Homomorphic Encryption is a cryptographic technique that allows computations to be performed directly on encrypted data without the need to decrypt it first. In other words, it enables computations on encrypted data while preserving the privacy and confidentiality of the underlying data. This property is particularly valuable when dealing with sensitive information, as it allows secure data processing in untrusted environments, such as cloud computing or third-party servers.
There are three main types of homomorphic encryption:
Partially Homomorphic Encryption: This type of encryption allows computation of certain mathematical operations on encrypted data, but not all operations. For example, it may support either homomorphic addition or homomorphic multiplication, but not both.
Somewhat Homomorphic Encryption: This type allows a broader set of operations to be performed on encrypted data. While it does not support arbitrary computations, it supports both addition and multiplication operations on encrypted data.
Fully Homomorphic Encryption (FHE): Fully Homomorphic Encryption is the most advanced type, as it enables arbitrary computations to be performed on encrypted data. This means it supports both addition and multiplication, and can thus handle complex computations without needing to decrypt the data.
The research community continues to work on advancing the state of homomorphic encryption. Researchers are exploring new mathematical techniques, algorithms, and optimizations to improve the efficiency, security, and practicality of homomorphic encryption. There is an active collaboration between academia, industry, and standardization bodies to further develop and standardize homomorphic encryption techniques.« Back to Glossary Index