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In a world of on-demand connectivity, encryption at rest isn’t enough. With over 4,145 made public data leaks just last year — classic approaches to network security are not keeping pace, and confidential computing could be a potential solution.
Confidential computing allows organizations to separate and encrypt their data in a hardware-based Trusted Execution Environment (TEE) so that it is not exposed to the infrastructure that processes it. This means that even if a threat actor manages to compromise the infrastructure, it will not be able to access the underlying data in use.
It is an approach to security that is attracting a lot of interest, especially for multicloud security companies fortanixwhich announced today that it has raised $90 million as part of a Series C funding round, bringing the organization’s total amount raised to more than $122 million.
The need for confidential computing
With cloud adoption accelerating during the COVID-19 pandemic, growing by 25% last year alone, it is becoming increasingly clear that traditional perimeter-based approaches to network security are incapable of protecting data as it moves through. moving modern business environments.
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“Businesses and government agencies are looking for a new approach to keep precious data safe wherever it resides, especially in the cloud. They need protection of their sensitive and regulated data, throughout its lifecycle – at rest, in motion and in use,” said Ambuj Kumar, CEO and co-founder of Fortanix.
“Organizations are also dealing with the global proliferation of data and privacy regulations such as HIPAA, GDPR and Shrems II,” said Kumar.
Kumar explains that confidential computing, which Fortanix pioneered, protects applications and sensitive data while “in use” from unauthorized access.
A bird’s-eye view of the confidential computer room
While the confidential computing space is still in its infancy, many world-renowned providers are investing in these solutions.
Microsoft Azure, IBM, Google Cloud and AWS (AWS Nitro System) are just a few of the many providers experimenting in the space to innovate new services to help organizations keep pace with rapidly evolving data privacy standards.
More generally, market interest is high enough that Everest Group has predicted that the confidential computer market will be worth $54 billion by 2026, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 90-95%.
As one of the key players in the confidential computing market, Fortanix not only competes with Azure, IBM and AWS, but also competes with legacy data security vendors such as Thales.
Thales’ data security solution is called the CipherTrust Data Security Platform. It provides data discovery, classification and protection for data at rest, in on-premise, cloud and hybrid IT environments. Thales recently announced it will raise $19.9 billion order intake last year.
Another competitor is HashiCorp with a solution called Vault, a secure vault designed to protect secrets, tokens, passwords, certificates and encryption keys with an encryption-as-a-service offering. HashiCorp recently raised $175 million as part of a Series E financing round in March 2020, bringing the valuation to $5.1 billion.
At this stage, the key differentiator between Fortanix and legacy competitors is its focus on encryption in use and its data-centric approach to protecting cloud environments.
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