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What does it mean for your data to be safe? Perhaps more importantly, what does it mean for you to have “data sovereignty”, or complete ownership of your data?

For data sovereignty to be achieved you must have full access to your data at all times. It must be safe from hackers and viruses. It must be imperishable and free from any threat of loss. It must also be private. If other people or agencies have access to your data, then it is not under your sovereignty.

Decentralized cloud security platform Cryptyk describes it as, “when you have complete ownership of your own information and data, free from unwanted access by external actors or the danger of erasure or loss.” You must be able to access your data at any time, from any location, without fear of it being compromised or lost.

If such a situation is appealing to individuals, it is critical for businesses, particularly those which deal with highly sensitive and confidential data, such as finance, health and security services.

Though cloud storage was developed as a way to safely backup a user’s documents, it has become the only viable way to ensure full access to files without fear of their loss through hardware failure or damage. Any solution to the data sovereignty issue will involve cloud storage; the problem is that the current generation of providers are neither secure nor reliable enough to fit the needs of users, particularly enterprise clients.

The problem with cloud storage

Cloud storage providers must protect their clients’ data from both viruses and hackers. The centralized nature of current solutions means that viruses may spread to infect whole platforms. Furthermore, they present huge “honeypot” targets for determined hackers, leading to massive data breaches such as the Equifax and Netflix hacks.

Companies which store user data in the cloud must also ensure uptime of their servers. Sites hosted on the cloud are still vulnerable to denial-of-service attacks (DDoS) when thousands of infected devices attack a site together. This sudden increase in traffic prevents legitimate users from accessing the site. Hardware may also fail. A human error caused Amazon Web Service’s S3 system to go down for 4 hours in 2017, costing $150 million dollars in lost revenue for websites such as Netflix and Slack.

Furthermore there is the issue of trust. Currently we trust providers like Google, Amazon and Dropbox to look after our data and we assume they do not access it or monitor it. However, the technology provides no guarantees. There is no good reason to assume that our data will always be safe from rogue actors within these companies, or government agencies requesting secret access.

Solving cloud storage through blockchain technology

Cryptyk address these issues at the most fundamental level: the technology itself. Central to its solution are two decentralized platforms, VAULT and SENTRY.

VAULT encrypts files, splits them into five different pieces, encrypts each piece once more, and then stores each with a different storage provider: Amazon, Box, Google, IBM or Rackspace. The only way the original file can be reconstructed is by a user with the particular keys, stored offline.

Running in parallel, SENTRY uses blockchain technology to control all permissions and record user activity and access. Every time a file is accessed an immutable record is recorded to blockchain. An AI constantly checks file activity, and any unusual events are flagged. All access to VAULT is controlled through SENTRY, and SENTRY is only accessible through offline keys, stored on fingerprinted hardware devices.

In case this all sounds complicated and time-consuming, Cryptyk promises a less than 200 millisecond latency to access files. By using their blockchain-based technology, Cryptk allows users to feel confident that hackers will never be able to access their data. Even if the cloud storage providers were all compromised simultaneously, the user’s data could not be reconstructed without access to the offline private keys.

Uptime is also guaranteed by storing backups of each shard among the other storage nodes. If one of the nodes fails, its data shard can be reconstructed from these backups, ensuring the user has access to their data at all times.

Cryptyk says that it has achieved something truly unique: the very first provider of total data sovereignty with no latency in access times. For the first time cloud storage is truly secure, finally made possible through blockchain technology.

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