Based on Agita’s sequestered encryption technology, TrustForge allows users to upload data to the cloud, while retaining full control over who can view and process it. Both data and decryption keys remain encrypted at all times, protecting them from attackers, developers and IT personnel.
Agita Labs CEO and co-founder Todd Austin said the company also plans to make TrustForge available on Amazon Web Services and for on-site installations by the end of 2022.
“It’s a losing battle to find and fix every last vulnerability — the code is too complex and the attackers are too smart,” said Todd Austin, CEO and co-founder of Agita Labs. “TrustForge makes a difference between the attacker and the defender by keeping data encrypted at all times and accessible only to a demonstrably secure cryptographic enclave deployed in the cloud. Even if the system is hacked, the data remains safe.”
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 rather than math to secure data. That reduces computing overhead thousands of times and avoids the cumbersome programming limitations of FHE.
“Our TrustForge framework for secure computation was designed with devops programmers in mind,” said Alex Kisil, technical director of Agita Labs. “We can quickly deploy TrustForge to solve specific data privacy needs, stop data breaches, and give users and their customers peace of mind when sharing sensitive data,”
The combination of high security, low computing overhead and easy implementation of the technology enables cloud-based processing for data types that were previously too risky to rely on the cloud. Applications such as medical EHR data, financial data, private machine learning and recommendations, privatized surveillance and genomics information can now be uploaded to the cloud for secure and auditable sharing at all times.
Agita Labs is a spin-off startup from the University of Michigan, where Austin, along with lead scientist and co-founder Valeria Bertacco, worked on the DARPA-funded Morpheus secure CPU. Morpheus proved himself by successfully repelling more than 500 attackers for three months. TrustForge brings the next generation of that technology to the cloud with enhanced security and programmability.