Enveil's New "ZeroReveal" Platform Enables Homomorphic Encryption to Secure Data in Use
Finding some way for data to remain encrypted and secure even during processing is considered the holy grail of encryption. One method, homomorphic encryption, was first mooted in 1978; but initially without any clear proof that it was possible. Today, start-up firm Enveil has launched the first practical and scalable commercial homomorphic encryption platform, ZeroReveal.
The core technology originates from within the NSA. Enveil's CEO and founder, mathematician Ellison Anne Williams, worked on the project within the NSA as a senior researcher for 12 years. When she left in 2015 she took the technology with her, exclusively, and founded Enveil in 2016. Since then, Enveil has expanded and matured the core technology to the point of launching a commercial product.
"Continued reports of chip flaws [eg, Spectre and Meltdown] and data breaches in recent months make it clear that encrypting data at rest and in transit isn't good enough in today's volatile security environment. Organizations must eliminate the data in use security gap and do so in a way that won't negate investments in existing systems and protocols," explains Williams. "We allow you to securely use data where it is and as it is today, delivering nation-state level security -- no system overhaul required."
When people use data, it is typically undertaken by running a search or analytic over the data. Enveil concentrates on the security posture of that search or analytic as it is being performed.
"We have two-party form factor," Williams told SecurityWeek. "From a technology standpoint, it means that we can take a search or analytic that folks will want to perform over data, and we can encrypt that, and then we can run that encrypted search over massive amounts of data anywhere, without ever decrypting anything. We never decrypt the search itself, and if the underlying data also happens to be encrypted, we don't have to decrypt that either. We accomplish this through the ZeroReveal Compute Fabric where we can encrypt the search, send that out to the data location, and that can be processed there without ever being decrypted."
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