Secure and Reliable Long-Term Storage to Outlast Humans

Pictured: Omkant Pandey, Erez Zadok, and UC Santa Clara researchersWhat if you could securely store your digital information without worrying about the threat of faster or quantum computers compromising safety? With recent funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF), computer science professors will tackle this problem through their innovative collaborative research project, Secure, Reliable, and Efficient Long-Term Storage. 

Drs. Erez Zedok and Omkant Pandey from Stony Brook University, and Dr. Ethan L. Miller from University of California-Santa Clara, were awarded $1.2M to explore techniques and create a secure and efficient long-term storage system for digital information that can last beyond the lifespan of a human being.

Zadok and his colleagues use a long-term security model that can withstand the power of faster computers, and even quantum computers, by using information theoretic security and combinatorial security. Additionally, the security model is designed to protect against malicious "insiders" who abuse their access to steal data slowly over an extended time period. To gain insights into real-world challenges of implementing these techniques, a prototype system is evaluated empirically, while a simulator is used to project the effectiveness of these techniques over longer timeframes.

This research fosters collaborations across systems, theory, and security researchers to develop practical techniques to secure data for many years while ensuring that the data is unchanged. All source code for a prototype system and simulator will be publicly available. The project will also impact student learning by integrating methodologies and discoveries into graduate courses and a new secure storage systems course. 

About the Stony Brook Researchers

Erez Zadok has been a professor in the Department of Computer Science since 2001 and he directs the File Systems Lab. Zadok has earned over $25,000,000 in funding since 2001 for research in the areas of file systems and storage, operating systems, energy efficiency, security, networking, and distributed systems. Zadok earned a PhD from Columbia University. 

With Stony Brook University since 2016, Omkant Pandey earned a PhD from UCLA and his research focuses on secure computation, cryptography, and encryption. In 2022 he was awarded an NSF CAREER award for his project Concurrent Security Against Quantum Adversaries.

-Jiaming He '23