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Interview with Michael Egorov, NuCypher‘s CTO & Co-Founder:
Where did you start your career and how did you gain the experience needed to run the tech side of your company?
Before starting NuCypher, I worked on infrastructure tools at LinkedIn, where we faced some of the thorniest scaling challenges in the world. But my background is as a scientist and physicist. I was a bronze medalist in the 2003 International Physics Olympiad and graduated from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology. I later worked as a post-doc on ultra-cold atoms in an area closely related to quantum computing.
From a technologist’s perspective, what’s unique and game-changing about your technology?
I find the technical details of our proxy re-encryption technology particularly fascinating. In brief, proxy re-encryption allows you to transform data encrypted under one set of keys into being encrypted under a second, different set of keys. This is a direct re-encryption, with no intermediate decryption step. This allows us to do some really neat tricks around key rotation and access delegation for the platforms we support.
Tell us about your favorite implementation of your solution/technology.
Simple is good, so I’m going to choose key rotation. Currently, key rotation in Hadoop has to be done manually, which means shutting down encryption zones, sending data to the key management service, decrypting it, encrypting it with the new key, and sending it back to the storage layer. Many of our customers are dealing with petabytes of data and this process can literally take a half or even a full day. A full day of downtime! With NuCypher, we can perform key rotation in a few seconds.
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