Decentralized Think Tank Highlights Importance of Confidential Computing

January 12, 2023

Cybersecurity companies tend to focus more on the protection of data when it is stored or when it is transmitted through communication lines. With their time focused on those two things, they forget about cybersecurity in the “use” state, i.e. when data is being processed, edited or used by a user or computer for computation purposes and temporarily passes through the CPU and RAM of a computer. Maybe they trust users to protect confidential data?

It’s fair for people to think this way since cyberattacks are typically carried out by external hackers. But they should be aware that the “use” state is still a vulnerable point in cybersecurity, especially when there is less focus on it. Look at the recent FTX collapse in 2022, which is believed to be an inside job.

Because of that FTX collapse, a Decentralized Think Tank report is acting as a reminder of the importance of confidential computing and HSM solutions.

Confidential computing aims to protect sensitive data while it is being processed. This is especially important in the world of cryptocurrency exchanges, where large amounts of valuable and sensitive data are constantly being exchanged and processed.

Cybersecurity exchanges are challenged with the vulnerability of hot wallets, or online wallets that are connected to the internet and are used for transactions. Hackers often target hot wallets due to their accessibility, leading to significant losses for exchanges in the past.

Confidential computing provides an additional layer of security for data being processed in hot wallets. It involves the use of hardware and software technologies to create a secure execution environment where sensitive data can be processed without being exposed to the rest of the system.

One hardware technology that is often used in conjunction with confidential computing is the hardware security module, or HSM.

HSMs, which protect sensitive data by storing it in a secure, tamper-resistant environment, are used to store and protect cryptographic keys, certificates and other sensitive data that is used in various security-related operations.

When combined with confidential computing, HSMs create a secure environment in which sensitive data is processed without being exposed to the rest of the system. This helps to ensure that the data is fully protected against cyber threats, even in the event of a hack or other attack.

So yes, confidential computing is essential in cyber defense strategies for crypto exchanges. Just adding that extra layer of protection ensures that crypto exchanges operate safely and securely.

Edited by Alex Passett

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