In a recent interview published in the renowned French journal “La Tribune,” Sandrine Murcia, the CEO and co-founder of Cosmian, delved deep into the transformative potential of contemporary cryptography. Read the original article here. Here’s a summary of her insights:

The Power of Modern Cryptography: An Insight from Cosmian’s CEO

Data is the lifeblood of innovation. However, the very value of data is also its Achilles’ heel. To harness its potential, businesses often have to expose, share, and potentially risk the confidentiality of their data. This presents a dilemma for many companies: should they capitalize on their data or prioritize its confidentiality?

While regulations like the GDPR mandate the protection of personal data, other types of data, such as production data, financial data, and research results, pose similar challenges. The fear of exposing sensitive information often hampers innovation, especially in sectors like finance, health, and industry.

However, the landscape is changing, thanks to advancements in modern cryptography, particularly from French mathematicians. Techniques like homomorphic encryption, functional encryption, and Multi-Party Computation (MPC) are pushing the boundaries of traditional methods like anonymization. These cryptographic methods allow for the utilization of data while ensuring its confidentiality. For instance, homomorphic encryption enables operations on encrypted data without the need to decrypt it first.

Imagine the possibilities: Entity A could allow Entity B to compute on its data without revealing the actual data. This could be a manufacturer and its supplier or a medical lab and a research institute. Or, Entity A could entrust Entity B, perhaps a cloud platform, to perform computations while ensuring the confidentiality of both the data and the results. In scenarios where Entity B wants to protect its intellectual property, it can ensure that the results shared with Entity A don’t expose its proprietary algorithms.

Another significant application is data pooling. Entities A, B, and C can merge their data without any of them accessing the others’ data. This is invaluable for multi-source platforms like connected vehicles and smart cities or for developing shared services like cyber threat detection and predictive maintenance.

However, the cryptographic solutions required vary based on the specific situation. Factors like available computational power, performance constraints, and data sensitivity play a role in determining the right cryptographic approach. Thankfully, it’s now possible to industrialize these cryptographic methods into robust, user-friendly, and secure tools. These technologies pave the way for cooperative models that were previously hindered by mutual distrust.

With these advancements, businesses no longer face the data dilemma. They can innovate without the fear of compromising their data. Thanks to contemporary French cryptography, spearheaded by pioneers like Sandrine Murcia, co-founder of Cosmian, the long-promised new data economy might soon become a reality.