Azure Confidential Computing Available in Public Preview

Microsoft recently announced a public preview version of its Azure Confidential Computing. The Confidential Computing project focuses on securing users data while it's in use. For Microsoft, protecting data while in use is the final piece of the data protection problem allowing for protection while in use, in transit, and at rest. The first two tools in public preview under the Confidential Computing projects are the DC-series virtual machines and an open source version of the Open Enclave SDK.

Confidential Computing falls under the broader Confidential Cloud that Microsoft has been working diligently on. The ultimate goal of the Confidential Cloud is to make both data and code opaque to the cloud provider holding that data. It's am ambitious project, but Microsoft has tested its introductory tools under private beta and is ready for a public preview.

The DC-series of virtual machines is now available in public preview in the eastern US and western Europe. The machines should feel and look like standard virtual machines for existing Azure developers; however, the hardware on the backend is based on Trusted Execution Environments (TEEs). The hardware backed solution allows Microsoft to achieve its in use data protection goal. To try it out, look for the DC-Series VM in the Azure Marketplace.

The Open Enclave SDK is an open source SDK that allows for the creation of a single unified enclaving abstraction for developers to build TEE-based applications. The SDK is available for public preview is portable across enclave technologies (e.g. cloud, hybrid, edge, on-prem). The goal is to be flexible from an architectural standpoint. To learn more, check out the Open Enclave site and the API docs.

Be sure to read the next Privacy article: New Report Finds that Facebook SDK Automatically Pulls Data from Many Popular Android Apps