The American firm has published a toolbox to help developers apply full homomorphic encryption. This emerging technique should resist the performance of quantum computers to break it.
In the area of security, the issue of encryption is essential and there are several methods for encrypting communications. IBM has just delivered a toolkit to developers to democratize one of them: complete homomorphic encryption. This set of solutions is available on iOS and MacOS as soon as it is launched. In a few weeks, the supplier plans to support Linux and Android.
Full homomorphic encryption or FHE (Fully Homomorphic Encryption) is a cryptographic system created by Craig Gentry, doctoral student at Stanford and working at IBM Research in 2009. This method aims to solve the problem related to the fact that the data is not encrypted all time, especially when an application should use them. This opening can serve as an entry point for pirates. FHE gives the possibility for an application to process encrypted data and generate encrypted results. Small flat nevertheless, the implementation of FHE is difficult.
A suitable and simple platform for developers
Hence the toolbox offered by IBM. “Developers can quickly get started with the platform services and run them with a few simple instructions,” said Flavio Bergamaschi, FHE research manager at IBM Research in a blog post. He also points out that “combining 11 years of cutting-edge research into a simplified development experience is not an easy task.” In addition to the programming tools, developers have separate resources like a Slack thread to narrow the learning curve. IBM will also offer technical training to businesses.
The fact remains that today, the FHE is too greedy in computation to be useful in all of the use cases. However, some applications lend themselves well to this encryption method, in the banking sector in particular. Big Blue said it has worked with Banco Bradesco in Brazil to secure the analysis of encrypted customer data. The American firm also plans to use FHE for data sharing, particularly in the medical sector. Finally, FHE is a method offering more resistance to quantum computers, which by their power could overcome different encryption systems.