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Microsoft Introduces Verifiable Confidential Cloud Computing

Continuing to push the boundaries of modern cloud computing, Microsoft’s latest cloud-centric invention, brought about by an internal research project which was disseminated at the IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy 2015, is meant to bolster data security throughout its entire time in storage. Touted as a “lockbox in the cloud,” the new technology, known as Verifiable Confidential Cloud Computing or just VC3, is meant to facilitate an added layer of security regarding cloud data and encryption.

Microsoft’s new technology is so comprehensive, in fact, that data remains secure even while being accessed during various system calculations and processes. It does so through a highly complex decryption and re-encryption process, which ensures that nobody at all – including IT officials and cloud service providers – have access to the data stored within.

Such a high level of security provides a dedicated safeguard for cloud-centric data at all times, thus protecting information from any potential hackers or identity thieves – whether they originate internally or externally. Moreover, it does so while still providing customers with the amount of control and accessibility that they’ve come to expect from today’s cloud service offerings.

The idea behind Verifiable Confidential Cloud Computing was introduced through one of Microsoft’s own research papers, which read: “This new technology, called VC3, uses enhanced security measures to make sure that your data is locked in a special lockbox, even when you are accessing it, to make calculations or other transactions. The technology ensures that even the employees of the company hosting you in the cloud have no way of accessing or manipulating your data. That offers another layer of security for companies who see the value of moving to the cloud but worry about security risks associated with highly valuable or personal information.”

Sriram Rajamani, assistant managing director with Microsoft Research India, disseminated their strategies for easing customers into cloud computing by saying: “We are investigating ways by which we can tell the customer: even though you move your data to the cloud, you are still in control.”

The research paper, titled: “VC3: Trustworthy Data Analytics in the Cloud using SGX,” was written and presented by numerous researchers and professionals. The list of authorship credits includes Felix Schuster, Manual Costa, Cedric Fournet, Christos Gkantsidis, Marcus Peinado, Gloria Mainar-Ruiz and Mark Russinovich. All of the participants work directly with Microsoft with the except of Felix Schuster, who operates on behalf of Ruhr-Universitat Bochum.

A number of other research papers were also unveiled at the latest IEEE conference. They include separate whitepapers regarding the Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol, controlled-channel attacks, the development of a 3D web browser, support for quantum computers and a formal verification approach for login portals and payment applications. Each paper featured numerous writers from the likes of Microsoft, Google, the University of Virginia, the University of Texas at Austin and more.

To find out more information regarding Verifiable Cloud Computing, also known as VC3, or any of their other products or services, please visit www.microsoft.com.

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