Homomorphic Encryption

Homomorphic Encryption

Established: March 27, 2016


News & features

News & features

News & features

News & features


Featured News

Kristin Lauter in front of Microphone for Podcast

Tales from the Crypt(ography) Lab with Dr. Kristin Lauter | Microsoft Research Podcast, April 11, 2018

The Second Homomorphic Encryption Standardization Workshop

Second homomorphic encryption standardization workshop delivers the goods | Microsoft Research Blog, April 10, 2018

Homomorphic Encryption

Homomorphic Encryption (HE) refers to a special type of encryption technique that allows for computations to be done on encrypted data, without requiring access to a secret (decryption) key. The results of the computations are encrypted, and can be revealed only by the owner of the secret key.


While traditional encryption schemes can be used to privately outsource data storage to the cloud, the data cannot be used for computations without first decrypting it. This results in a huge loss of utility. For example, a secure cloud service may require a user to download their encrypted data, decrypt it locally, and perform necessary computations, instead of simply returning an encrypted result to the user.

Homomorphic encryption solves this problem, as it allows the cloud service to perform the computations while protecting the customer’s data with a state-of-the-art cryptographic security guarantee. The cloud only ever sees encrypted data, and only the customer can reveal the result of the computation.

Microsoft SEAL

We developed and actively maintain Microsoft SEAL, a library with the goal of making homomorphic encryption available in an easy-to-use form both to experts and to non-experts. For more information visit sealcrypto.org. Microsoft SEAL is available for download on GitHub.


We demonstrated (see paper) that deep learning on homomorphically encrypted data is indeed feasible. This approach can have a wide range of applications in cloud industry, healthcare, genomics, and finance.


We are actively working towards the standardization of homomorphic encryption. Towards this effort, we’ve hosted two previous workshops, gathering together a large group of experts from industry, academia, and government to discuss the way ahead. More information on the standardization efforts can be found at http://HomomorphicEncryption.org.

Learn more about the next Homomorphic Encryption Standardization Workshop on August 17, 2019.


Selected talks

Additional news

Microsoft Open-Sources Its SEAL Encryption Technology Allowing Computations on Encrypted Data
CardRates | January 31, 2019

Microsoft Open Sources Homomorphic Encryption Library “SEAL”
Computer Business Review | January 2, 2019

Microsoft open sources (SEAL) Simple Encrypted Arithmetic Library 3.1.0, with aims to standardize homomorphic encryption
Packt | December 4, 2018

Microsoft Open Sources SEAL Homomorphic Encryption Library
Decipher | December 3, 2018

Microsoft SEAL Arrives as Simple and Efficient Homomorphic Encryption Solution
WinBuzzer | December 3, 2018

The Future of Cryptography
Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering | September 14, 2018

MAA Focus
MAA Focus | June/July 2016

Microsoft and Google Want to Let Artificial Intelligence Loose on Our Most Private Data
MIT Technology Review | April 19, 2016

Microsoft boosts the speed of homomorphic encryption systems
IT Direction | February 9, 2016

Encryption Tech Released by Microsoft for Bioinformatics
HealthAim | November 17, 2015

Microsoft helps healthcare with homomorphic seals
TechEye | November 17, 2015

Microsoft boffins build better crypto for secure medical data crunching
The Register | November 16, 2015

Microsoft helps out healthcare sector with new data encryption algorithm
Softpedia | November 16, 2015

Microsoft Launch SEAL
Heat Project Blog | November 16, 2015

Microsoft releases encryption tech for bioinformatics
It News | November 16, 2015

Microsoft to provide new encryption algorithm for the Healthcare Sector
Slashdot | November 16, 2015

Core Concept: Homomorphic encryption
PNAS | July 14, 2015

How Apple, Google, and Microsoft approach genetic research and secure DNA data in the cloud
Splinter | May 13, 2015

New Community Challenge seeks to Evaluate Methods of Computing on Encrypted Genomic Data
Genomeweb | November 14, 2014

A Cipher for Your Genome 
Council for Responsible Genetics | Jan-Apr 2014 Issue

Alice and Bob in Cipherspace
American Scientist | Sept-Oct 2012 Issue