Intel Microsoft and DARPA Sign Agreement Against Cyber Attacks

Intel, Microsoft and DARPA sign agreement to develop homomorphic encryption The goal – full protection of data against cyber attacks in the cloud.

Intel today announced the signing of an agreement with DARPA, the Advanced Defense Research Agency, and Microsoft to develop a homomorphic encryption accelerator that enables encrypted data in the cloud without providing access to decryption keys, thus reducing the potential for a cyber attack. Homomorphic encryption knows how to think and analyze encrypted numbers and create from them a new encrypted message, a method that provides the ability to analyze a lot of information without revealing its components and results. Microsoft, as the main partner in this announcement, will lead the commercial adoption of the technology in its cloud.

Fully homomorphic encryption allows users to process encrypted data at all stages without having to remove the encryption in any of them whether they are in transit, in use or at rest. This technology will allow organizations to use techniques such as machine learning to extract the full value from large data sets while maintaining data confidentiality throughout their life cycle. Customers in a variety of industries, such as healthcare, insurance and finance services, will be able to derive new benefits made possible by the use of sensitive data and extract their full value from them without risking their exposure.

Intel explains that protecting the confidentiality of critical information, whether it is personal data or corporate intellectual property, is an issue of strategic importance to businesses that currently use a variety of encryption methods to protect the information at any stage. However, the techniques available today require the encryption to be removed from the data for processing, a stage in which the data is exposed, and more vulnerable to abuse.

“Full homomorphic encryption is the ‘Holy Grail’ in a journey to secure data while using it,” said Rosario Camarota, chief engineer at Intel Labs and lead researcher on DARPA’s DPRIVE program. “Despite the great progress made in the field of data protection, when they are computer processed they are not encrypted, which is a loophole for potential attacks and often undermines our ability to fully share data and extract the maximum value from them,” Camarota added.

Intel notes that the reason why full homomorphic encryption has not yet been adopted by organizations and companies is that implementing the method is a data-intensive task that charges a very high “performance tax” even for simple operations. Therefore, the company intends to develop an application-specific integrated circuit accelerator (ASIC) that will reduce the performance ceiling that currently accompanies full homomorphic encryption. In full implementation, the accelerator will be able to provide a massive improvement in workload performance with a potential shortening of the processing time of cryptocurrencies by five orders of magnitude.

“We are pleased to provide our expertise in cloud computing and full-fledged homomorphic encryption, and to partner with Intel in advancing technology that we believe is revolutionizing data processing. When ready for commercial use, the technology will help our customers cover the last mile on the road to complete data confidentiality, where the data will remain secure and private whether it is in storage, transit or use, ”said Dr. William Chapel, Chief Technology Officer of Azure Global and Vice President For mission systems in Microsoft.

Intel will test the progress of the project according to pre-determined performance targets for artificial intelligence training and workloads of analogies using data that has been homomorphically encrypted on a large scale. Beyond developing the core technologies needed to accelerate design, Intel and Microsoft will work with international standards bodies to develop international standards, and the former will also continue to invest in academic research in the field.

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