 

In 2019, the Confidential Computing Consortium (CCC) was formed and included members such as Google, Microsoft, VMware, and Intel. The CCC is a Linux Foundation project and community for defining and accelerating the adoption of confidential computing. It addresses data in use, enables encrypted data to be processed in memory without further exposure, reduces exposure of sensitive data, and provides overall greater control for users. 

The CCC works to bring together hardware vendors, cloud providers, developers, open source experts, and academics. It raises awareness of the confidential computing market, influences technical and regulatory standards, builds open source tools to provide adequate environments for TEE development, and hosts industry outreach and education initiatives. 

In 2017, Microsoft released Azure confidential computing, and in 2020, Google launched its first confidential computing service known as Confidential VM. Both are cloud services that enable critical information to be encrypted from start to finish.

Webopedia Staff
Since 1995, more than 100 tech experts and researchers have kept Webopedia’s definitions, articles, and study guides up to date. For more information on current editorial staff, please visit our About page.

Top Articles

List of Windows Operating System Versions & History [In Order]

The Windows operating system (Windows OS) refers to a family of operating systems developed by Microsoft Corporation. We look at the history of Windows...

How to Create a Website Shortcut on Your Desktop

Website Shortcut on Your Desktop reviewed by Web Webster   This Webopedia guide will show you how to create a website shortcut on your desktop using...

What are the Five Generations of Computers? (1st to 5th)

Reviewed by Web Webster Learn about each of the 5 generations of computers and major technology developments that have led to the computing devices that...

Hotmail [Outlook] Email Accounts

Launched in 1996, Hotmail was one of the first public webmail services that could be accessed from any web browser. At its peak in...

Network Monitoring Software

Network monitoring software is an application that observes traffic and device...

New Promoter Score (NPS)

Source: Freepik for Net promoter...

Data Annotation

Data annotation involves processing a set of raw data for text, images, sounds,...