Intel renews commitment to confidential computing

computing

(Image credit: Future)

Intel has announced a new SaaS product, codenamed Project Amber, that promises to solve a fundamental cybersecurity challenge for businesses.

Unveiled by Greg Lavender, Intel CTO, during a keynote address at Intel Vision 2022, Project Amber is described as a Trust-as-a-Service (TaaS) offering that provides remote verification of trustworthiness across cloud, edge and on-prem environments.

The service is slated to enter pilot before the end of the year, and will also be integrated into products from third-party software vendors further down the line.

Confidential computing

During his keynote speech, Lavender returned repeatedly to the importance of advances in confidential computing, a practice whereby data is protected in use (as well as in transit and at rest) courtesy of a trusted hardware-based execution environment. 

At the heart of confidential computing is a process known as attestation, whereby the trustworthiness of an environment is verified. Although attestation is common practice, the innovation on offer with Project Amber is the decoupling of attestation authority from the infrastructure provider.

“This decoupling helps provide objectivity and independence to enhance trust assurance to users and application developers,” explained Lavender.

“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 the verification of compute assets at the network, edge and in the cloud.” 

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At launch, Project Amber will be a “cloud agnostic, multi-cloud, federated service with provable integrity of its verification processes”, the Intel Vision audience was told.

Lavender also promised Intel has plenty more up its sleeve where software and security services are concerned. The company has invested $250 million in open source security in the last half-decade, and plans to increase this level of funding by “double-digit percentages”.

According to Lavender, the synergistic relationship between the hardware and software under development at Intel will allow the company to launch a variety of new subscription services in the future.

These messages echoed earlier comments from CEO Pat Gelsinger, who yesterday told media the company plans to “do a lot more SaaS”.

“We believe silicon plus SaaS equals solutions, and you’re going to see us doing a lot more of that solutioning,” he said.

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