IBM inventors have received a patent for a breakthrough data encryption technique that is expected to further data privacy and strengthen cloud computing security.
The patented breakthrough, called “fully homomorphic encryption,” could enable deep and unrestricted analysis of encrypted information —intentionally scrambled data — without surrendering confidentiality. IBM’s solution has the potential to advance cloud computing privacy and security by enabling vendors to perform computations on client data, such as analyzing sales patterns, without exposing or revealing the original data.
IBM's homomorphic encryption technique solves a daunting mathematical puzzle that confounded scientists since the invention of public-key encryption over 30 years ago.
Invented by IBM cryptography researcher Craig Gentry, fully homomorphic encryption uses a mathematical object known as an “ideal lattice” that allows people to interact with encrypted data in ways previously considered impossible.
The breakthrough facilitates analysis of confidential encrypted data without allowing the user to see the private data, yet it will reveal the same detailed results as if the original data was completely visible.