“We are working on a homomorphic encryption technical service with the aim of releasing it by the end of the year. It will be integrated with marketing, finance, medical care and other diverse areas.”
Cho Ji-hoon, head of Samsung SDS’ cloud data security research team, made the remarks in the company’s cloud security Media Day press conference Thursday and clarified that his company will apply its cyber security knowhow to cloud.
During the event, Samsung SDS unveiled “white box cryptography” and “homomorphic encryption,” both of which are intended to make it impossible to decode even if cloud data is leaked. The white box cryptography technology prevents hackers from looking for encryption keys by converting them into the company’s own algorithms. Co-developed by Israel’s top cryptographers, the technology offers so powerful a security performance that hundreds of years are needed to look for keys even with computing resources all over the world.
The homomorphic encryption technology prevents the leak of sensitive data at source by analyzing encrypted data without decryption. To put it plainly, the technology makes leaked data useless even when hackers break into the cloud and leak data. None but the customers who retain encryption keys can open the analysis results of coded data. Such global giants as Microsoft have yet to commercialize the technology.
“For example, let’s suppose that a certain customer uses an analytical service in the cloud with financial, medicinal and marketing data. If the cloud applies the data to analyzing credibility, disease prediction and marketing in the state of encryption, the customer could open the sorted data with his or her own encryption keys,” Cho said.
The homomorphic encryption technology has the advantage of preventing hacker attacks since analysis is possible without deciphering the code from the beginning. However, it is slower than the way analysis is conducted after decryption. “The computing speed between unencrypted data and encrypted data had shown a gap of one million times a few years ago,” said Cho, adding that “the gap has fallen to 1,000 times in theory recently and could be narrower if various accelerating techniques are applied.”
Then one can wonder if the homomorphic encryption technology will be an alternative to blockchain that helps companies beef up security by preventing data tampering. “Blockchain is a technology to prevent data tampering but does not provide data privacy,” Cho said. “Some companies are attempting to combine blockchain and homomorphic encryption to prevent data tampering and privacy. Blockchain and homomorphic encryption are mutually complementary technologies.”
Meanwhile, Samsung SDS CEO Hong Won-pyo said, “Samsung SDS will offer end-to-end services encompassing applications under various cloud environments, infrastructure and data.” “We will strive to help our customers find a solution with top-class security services integrating new technologies.” /firstname.lastname@example.org
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