Agita Labs Brings Always-Encrypted Computing To Azure Cloud


Agita Labs announced that its TrustForge secure computation capability is now available in the Microsoft Azure cloud.

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. The data and its decryption keys stay encrypted at all times, keeping them safe from attackers, developers and IT staff. The company said it plans to make TrustForge available on Amazon Web Services and for on-premises installations by year end.

“Trying to find and fix every last vulnerability is a losing battle, the code is too complex, and the attackers are too clever. 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,” said Todd Austin, CEO and Co-Founder, Agita Labs.

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 specialised hardware instead of maths 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. 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,” said Alex Kisil, Director of Engineering, Agita Labs.

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 in the cloud. Applications like medical EMR data, financial data, private machine learning and recommendation, privatised surveillance and genomics information can now be uploaded to the cloud for always-secure and auditable sharing.

Backed by Intel Corporation and a host of Bay area investors, Agita Labs’ sequestered encryption technology has been designed to be secure, robust and accessible to programmers. It can be deployed quickly into existing cloud-based installations and accessed by programmers using simple encrypted-data-type extensions available in C++, Python and Javascript.

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.