Data Privacy Beyond Encryption

Encryption has long been the one of if not the preferred method for securing the data stored on and shared between computers. Using an algorithm to transform data into a form in which there is a low probability of assigning meaning, encrypted data can only be deciphered with the use of a confidential key. Even as organizations across the globe began to migrate data in increasing volumes to the cloud over the last decade, data security has been more or less synonymous with encryption, remaining relatively undisrupted despite the rapidly changing technological landscape.

During the same time period, though, the prevalence and financial consequences of data breaches have skyrocketed, increasing 130% between 2006 and 2019 according to a 2019 IBM report. As the sensitivity level of compromised data is a key determining factor in the cost of a breach, it’s clear modern organizations have a lot to gain from taking additional steps to more effectively eliminate the sensitivity of data and ensure data privacy.

Poised for Cloud Data Security Disruption

Today, less than half of enterprise data in the cloud has been encrypted, and there are several factors that contribute to the lack of comprehensive implementation. First, encryption is notorious for causing performance drag, which can be even harder to tolerate in the cloud where there is also latency to contend with. Encryption also adds significant complexity, friction and management costs to compute infrastructure, applications and workflow. Key management, which is the pilar of an effective encryption strategy, is also more complex in the age of cloud as organizations grapple with questions about whether to trust keys with third-party cloud providers or tackle the challenge themselves.

Certainly, encryption still plays a key role in an effective data security strategy. Even when implemented properly, though, it’s no longer bullet-proof in today’s high-speed compute environment where backers also have access to faster and cheaper GPUs.

ShardSecure’s Microshard™ technology provides a revolutionary new approach to eliminating data sensitivity, providing organizations security, privacy and compliance beyond encryption. ShardSecure breaks data into fragments that can be as small as single-digit bytes, mixes and pollutes with false shards, then distributes data to multiple locations to ensure total privacy and zero data sensitivity for our customers.

An attacker intercepting Microsharded data has no way to put the pieces back together because they will always have an incomplete dataset. Reconstituting data fragments requires most or all of the data fragments, something the attacker cannot obtain without compromising all possible storage locations everywhere. This is contrasted with encryption, in which the full set of compromised sensitive data can be unscrambled and exploited with enough time and compute power.

ShardSecure turns the attacker’s challenge from a time and compute power problem to a time, compute power and spatial problem. Encryption may slow an attacker down, but Microshard data protection persists over time. Faster computers, event quantum computers, would not help an attacker as they cannot unscramble data they do not have.

Augment or Replace Current Encryption Solutions

Importantly, customers don’t need to choose between ShardSecure and encryption. Microshard technology can be layered with existing encryption to augment protection and mitigate the risks of a breach in the event of lost or stolen keys, cloud misconfiguration or other exposure. ShardSecure works transparently with data encrypted before (app-based) Microsharding or after (storage-based) Microsharding.

Some users also choose to replace encryption altogether with Microshard technology and avoid the overhead of key management solutions. Plus, for the many vulnerable datasets that have not been encrypted at rest, either because they have been overlooked as ‘sensitive’ or are unstructured sets contained within PDFs, spreadsheets, images and more, ShardSecure provides a quick, easy way to eliminate data sensitivity and ensure total privacy.

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