With the occurrences of more database hacks, companies are looking to find ways to "harden" the security around their user and customer data. One promising direction is to use cryptography to secure data so that even if an attacker breaches a system, information leakage is minimal. However, cryptographers did not design protocols intended for the scale of data and users present in the web today. My research centers around building practical secure systems that effectively utilize cryptography.
In my talk, I will discuss the challenges of using and integrating cryptography into existing systems. I will also talk about two systems that I have built, Sieve and Splinter. Sieve is a system that allows web services to securely share user data with cryptographic guarantees. Splinter is a system that allows users to privately query large-scale public databases. These systems demonstrate that using cryptography practically is not beyond reach!
Frank Wang is a PhD student at MIT focusing on building secure systems. He did his undergraduate at Stanford, focusing on applied cryptography. He runs the MIT security seminar where top academics come and talk about their most recent research. He is also a member of Roughdraft Ventures, which provides small amounts of capital to early stage student startups. He is currently running a summer program for early stage security companies called Cybersecurity Factory. He has interned at the security teams at Google and Facebook as well as consulted for security companies like Qualys. When he is not busy worrying about your security, he enjoys going to art museums and being outdoors.