Q&A With Massimo Bertaccini – Cryptolab

Aviva Zacks Aviva Zacks

Safety Detectives: Please share your company background, how you got started, and your mission.

Cyptolab: I started Cryptolab in 2009 as laboratory research in the field of cryptography and cybersecurity. My background is in mathematics, and I got a Ph.D. in financial computation. I filed my first patent in cryptography in 2009, and then I decided to start Cryptolab. In 2011 we got a commitment from Vodafone NV for a new system of digital payment; then we incorporated Cryptolab Europe in 2012 and Cryptolab Inc. in the US in 2015. Right now, Cryptolab Group detects more than 20 patents in cryptography and cybersecurity algorithms and systems.

Cryptolab is the private company that invented the “Homomorphic Search Encryption.” This new technology can search for data even if encrypted, preserving privacy and data security in the phase of processing and transmitting.

Our mission is to give a better level of privacy and security to the world through our Crypto Search Engine.

SD: What is the main service your company offers?

Cyptolab: Our main service is Crypto Search Engine (CSE). It represents a technological solution based on homomorphism, “a transformation that preserves the information.” It is able to offer search/browsing/manipulation on encrypted data—”zero-knowledge.” Encrypted sensitive data stored on public cloud providers will eventually be fully accessible by data owners only, still allowing cloud providers to offer search/browsing/manipulation over encrypted data by means of “encrypted queries,” thereby preserving the zero-knowledge. CSE is able to operate independently by the kind of encryption that the user decides to adopt. CSE can work through APIs, enabling a vast set of possible applications in health care, finance, and IoT.

CSE is adopted by our clients to store sensitive data on the cloud or to search for encrypted content in a database. Many other applications are now possible thanks to this technology. The speed of CSE is very high (about 0.35sec per query); it can be considered the next generation of search engines to preserve security and privacy.

SD: What is something unique that helps you stay ahead of your competition?

Cyptolab: We are the only ones who can process information without knowing the content inside. It’s a paradox, but our search engine can process and transmit data without knowing anything about the content, just because it is working with encrypted data. An example to explain this concept better is—if you are searching for a keyword in your cloud, the cloud provider can spy inside your content if it wants. With CSE, that’s impossible because data always remains encrypted, and the cloud provider cannot read the information contained in your files.

SD: What do you think are the worst cyberthreats today?

Cyptolab: Ransomware and spying on information are the worse cyberthreats. Violation of privacy is constantly abused by everyone who has an interest to grab information. But with CSE, this will end soon because our data will always be under our control and preserved.

If a ransomware attack occurs, there is not only a problem of losing data. In many cases, if you follow a good data backup policy or operate through the cloud, that is not an issue, but there is a worse problem of losing your private information and privacy. With CSE, that can be avoided because the content always remains encrypted.

About the Author
Aviva Zacks
Aviva Zacks
Cybersecurity Expert and Writer

About the Author

Aviva Zacks is a content manager, writer, editor, and really good baker. When she's not working, she enjoys reading on her porch swing with a cup of decaf.