IBM-Homomorphic-Encryption-primerCybersecurity

IBM Security unveils next-level data encryption for mainstream use

IBM unveils its next-level encryption technology to offer organizations a more secure form of communications. IBM Security Homomorphic Encryption is a new service designed to keep any data or file encrypted even if it is already opened and viewed.

IBM developed the fully homomorphic encryption (FHE) in anticipation of more cloud-based communications and business operations. As more and more organizations are adopting hybrid cloud, the technology company realized that while it simplifies business operations, it also becomes an opportunity for cybercriminals to take advantage of this new vulnerability or attack point.

IBM said FHE, which was built on the groundwork and tools developed by IBM Research and IBM Z, will be able to provide companies with education, expert support, and a testing environment for clients to develop prototype applications.

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“Fully homomorphic encryption holds tremendous potential for the future of privacy and cloud computing, but businesses must begin learning about and experimenting with FHE before they can take full advantage of what it has to offer,” said Sridhar Muppidi, chief technology officer, IBM Security. “By bringing IBM’s cryptography expertise and resources to our clients that are driving innovation in their unique industries, we can work together to create a new generation of applications that leverage sensitive data, without compromising its privacy.”

According to IBM, the new IBM Security Homomorphic Encryption Services provide a scalable hosting environment on IBM Cloud, along with consulting and managed services to help clients begin learning about and designing prototype solutions that can take advantage of FHE.

FHE is also fully customizable wherein companies can incorporate relevant functions including search, analytics, and AI to their sensitive data. Its design also ensures that companies “to maintain existing compliance and privacy controls as part of a ‘zero trust’ security strategy.

Early this year, IBM released tools and educational materials for developers and has been working with select clients on early pilot programs for FHE. IBM Security said it is now ready to introduce FHE to mainstream users and allow them to take a step forward in their security postures.

The service includes access to both the tools and expertise needed to get started with FHE, including:

  • FHE tools developed by IBM Research, which provide templates for common FHE use cases, such as encrypted search, AI and machine learning.
  • Guidance, consulting, and education support from IBM cryptography experts, helping companies build the skills needed to design and work with FHE-enabled applications.
  • A scalable hosting environment on IBM Cloud for developers to begin experimenting and building prototypes for their own FHE-enabled applications.

IBM said it will guide clients to further develop new prototype solutions and use cases that can take advantage of FHE technology. Some of the initial use cases include performing analytics on encrypted data, conducting encrypted searches while concealing search query and content, and training artificial intelligence and machine learning models while maintaining existing privacy and confidentiality controls.