Homomorphic encryption tools find their niche – CSO Online

Organizations are starting to take an interest in homomorphic encryption, which allows computation to be performed directly on encrypted data without requiring access to a secret key. While the technology isnt new (it has been around for more than a decade), many of its implementations are, and most of the vendors are either startups or have only had products sold within the past few years.

While it's difficult to obtain precise pricing, most of these tools arent going to be cheap: Expect to spend at least six figures and sign multi-year contracts to get started. That ups the potential risk. Still, some existing deployments, particularly in financial services and healthcare, are worth studying to see how effective homomorphic encryption can be at solving privacy problems and delivering actionable data insights. Lets look at a few noteworthy examples.

With AML, you want to be able to correlate and query activities by the criminals across multiple banks but cant reveal who the targets are due to privacy regulations. Homomorphic encryption offers the ability to get this information without disclosing who the subject of the query is and instead hides this data from the entity that is processing the query. These bank-to-bank transactions are a natural fit for homomorphic encryption. Resolving some of these fraud cases could take months, but with homomorphic encryption they can be resolved within minutes.

That brings up another important point for homomorphic encryption: Because the encryption algorithms use problem-solving complex mathematics, they take more time to process transactions than non-encrypted methods. That isnt a surprise to anyone who has worked in the data encryption space, and the slower processing has been considered a roadblock to adoption. Homomorphic encryption vendors refute this notion.

Homomorphic encryption tools find their niche - CSO Online

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