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.

However, as recent reports have shown, cloud services are often exposed to security flaws that can result in the leakage of sensitive information from individuals or/and enterprises. These privacy issues justify why enterprises, concerned with their internal data, are reluctant to adopt the cloud paradigm. Information may be sensitive for a number of reasons, e.g., it is personal data, part of a business’ competitive advantage, or under regulatory frameworks designed to ensure privacy or confidentiality, such as the recent European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

In the SafeCloud project we designed a new generation of privacy-preserving database systems that ensure confidentiality for data being stored and processed at potentially untrusted third-party cloud infrastructures. The main novelty and goals of these SafeCloud database systems are:

• Providing practical solutions that expose both ANSI SQL and NoSQL interfaces, along with transactional support, so that existing applications can easily be integrated;

• Ensuring that data is protected at rest but also while being processed, which is not possible when resorting to existing commercial solutions;

• Re-using state-of-the art encryption schemes (e.g., symmetric encryption, deterministic encryption, order-preserving encryption) while integrating them in a flexible processing framework that can be fine-tuned for each application ensuring that the best trade-offs in terms of security, functionality and performance are achieved;

SafeCloud database solutions are designed with high-flexibility in mind which is key for building practical privacy-preserving database systems that can support a wide variety of applications with specific functionality, performance and privacy requirements.

More information about the SafeCloud database systems can be found at Also, further information regarding the SafeCloud industrial partners that are leveraging these secure solutions is available at