How Will Homomorphic Encryption Change Prototyping
Manufacturing is a world full of highly sensitive, extremely private data. Data is a key competitive advantage — think Coca-Cola’s secret formula. But often, manufacturers need to entrust sensitive data to someone outside the organization as a means of growing their business. There’s no better example than prototyping.
It takes a team to create something new and revolutionary, and not every company has the in-house expertise to do it right. But outsourcing means pulling back the curtain on their data. While a bit daunting, homomorphic encryption could revolutionize the prototyping process, and bring data security with it.
What is homomorphic encryption?
Homomorphic encryption sounds complicated — and it is — but understanding it is simpler than most realize. The technology allows the manipulation of encrypted data, without decrypting it. Within the homomorphic encryption environment, collaborators work together under the supervision of a controller. Collaborators are unable to extract data, but they can manipulate it.
With homomorphic encryption, companies can easily outsource data-related needs to a third-party without worrying about security breaches.
How will homomorphic encryption change prototyping?
While homomorphic encryption has many uses, one likely to gain immediate traction in manufacturing is prototyping. Working on a prototype means sifting through a huge amount of sensitive data — including product specs, application data, materials information, and more. Manufacturers often need help processing this data but can’t afford for it to fall into the wrong hands.
In a homomorphic encryption environment, manufacturers retain control of their data, ensuring better security. Giving data transparency to a third-party is unnerving, but there is little to worry about when working in a homomorphic encryption environment. The environment’s inherent security lets manufacturers collaborate on better prototypes with the help of outside experts and no risk to proprietary data.
Future benefits to consider
Homomorphic encryption offers many benefits to the manufacturing industry. The ability to work in a controlled, secure environment changes the game for prototype development and refinement. Benefits include:
- Control over proprietary data. Manufacturers can share data without revealing proprietary information. Collaborators have limited access to data by design.
- Faster prototype ideation. Prototype ideas will come to fruition faster with shared expertise in a secure collaboration environment.
- Improve data transparency. Collaborators can easily interact with data without worrying about sourcing from other places. Data is secure and all in one place.
- Fewer potential security gaps. Since manufacturers retain full control of their data in a homomorphic environment, breaches are less likely to occur.
- Enhanced collaboration opportunities. Homomorphic encryption allows collaborators from all around the world can work with data.
When will we see homomorphic prototyping?
The idea of homomorphic encryption has been around for decades. It was finally put into practice on a small scale during the 2010s. Many more companies are expected to adopt homomorphic encryption — for prototype development and other collaborative needs — within the next few years. Because homomorphic encryption offers an easy way to outsource data manipulation to third-party companies and other experts, it’s likely to gain momentum quickly.
As manufacturing continues to remain the target of data breaches and other cyberattacks, demand for this type of technology is on the rise. For manufacturers with proprietary prototyping data, homomorphic encryption is essential.