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Intel unveiled Project Amber as a security foundation for confidential computing, secure and accountable AI, and quantum-resistant cryptography.
The service is ripe for the era of quantum computing, providing organizations with the ability to remotely verify reliability in cloud, edge, and on-premises environments. The company made the announcement at its Intel Vision event in Dallas, Texas.
The need for quantum speed security
Quantum computing poses a challenge because it uses principles of quantum mechanics to create extremely fast computers. These can be used to instantly crack cryptographic problems, which is a security concern because cryptography encodes data in large numbers of numbers in puzzles that once required too much computing power to unravel.
In preparation for this day, Intel introduced an independent trust authority in the form of a service-based security implementation that they codenamed Project Amber. The company also showed its focus on enabling secure and responsible AI and outlined its strategy to further build quantum-proof cryptography for the coming era of quantum computing.
“As organizations continue to benefit from the value of the cloud, security has never been more important. Trust goes hand in hand with security, which is what our customers expect and need when delivering Intel technology,” Greg Lavender, chief technology officer of the software and advanced technology group at Intel, said in a statement.
“With the introduction of Project Amber, Intel is taking confidential computing to the next level in our commitment to a zero-trust approach to attestation and verification of computing assets on the network, edge and in the cloud.”
Trust guarantee for the hybrid workforce
Businesses operate in and depend on the cloud to support remote workers who need multiple devices, uninterrupted access, and collaboration tools. Technology solutions must secure data – not just in memory and in transit, but also in use – to protect valuable assets and minimize attack surfaces. Project Amber provides organizations with remote verification of compute reliability in cloud, edge, and on-premises environments.
This service operates independently of the infrastructure provider hosting the confidential compute workloads. Confidential computing, the protection of data in use by performing computations in a hardware-based trusted execution environment (TEE), is a growing market.
Intel Software Guard extensions to the Intel Xeon Scalable platform today help power confidential computing, enabling cloud use cases that benefit organizations that regularly handle sensitive data. The fundamental foundation of trust in a confidential computing environment is laid through a process called attestation.
Project Amber for confidential computer use and attestation from third parties
Verifying this reliability is a critical requirement for customers to protect their data and intellectual property as they move sensitive workloads to the cloud. To build trust and deliver on the promise of confidential computing to the wider industry, Intel has announced Project Amber as the first step in creating a new multicloud, multi-TEE service for third-party attestation.
Designed to be cloud-independent, this service supports confidential computing workloads in the public cloud, within the private/hybrid cloud, and on the edge. Engaging a third party to provide an attestation provides objectivity and independence to increase the confidentiality of computing for users.
In its first release, Project Amber plans to support confidential compute workloads deployed as bare metal containers, virtual machines (VMs), and containers running in virtual machines using Intel TEEs. The initial release will support Intel TEEs, with plans to expand coverage to platforms, devices and other TEEs in the future.
Intel also partners with independent software vendors (ISVs) to enable trust services, including Project Amber. New software tools, such as published APIs that allow ISVs to integrate Project Amber to extend software and services, will complement Intel’s platforms and technologies and add greater value to customers and partners.
Intel plans to launch a Project Amber customer pilot in the second half of 2022, followed by general availability in the first half of 2023.
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