CipherMode officially comes out of stealth mode today!
This marks the beginning of a long journey in which we strive to fundamentally change how data is being shared and consumed in data-driven projects.
Today, most people believe there is an inherent trade-off between data utility and data confidentiality. Organizations increasingly face a big dilemma on how and to what extent they should leverage their data, make it accessible, and even consider sharing data with other entities. It appears that one can choose to either protect data and restrict access or leverage data while accepting data disclosure risks.
This is, to an extent, what I initially thought back when I was doing my PhD at UC San Diego. There have been decades of interesting work in cryptography that, in theory, reduced this utility-confidentiality trade-off, but realistically it was more of a research exercise than something that could be widely adopted. A few years back, I met my co-founder Ilya, and we started to build a modern database system for processing encrypted data. After a year, we were able to provide a service that can return the encrypted version of the most similar item within a database without seeing the content of the query! In that project, we noticed that the power of secure computation is not well-understood. We decided that it was a golden time to take it upon ourselves to try to change that, so we decided to start CipherMode Labs.
We at CipherMode want to change the status quo using advanced cryptographic technologies. Our products allow enterprises to encrypt data at the source and still be able to efficiently process them, extract value, and thrive. Encrypted data will never be decrypted, even during the computation phase itself. Our platform even allows multiple organizations to collaborate without disclosing their data to each other or any third party.
Our mission is to democratize secure computation.
We are a team of cryptographers, software engineers, and entrepreneurs determined to make this technology accessible to all.
The Launch of CipherCore
Today, we are open-sourcing CipherCore, our secure data analytics platform. Our goal is to accelerate technology adoption, increase transparency, and welcome all privacy advocates and technology enthusiasts to join forces. Protecting data at all times while facilitating seamless collaboration is bigger than any single company, but we are determined to be at the forefront of this tectonic shift.
A New World
"You would make a ship sail against the winds and currents by lighting a bonfire under her deck? I have no time for such nonsense." - Napoleon, on Robert Fulton's Steamship
If secure computation sounds magical, it's because it is. It's hard to overestimate its full potential.
With the advent of secure communication and TLS, people could send secret messages over an untrusted communication channel, the Internet. Well, how important could it be? It became a bedrock for many businesses, including e-commerce. Without TLS, there would be no Amazon. But very few people saw that coming at the time.
Imagine a computation fabric across enterprises that can guarantee data confidentiality during a joint computation. It will increase information flow and lead to more innovation and growth. Think about the effect of data sharing in detecting fraud, healthcare services, drug discovery, and supply-chain. Secure computation is a common denominator for a significant improvement in all of the above.
Supporters and Believers
We were looking to find like-minded partners and supporters who believe in our vision and can help us accomplish our goals. We are happy to share our $6.7M series seed financing led by Innovation Endeavors and major participation from Pillar. I was impressed by the depth of their knowledge, the sophisticated thought process, and their overall vision for data ecosystems. We are thrilled to be partnering with them. In addition, we are grateful for support from the National Science Foundation and thirteen entrepreneurs, executives, and technologists who decided to join us on this journey.
Our team includes 6 PhDs, 2 ICPC gold medalists from Microsoft Research, Google, Amazon AWS, IBM, and DARPA, all of whom see the future revolving around securely sharing and using data for better predictive powers. We're on a mission to bring this technology to the masses and are seeing strong traction in the market. I'm genuinely proud of our [small] team's accomplishments thus far. It's true… the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
> We are hiring across all roles; reach out to us: firstname.lastname@example.org