When it comes to my data in the cloud, I want my service providers to keep security in mind. Few things worry me more than knowing my private information is not secure, or is being shared with untrusted collaborators.

That’s why the recent announcement from SAS, our partner Microsoft, and chipmaker AMD to launch Azure confidential computing for SAS® Viya® on Azure is so important to me. The integration builds upon decades of innovation and provides additional benefits for enterprises to move their data into the cloud securely.

Vikas Bhatia, Head of Product, Azure Confidential Computing, Microsoft

I recently spoke with Vikas Bhatia, Head of Product for Azure confidential computing, in a webinar about this technology and its importance to data-driven organizations. Here’s what I was able to take away from the webinar about the future of data security in the cloud.

Organizations are responsible for offering secure data

Security is often viewed as a technology play but is also beneficial for organizations. Protecting data in use helps meet compliance rules and unlocks value without ceding control, allowing data to stay protected throughout the entire data life cycle. Consequently, more sensitive data can be brought to the cloud, saving organizational costs. As Vikas said during the webinar, “[Organizations] have the responsibility to ensure that customers trust in us to manage their data properly.”

Understand that the ‘public cloud’ can be the ‘private cloud’

One incorrect belief many detractors of the cloud claim is that the public cloud lacks security because everyone shares resources. Azure confidential computing applies encryption to data in memory using hardware-based keys, helping to ensure that data is not accessible to unauthorized third parties, including any Azure operator.

This type of innovation is also important across a variety of industries. For example, confidential computing helps banks conduct money laundering investigations, helping organizations collaborate and share processed data associated with fraudulent transactions without exposing customers' data.

Recognize that anyone can be a champion of security

Security shouldn’t be up to leadership, but instead a shared responsibility for everyone. SAS’ technology allows anyone – from the data scientist to the business user – to get involved in how information is protected. When everyone has a stake in the outcome, there is a greater interest in ensuring data security is part of the initial conversation. As Vikas noted, adopting confidential computing “boils down to wanting to protect data during its entire life cycle, and that’s where Azure confidential computing comes into play.”

Confidential computing for SAS Viya on Microsoft Azure can transform your organization, providing cost-effective protection for all your data through the analytics life cycle. Learn more about Azure confidential computing for SAS Viya.


About Author

Marty Tomasi

Senior Director, Product Management

Marty Tomasi, Senior Director of Product Management, is responsible for driving overall partner integration and cloud strategy for SAS. Tomasi was previously Chief Architect and Director of SAS’s Technology Office from 2014-2018, and had led SAS’s Middle Tier Platform and its Java efforts for several years prior to that. Tomasi has been instrumental in leading SAS to adopt cloud-native architectures and business models. He is also regularly engaged in customer- and partner-facing roles for SAS, based on his strong belief that SAS’s success comes from being an indispensable partner. A 27-plus year veteran of SAS, Tomasi has also held a range of positions at IBM, Deloitte, and North Carolina State University. He has also served on the Technical Advisory Board of the Cloud Foundry Foundation.

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