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Intel to Collaborate with Microsoft on DARPA Program

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Intel enters into an agreement with Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), aiming to perform in its Data Protection in Virtual Environments (DPRIVE) program in collaboration with Microsoft. Both will work with international standards bodies to widen international standards for FHE. Intel asserted that Microsoft will be a key partner in accelerating the commercialization of this technology which will enable free data sharing and collaboration while promoting privacy throughout the data life cycle.

The program intends to create an application specific integrated circuit (ASIC) accelerator, to reduce the performance overhead that is linked with the FHE. Its full realization could deliver a massive improvement in executing FHE workloads over existing CPU driven systems as well as reducing the cryptograms’ processing time by five orders of magnitude.

A lot of companies rely on a variety of data encryption methods to protect critical information while it is in transit, in use and at rest. However, these techniques require prior data decryption, which makes it more vulnerable for misuse. The FHE deletes the need for data decryption and instead allows users to compute on readily encrypted data, reducing risks of information misuse.

“Fully homomorphic encryption remains the holy grail in the quest to keep data secure while in use. Despite strong advances in trusted execution environments and other confidential computing data technologies to protect while at rest and in transit, data is unencrypted during computation, opening the possibility of potential attacks at this stage”, says Rosario Cammarota, Principal Engineer, Intel labs and Principal Investigator, DARPA DRIVE program.

“This inhibits our ability to fully share and extract the maximum value out of data. We are pleased to be chosen as a technology partner by DARPA and look forward to working with them as well as Microsoft to advance this next chapter in confidential computing and unlock the promise of fully homomorphic encryption for all”, continued Rosario.

FHE will enable companies to use techniques such as machine learning to extract full value from large datasets while keeping data confidential across data’s life cycle.

FHE will enable companies to use techniques such as machine learning to extract full value from large datasets while keeping data confidential across data’s life cycle. Customers of healthcare, financial and insurance industries would benefit from new usages by being able to use and extract value from sensitive data to its fullest extent without risk of exposure.

“We are pleased to bring our expertise in cloud computing and homomorphic encryption to the DARPA DRIVE program, collaborating with Intel to advance this transformative technology when ready into commercial usages that will help our customers close the last mile gap in data confidentially, keeping data fully secure and private, whether in storage, transit or use”, said Dr. William Chappell, Chief Technology Officer, Azure Global and Vice President, Mission Systems, Microsoft.

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