Any company that deals with consumers will tell you that their top two priorities are customer experience and data privacy.
The first makes it possible to attract customers, the second to keep them.
We’ve seen the role virtual reality and artificial intelligence play in meeting ever-changing consumer demands for customer experience. But what about the lesser-known technologies that are also at work to protect our data and identity from security breaches?
A study conducted by the Ponemon Institute found that the average cost of a data breach in France in 2022 was €3.95 million. Security breaches ultimately affect the price consumers pay for their products or services, as companies must pass on the costs of legal, regulatory, technical and other measures. More importantly, they can affect customer confidence in a company’s ability to protect their data in a digital experience.
The key to gaining and maintaining a digital consumer’s trust in a business is its ability to secure the data and applications that process it from the rest of its IT infrastructure. So even if the network is compromised, the data is not.
Such protection is done through a cloud-based technology called ‘Confidential Computing’, which promotes greater privacy protection. Confidential computing allows an organization to have full authority and control over its data, even when operating in a shared cloud environment. Data is protected and visible only to its owner and no one else. They are not even accessible by the Cloud service provider that hosts them, and are also protected during their processing (data in use).
To better visualize the concept of confidential computing, it can be compared to a safe in a hotel room. When you stay in a hotel, the room belongs to you, but the hotel staff has access to it. Therefore, it is better to secure your valuables such as passport and money by keeping them in the safe in the room. The guest is the only one who has the code for this extra layer of protection, making it impossible for staff to access their facilities, even if the room is accessible. Now imagine that the safe does not have a master code to force its opening – this is how confidential computing can be imagined.
How to use technology to control who has access to confidential customer data
- Securely manage digital assets and currencies
As the adoption of cryptocurrencies increases, it also becomes necessary to secure the technology through which they are accessed. Maintaining customer trust and privacy in this area is essential for the world’s leading banks, exchanges and fintech companies. Confidential computing plays a crucial role in helping these financial institutions securely manage the growing market demand for digital assets. For example, fintechs can provide banks and other financial institutions with digital asset solutions to manage cryptocurrencies, tokens and bitcoins.
These solutions can benefit from a scaled infrastructure for critical systems, with a high level of security, especially through the provision of confidential calculations, in order to contribute to the protection of keys and data related to these digital assets. These security capabilities are designed to mitigate the risk of malicious actors gaining access to these assets or the confidential data associated with them.
2. Keep the money in the bank
Banks face a variety of threats ranging from digital theft, fraud and/or money laundering. All banks undergo the Know Your Customer process, which identifies and verifies a customer’s identity when opening an account. Without exposing private data, such as your bank account details, financial companies need a way to identify trends and draw conclusions about theft and money launderers.
Confidential computing can be used in conjunction with AI and predictive models that help identify potential fraudsters. By using them together, banks can better protect themselves by being able to detect threats, allowing data to remain in the cloud without the risk of third-party access.
3. Contribute to the protection of patient privacy
Mobile health apps and other connected devices, including sensors and wearables, can store medical data and enable proactive monitoring of health data. From a privacy perspective, it would be desirable to move all patient data to a central location for analysis, but the security risks of data replication and the complexity of data synchronization can lead to additional costs and challenges .
Confidential computing technology can help solve these problems by performing calculations in a secure enclave, isolating data and code to protect them from unauthorized access, while ensuring excellent performance.
As the management of our confidential data becomes increasingly distributed – with much of it residing on mobile devices, and telemedical consultations and digital banking becoming the norm for consumers – it is imperative to better understand how the technology works behind the scenes to better protect and serve us in our daily activities.