Thursday, 29 December 2011

Granular Access To Encrypted Data in the Cloud


Newline Software announced the release of OPTIC, Online Privacy Technology In the Cloud. The solution allows developers to securely query, write, and read encrypted data to and from any cloud data store (e.g. Amazon S3, Windows Azure) without the cloud having any knowledge of that data.

Encrypted data stored in the cloud can only be decrypted by applications on the client device. With OPTIC developers can create solutions with 100% data privacy in the cloud.

Current secure cloud applications encrypt data with a key and store the data as a ‘blob’ in the cloud, or a single large collection of data. This does not allow granular access to or querying for the existence of data in the cloud. This presents a problem because these applications need to create and manage local catalogs to reference encrypted data.

Newline Software solves this problem using its own advancements in homomorphic computing to provide granular access inside encrypted data. OPTIC allows cloud applications to make requests through its Homomorphic Data Service (HDS) to query, write, and read encrypted data.

Furthermore, the company has developed a Homomorphic File System (HFS) that allows cloud applications to consume encrypted files and directories. For example, if a cloud application requests a file from HFS, HFS using OPTIC returns the file in encrypted form and decrypts it only after it is safely on the user’s computer.

“OPTIC eliminates the need to create local indexes for blobs in the cloud, since data can be queried directly with full privacy. OPTIC is configured to encrypt and query encrypted data as granular as 1 character and up to 1M characters,” says Kory Gill, co-founder of Newline Software.

The solution is the result of a three-year effort to provide complete privacy for the data stored in the cloud for its cloud-based backup & restore service. While the industry believes full homomorphic search will not be practical for at least 40 years, with OPTIC applications in the cloud can have exact homomorphic search today.

OPTIC is suited for a wide range of SAAS applications, including:

    * Distributed homomorphic storage
    * Cloud backup and restore
    * Cloud-based application storage (email, contacts, password lists)
    * Cloud-based collaboration (calendars, project management, workflow systems).

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