The Revolutionary Encryption Technique Enabling Secure Computation on Encrypted Data

Kongsec
3 min readMay 5, 2023

In today’s digital world, data privacy and security have become crucial concerns for individuals and organizations alike. Encryption has been a popular approach to secure sensitive data, where data is transformed into an unreadable form that can only be decrypted using a decryption key. However, traditional encryption methods require data to be decrypted before it can be processed, which can expose it to potential attackers. Homomorphic encryption (HE) is a form of encryption that enables computation on encrypted data without first decrypting it. This revolutionary technique allows secure and private computation of sensitive data while keeping it protected from unauthorized access.

What is Homomorphic Encryption?

Homomorphic encryption is a cryptographic technique that enables computation on encrypted data without first decrypting it. In other words, it allows computations to be performed on ciphertext, which remains encrypted and secure, resulting in an encrypted result. Homomorphic encryption is a powerful tool for data privacy and security because it enables sensitive data to be processed and analyzed without exposing it to potential attackers.

Types of Homomorphic Encryption

There are three main types of homomorphic encryption: fully homomorphic encryption (FHE), partially homomorphic encryption (PHE), and somewhat homomorphic encryption (SHE). While FHE is the most powerful form of homomorphic encryption, allowing for arbitrary computations to be performed on encrypted data, it is currently computationally expensive and not yet practical for most use cases. PHE and SHE are less powerful but more practical forms of homomorphic encryption, allowing for specific types of computations to be performed on encrypted data.

Examples of Homomorphic Encryption

Homomorphic encryption has the potential to transform the way organizations handle sensitive data, particularly in industries such as healthcare, finance, and government. Here are some examples of how homomorphic encryption is being used:

  1. Medical Research: Homomorphic encryption is being used in medical research to enable secure computation on genomic data. Genomic data is highly sensitive and valuable, making it a prime target for cyber attacks. By using homomorphic encryption, researchers can securely compute on encrypted genomic data without revealing it to potential attackers.
  2. Cloud Computing: Homomorphic encryption is being used in cloud computing to enable secure computation on data stored in the cloud. Cloud computing offers many benefits, but also poses security risks, particularly for sensitive data. By using homomorphic encryption, organizations can perform computations on encrypted data in the cloud without exposing it to potential attackers.
  3. Financial Transactions: Homomorphic encryption is being used in financial transactions to enable secure computation on encrypted financial data. Financial data is highly sensitive and valuable, making it a prime target for cyber attacks. By using homomorphic encryption, financial institutions can perform computations on encrypted data without exposing it to potential attackers.

Resources for Learning More about Homomorphic Encryption

If you’re interested in learning more about homomorphic encryption, here are some resources to get you started:

  1. Homomorphic Encryption: What It Is and Why It Matters — Medium
  2. A Gentle Introduction to Homomorphic Encryption — Towards Data Science
  3. Fully Homomorphic Encryption: Cryptography’s Holy Grail? — IEEE Spectrum

Conclusion

Homomorphic encryption is a powerful tool for data privacy and security, enabling computation on encrypted data without first decrypting it. While fully homomorphic encryption is still in the early stages of development, partially and somewhat homomorphic encryption are already being used in real-world applications. With the increasing importance of data privacy and security, homomorphic encryption is poised to become an essential tool for protecting sensitive data.

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Kongsec

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