What Is Homomorphic Encryption and How Can You Use it to Protect Your Business?

This might be the first time you are hearing about homomorphic encryption, but it certainly won’t be the last.

The problem with encrypting your data is that you cannot do anything with it until you decrypt it again in plain text. For example, if you put your files on a third-party server and you do not want the people running that server to see what is in your files, then you would need to encrypt it. But if you need to search your files for something, such as looking for documents that contains the words “four” and “cornerstone” very near each other, you would not be able to work with the encrypted text that you have on your server.

And this is where homomorphic encryption comes really valuable and useful. Homomorphic encryption is one form of encryption that allows you to perform certain types of computations, such as searching. It gives you an encrypted result, and when you decrypt these results, it will match the results of operations done in plain text. In short, you are able to work with encrypted data without needing to decrypt it first.

Homomorphic encryption not only allows you to search without needing to decrypt your files first, but you can also performing other more complex tasks such as math calculations or programming. And because you are not decrypting any data, there is no way for hackers to know or see your data. In theory, homomorphic encryption could make it possible to run your programs or even virtual machines while it is encrypted, and transmit encrypted data between two virtual machines or two programs.

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At the moment, everything is more on theories and homomorphic encryption is still finding practical applications. In theory, using homomorphic encryption would make it possible for you to do a Google search using encrypted search terms, and get the same results as when you are using plain text search terms. But it would take far longer to do so. For example, that Google search would need 1 trillion more computing time than the current Google searches.

Granting that a Google search takes around a second to finish now, using an encrypted search term would take far longer than a plain text search. Ciphertexts using homomorphic encryption are more or less huge and having to encrypt and decrypt several operations you need to do on the ciphertext would make it really complex.

Nevertheless, homomorphic encryption is an interesting field to watch. If developed further, practical applications could come in at any time. This would allow you to chain different software, VMs and services together without exposing any of your information or data. Imagine being able to work with different services, cloud companies, partners and other companies without risking the confidentiality of your data. It makes your data even more secure without needing to decrypt everything every time you need to do a single simple operation.

Looking to get into homomorphic encryption? Call Four Cornerstone today at 1 (817) 377 1144. Our team of technology experts can help you get on top of various technologies that make use or partial and full homomorphic encryption today.

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