For years, research scientists have tinkered with a new form of encryption that could improve the security of data. Now the technology is getting a boost from some of the biggest cloud computing providers, who see it as a way of getting more business from corporate customers with highly-sensitive data, such as banking and health records.
Two cloud providers, Microsoft and Google, have released software tools over the past year aimed at encouraging developers to build software based on the technology, known as homomorphic encryption. IBM, where the first functioning version of the technology was invented in 2009, is working with customers who see it as a way to comply with data privacy laws and to solve other problems. There are signs Amazon, the largest cloud computing provider, is also interested in it.