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Crack the Nasuni Prize File, Win $5,000
NATICK, Mass., June 22, 2010 â€“- /BackupReview.info/ — Nasuni (www.nasuni.com), the leading gateway to cloud storage, today announced a bold challenge (http://www.nasuni.com/news/cloud-storage-challenge-security/) to industry skeptics: Successfully reveal the contents of the file stored in the cloud by a Nasuni Filer, and win $5,000. The announcement, which follows on the heels of a release detailing the top 5 security concerns facing any cloud service, marks the start of a multi-pronged campaign to demonstrate that these concerns are surmountable.
“We’re aware that many businesses are dubious about cloud storage for security reasons,” said Nasuni CEO and co-founder Andres Rodriguez. “Data leakage is a major concern. With cloud storage, you have to entrust your data to an outside party, and your data is swimming around in the cloud with other customersâ€™ data. Intuitively, it seems risky. Customers are smart to be wary. But weâ€™ve built a system that protects against these risks. Weâ€™re confident that Nasuni can keep your data safe in the cloud, and we are willing to go the distance to prove it.â€
To protect against leakage, the Nasuni Filer uses OpenPGP (http://bit.ly/bQO57P) â€”one of the most widely used and respected cryptosystems today â€” to encrypt all data before it leaves the customerâ€™s premises. When in transit or at rest in the cloud, data is opaque to prying eyes. It can be decrypted only by flowing back through the Filer into the privacy of the customerâ€™s office. The Filer masks everything â€” not just data, but filenames, file sizes, timestamps, and more. The encryption, performed by the AES-256 cipher, is fast, so users donâ€™t have to sacrifice performance for security. And, to ensure that no customer can accidentally access anotherâ€™s data, in spite of the shared storage resources of the cloud, each customer has a unique key.
To demonstrate OpenPGP’s effectiveness, Nasuni has made public a handful of files written to the cloud by a Nasuni Filer. Among them is the Prize File, with a top-secret message inside. The first person to decode the file and reveal the secret message will win $5,000. According to Nasuni president and co-founder Rob Mason, â€œNo one will succeed. Weâ€™re sure of that. OpenPGP has been poked and prodded for years. Attacking the encryption layer is, practically speaking, futile. The security community already knows that. We want everyone to know.â€
â€œThis is really a demonstration in the guise of a challenge,â€ said David Shaw, the architect of Nasuniâ€™s security model and one of the authors of the IETF OpenPGP standard. â€œModern encryption, when implemented properly, thoroughly protects against data leakage. Our design, encrypting at the edge and never allowing even a single byte of customer data to enter the cloud unprotected, allows us to extract the full benefit of modern encryption.â€
â€œOur goal here,â€ Rodriguez added, â€œis to convince people that cloud storage, with the right security protocols in place, is no riskier than in-house storage. If a security breach happens, it wonâ€™t be in the cloud. Someone may still peek under the desk of the IT guy and steal a password off a Post-it note â€” we canâ€™t control that â€” but we can be sure your data is safe in the cloud. We walk the walk: We store all our own data â€” even our HR data â€” in the cloud with a Nasuni Filer. We know itâ€™s safe because weâ€™ve made it safe.”
â€œBusinesses won’t put real data into the cloud until they are comfortable that it’s as secure as it is within their own four walls. Nasuni is tackling that issue head on – proving they can deliver. The challenge is a great way to get the word out â€“ that the cloud really is ready for mission critical data. In reality, this data is even more secure than if it sat inside the company’s own data center 99% of the time,â€ said Steve Duplessie, Sr. Analyst at ESG.
â€œAs a law office, weâ€™ve got incredibly sensitive files, so itâ€™s hard to make the leap and say, sure, weâ€™ll trust the cloud with our files,â€ said Henry Chace, Chief Information Officer at Burns & Levinson LLP. â€œI like Nasuniâ€™s approach â€” encrypt the files so securely that you donâ€™t have to trust the cloud for security. Your files are locked and protected no matter what happens. That makes it easier to say, yes, Iâ€™ll put my files up there.â€
After 30 days, Nasuni will donate the unwon $5,000 to the Free Software Foundation (http://www.fsf.org) as a thank-you for the Gnu Project â€” specifically GnuPG, a Free Software implementation of the OpenPGP standard. Said Rodriguez, â€œThe Gnu Project continues to inspire technical excellence among the best and brightest minds. They are the real heroes.â€
For further details on Nasuniâ€™s security model and its take on cloud security in general, the company invites you to read Understanding Security in Cloud Storage, a newly posted white paper: http://www5.nasuni.com/l/2922/2010-06-14/GTL7
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