Based on Agita’s sequestered encryption technology, TrustForge enables users to upload data to the cloud while retaining complete control over who can view and process it. Both the data and its decryption keys stay encrypted at all times, keeping them safe from attackers, developers and IT staff.
Agita Labs CEO and co-founder Todd Austin said the company also has plans to make TrustForge available on Amazon Web Services and for on-premises installations by the end of 2022.
“Trying to find and fix every last vulnerability is a losing battle–-the code is too complex and the attackers are too clever,” said Todd Austin, CEO and co-founder of Agita Labs. “TrustForge tips the balance of power from the attacker to the defender by keeping data always encrypted and accessible only by a provably secure cryptographic enclave deployed in the cloud. Even if the system is hacked, data stays secure.”
Austin explains that the principle behind TrustForge—computing on encrypted data—is similar to that of fully homomorphic encryption (FHE), which uses elaborate mathematical equations to process encrypted data without revealing its contents. But, TrustForge differs in that it uses specialized hardware instead of math to keep data secure. That makes its computing overhead thousands of times smaller and avoids the cumbersome programming restrictions of FHE.
“Our TrustForge secure computation framework was designed with devops programmers in mind,” said Alex Kisil, Agita Labs’ director of engineering. “We can quickly deploy TrustForge to solve specific data privacy needs, to stop data breaches and give users and their customers peace of mind when sharing sensitive data,”
The technology’s combination of high security, low computing overhead and ease of deployment enables cloud-based processing for data types that were previously too risky to trust to the cloud. Applications like medical EMR data, financial data, private machine learning and recommendation, privatized surveillance and genomics information can now be uploaded to the cloud for always-secure and auditable sharing.
Agita Labs is a spin-off startup from the University of Michigan where Austin, along with chief scientist and co-founder Valeria Bertacco, worked on the DARPA-funded Morpheus secure CPU. Morpheus proved itself by successfully fending off 500+ attackers for three months. TrustForge brings the next generation of that technology to the cloud with improved security and programmability.