SpiderOak’s Crypton Addresses Growing Privacy Concerns

Despite a recent Cisco study that found most college students, young workers, and IT professionals (60%) believe the age of privacy is dead, SpiderOak believes 2013 will be the year privacy was found. The developer of ‘zero-knowledge’ privacy cloud technologies has released Crypton, an open source ‘zero-knowledge’ application framework (ZKAF) that is intended to push privacy further into the web than previously possible.

Developed initially for internal use to deal with the trends towards moving to smaller and smaller devices, more and more data, and the emergence of online file sharing and collaboration services, Crypton will, in part, empower everyone to use cryptography, said SpiderOak CEO Ethan Oberman. Applying this framework means that any data generated by an application will never be readable on the server it is stored and remains private and in full control of the end user. Developers and users will get the benefits of ‘zero-knowledge’ privacy without having to understand the specifics of cryptography and encryption, he said. All generated user data is encrypted before it leaves the device, through rest, until it arrives back on the device where the application is running.

Although a relatively new offering, business-oriented OFS services are drawing lot of attention. According to Enterprise Strategy Group, one third of organizations have established corporate OSF accounts, and that number is expected to grow to over 50%. In addition to Dropbox and Box, major IT vendors like EMC (Syncplicity), Citrix (ShareFile), IBM (MobileFirst) and the latest entrant, SAP, are looking to address this market. However security is a big concern for companies that have deployed or are considering OFS, and the number one inhibitor for companies not deploying OFS, said ESG.

Although SpiderOak chose to release Crypton at last weeks’ RSA 2013 security conference, it believes there is a difference between privacy and security. One of the things that you see at RSA is the vendors all talking about security, not privacy, said Oberman. “We believe that privacy is going to be a significant issue moving forward as people start to pull back from ‘how much data do I have out there, and who has access to it’.”

The company thinks the open-source framework create a new environment for vendors to create secure and private collaborative offerings. It has done well with the zero-based knowledge focus and believes it can continue to flourish as it gathers momentum. “We’ve always focused on privacy and understanding privacy in the technology world,” said Oberman.


Author: Steve Wexler

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