Programmers have long faced the challenge of needing unencrypted, plain-text data in order to be able to do anything useful with it, such as mathematical calculations. One goal is to be able to implement new cloud-based services such as medical or marketing analyses using fully encrypted data that isn't as vulnerable to attack as the plain version.
After years of work on the problem, IBM recently received a patent for a method known as fully homomorphic encryption, which allows encrypted data to be processed as is.
Big Blue said its invention would pave the way for more secure cloud computing services. Creating so-called "encrypted blobs" and using them with other encrypted blobs for processing can yield the same results as if the data were not encrypted.
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