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Science & Technology Series: Announcements

Professor Muttukrishnan Rajarajan awarded £100k from Innovate UK

Professor Rajarajan will be developing CityDefend, a searchable Encryption-as-a-Service (EaaS) product which allows users to store encrypted data in the Cloud.
by John Stevenson (Senior Communications Officer)

Professor of Security Engineering, Professor Muttukrishnan Rajarajan, has received funding valued at £100k from Innovate UK to develop a searchable Encryption-as-a-Service (EaaS) product, called CityDefend.

Professor Muttikrishnan's research funding has been made possible through Innovate UK's Cybersecurity Academics Startup programme.

Innovate UK, now part of UK Research and Innovation, is the operating name of the Technology Strategy Board, a Government body reporting to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

Common data storage platform

In today's hyper-connected world, everyone relies on social media file hosting services email services, messaging services for leisure and business, and for carrying out multiple daily routine tasks. To support these digital services, the Cloud has emerged as a common platform for storing and processing large amounts of data, resulting in on-demand resource availability and sharing.

Although this resource sharing ensures high-level of data availability and accessibility, it poses the challenge of securing the data stored in the Cloud. 

The underlying challenge is that once the client outsources the data onto the Cloud he/she loses control over this data, which could result in the misuse of data without prior permission. 

However, this gives rise to the problem of searching and sifting through the large amounts of encrypted data stored on the Cloud.

Professor Rajarajan says:

CityDefend provides a Searchable Encryption-as-a-Service (SEaaS) that allows clients to store encrypted data on the Cloud. Our pioneering technology compared to our competitors, offers the following advantages over conventional Cloud Storage: It permits users to store encrypted data while allowing keyword searching resulting in enhanced security and confidentiality of data; it eliminates the pre-processing of the data to generate an index table and removes the need for a centralised data structure, providing cross-cloud scalability; only authorised persons are allowed to search over the encrypted data and decrypt it, resulting in more control of data on the Cloud.

Professor Rajarajan believes the global Cloud security-as-a-service market will be valued at an estimated USD$8.53b in 2020, up from USD$3.13B in 2015, and will continue to grow at a 22.2% compound annual growth rate.

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