Introducing Microsoft Azure Confidential Computing: An Intelligent Cloud Innovation

Microsoft almost spends one billion dollars per year on cybersecurity to remain as the most trusted cloud platform for organizations looking to migrate their business-critical workload over the cloud. Microsoft Azure is not only an intelligent cloud delivering innovation-driven technologies, but also ensures strict physical data center security, data privacy, data encryption- both at rest and in transit. Microsoft Azure Web Services uses the novel approach of machine learning for threat detection and uses stringent operational software development lifecycle controls to define cloud security and privacy paradigm.

What is Azure Confidential Computing?

All these new data capabilities of Microsoft Azure with collective features and services make it the first ever cloud service to offer Azure Confidential Computing. Confidential computing is an encryption technology to protect the data in use over the public cloud which was missing to date. This provides control to the customers to regulate and review the data being processed over the cloud. Microsoft Azure Team along with their Developer Tool Group and Research Team was working on the software and hardware technologies of confidential cloud computing for over four years. Their collective effort has taken the cutting-edge computing a step further for future innovations.

Microsoft Azure Confidential Computing

The need for Confidential Computing

When we think of Azure Web services, we think of Security, data protection and encryption. Data breaches are the most common threat to enterprise applications and workloads where the attackers gain access to personally identifiable information (PII), financial data, and corporate intellectual properties. However, sometimes these breaches are the result of poorly configured access control that is mostly traced from the data being used, either via an administrative account or by a compromised key to access encrypted data.

Suggested reading – Reasons why Microsoft Azure is the best place for all your Applications and Data

Although most of the organizations are well aware of the cyber security controls and mitigations, they are not willing to move their sensitive data over the cloud for the fear of threats and vulnerabilities against their data when in use. Here comes the role of confidential cloud computing that helps the organization to migrate their data to Azure, both in transit or at rest.

Azure Confidential Computing protects the data from:

  • Insider threat, i.e. a user or an employee having administrative privilege, or direct access to hardware with a malicious intention to distort the data under process.
  • Hackers and malware who want to introduce bugs in the operating system, application or hypervisor.
  • Any third-party accessing the resources without admin consent.

How does Azure Confidential Computing Works?

Azure Confidential Computing focuses on protecting data while it is processing in the cloud and it works on the following principles:

  • Mitigate the top data breach threats.
  • Avail full control of data to the customers regardless of its state- rest, transit or in use.
  • To make customers protect and verify their code running in the cloud.
  • Make the data and code opaque to the cloud platform by keeping the cloud platform outside the trusting base.

Bottom Line:

With the broad spectrum of Microsoft Azure Services customers can be assured of data protection and safety while migrating workloads over the cloud. Microsoft Azure confidential computing helps to develop a platform that enables users to take advantage of various Trusted Execution Environment (TEE) without changing their code. Users can sign up for the Early Access program with Microsoft to have the better understanding of the upcoming concept.

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