SafeCloud Privacy-Preserving Databases

More and more enterprises and end-users are moving their data and applications to Cloud Computing infrastructures as these provide cost-efficient and scalable solutions for storing and processing large-amounts of data. In fact, the benefits of cloud services are well known: virtually unlimited resources, fine-grained resource allocation, no up-front infrastructure costs, and access to the services from anywhere at any time.

Protection of services in the cloud

Computing clouds are not in line with many traditional security concepts like perimeter security on the basis of firewalls. Cloud Computing exposes all our computing power to the world. Our virtual machines run in parallel with all kinds of other competing virtual machines unknown to us. Our machines can even share a physical machine with them. In essence, the machines do not run on our premises with only friendly machines around them.

Multi Party Computing vs Trusted Third Parties

Multi party computing (MPC) is not as hyped as blockchain, but that is just because it does not offer fundamentally new things like the distributed ledger. The functionalities that MPC offers are not inherently different, because those tasks were previously solved with the help of trusted third parties. However, with the rising awareness about privacy in the general public and the legislature, using trusted third parties is frowned upon and in some cases it is even illegal.

SafeCloud storage

Using the cloud securely is easy, and so is leveraging the benefits offered by the cloud. Leveraging the benefits of the cloud securely, however, is hard. The SafeCloud project is about tradeoffs: provide enhanced security for efficient communication, storage and processing of data between the cloud and end-users at a reasonable cost. In this post, we summarise the SafeCloud consortium work on cloud storage.

How to prepare for vulnerabilities in secure communication channels

SSL/TLS communication channels play a very important role in Internet security. It is the “S” in HTTPS. It is the technology that makes our electronic conversations safe from eavesdropping. In the wake of attacks such as Logjam and DROWN, there are concerns about the strength of the security mechanisms used in TLS channels. In practice, this means that protocols and cipher suites once thought to be secure, can have vulnerabilities, and then become insecure. Systems need software updates to fix the problem.