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End-to-End Confidential Computing
for Europe’s Cloud-Edge Continuum


A unique innovation proposal for topic HORIZON-CL3-2023-CS-01-02 coordinated by OpenNebula Systems.

Confid Project

Open source impacts the digital autonomy of Europe. Against the hyperscalers in the cloud, it is likely that open source can give Europe a chance to create and maintain its own, independent digital approach and stay in control of its processes, its information and its technology

The evolution of our interconnected society brings multiple layers of cloud, edge computing, and IoT platforms that continuously interact with each other. Yet this always-connected ecosystem populated with potentially vulnerable entities requires advanced, smart and agile protection mechanisms to manage the security and privacy of individual components throughout their lifecycle and of overall systems. Integrating end-to-end security and user-centric privacy in complex distributed platforms requires work to address security threats and vulnerabilities over the entire platform ecosystem.

The goal of the CONFID Project is to develop an innovative open source framework to enable end-to-end Confidential Computing across a highly-distributed computing continuum, supporting true protection of data and communications. This Project contributes to consolidating European technological sovereignty in the Cybersecurity sector, creating robust digital infrastructures able to support the secure use of IoT solutions and Data Spaces. The basic idea is to bring confidentiality to the entire data lifecycle in the cloud-edge continuum, guaranteeing that sensitive data will always be safeguarded; in transit, at rest, and while in use.

The Project will expand the state of the art in confidential virtualization over highly-distributed infrastructures, and its management and orchestration to enable a multi-provider, vendor-neutral confidential computing continuum. CONFID will allow the secure integration of untrusted resources from public cloud providers or on-premise edge/cloud locations, the secure interoperability and integration of heterogeneous cloud and IoT systems, and the development of innovative AI-enabled automation tools for cyber-threat intelligence. The results of the Project will help to unleash the full power of end-to-end Confidential Computing by keeping data always encrypted in the Secure Computing Continuum.

The Consortium combines iconic European open source companies, high-impact research & innovation organizations, and several sensitive application providers. CONFID will be validated in four strategic EU domains: eGovernment, Industrial IoT, Open Finance, and Railway Safety. This project—a tangible product of the interactions within the European Alliance for Industrial Data, Edge & Cloud—will be transformative for the EU cybersecurity and IoT/edge ecosystem, providing valuable knowledge and open source technological resources to European start-ups, SMEs, and industry leaders seeking to leverage Confidential Computing along the whole continuum.

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