IBM Launches Test Service Using 'Holy Grail' of Data Privacy Technology

The privacy technology, called fully homomorphic encryption, keeps data hidden even when being processed.

AccessTimeIconDec 21, 2020 at 12:51 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 10:46 a.m. UTC

Tech giant IBM announced a trial service for a privacy tech called fully homomorphic encryption (FHE), designed to vastly reduce the likelihood of sensitive data being exposed.

  • FHE is an emerging technology – often described as the "holy grail" of encryption – designed to allow data to stay encrypted when being processed or analyzed in cloud or third-party environments.
  • IBM said last week its new service, developed in-house, will allow clients to start experimenting with technology to improve the privacy of their internal IT architectures.
  • “While current encryption techniques allow data to be protected during storage and in transit, data must be decrypted while it is being processed or analyzed – creating a window of opportunity where data is more vulnerable to theft or exposure,” said IBM. 
  • Data leaks have become a major issue for enterprises. One making headlines this week saw personal details of clients of cryptocurrency hardware wallet maker Ledger exposed on an online forum.
  • Research and advisory company, Gartner predicts that by 2025 at least 20% of businesses will be budgeting for programs that require homomorphic encryption, up from less than 1% currently.

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