Microsoft, Google, Red Hat, IBM and Intel are among those to join the newly formed Confidential Computing Consortium (CCC). The new organization will be hosted at the Linux Foundation, having been established to help define and accelerate the adoption of confidential computing.
The company explains that, "confidential computing technologies offer the opportunity for organizations to collaborate on their data sets without giving access to that data, to gain shared insights and to innovate for the common good". Microsoft will be contributing the Open Enclave SDK that allows developers to build Trusted Execution Environment (TEE) applications using a single enclaving abstraction.
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The CCC will seek to develop and establish standards and frameworks that companies will adhere to in order to help ensure the security and privacy of data, even when it is in use. Other companies getting involved include Alibaba Cloud, Arm, Baidu, Google Cloud, IBM, Intel, Red Hat, Swisscom and Tencent.
Speaking about Microsoft's involvement in the project, the company's chief technical officer, Mark Russinovich, says:
The Open Enclave SDK is already a popular tool for developers working on Trusted Execution Environments, one of the most promising areas for protecting data in use. We hope this contribution to the Consortium can put the tools in even more developers' hands and accelerate the development and adoption of applications that will improve trust and security across cloud and edge computing.
Launching the Confidential Computing Consortium project community, the Linux Foundation says:
Confidential computing focuses on securing data in use. Current approaches to securing data often address data at rest (storage) and in transit (network) but encrypting data in use is possibly the most challenging step to providing a fully encrypted lifecycle for sensitive data. Confidential computing will enable encrypted data to be processed in memory without exposing it to the rest of the system and reduce exposure for sensitive data and provide greater control and transparency for users.
The CCC aims to bring together hardware vendors, cloud providers, developers, open source experts and academics to accelerate the confidential computing market. It also wants to influence technical and regulatory standards; and build open source tools that provide the right environment for TEE development.
You can find out more at the Confidential Computing Consortium website.