An Approach for Fault Tolerant and Secure Data Storage in Collaborative Work Environments

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Subbiah, Arun
Blough, Douglas M.
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We describe a novel approach for building a secure and fault tolerant data storage service in collaborative work environments. In such environments, sensitive data must be accessible only to a select group of people, whose membership may change over time. Key management issues are a recognized problem in such environments. We eliminate this problem for confidential and secure data storage by using perfect secret sharing techniques for storing data. Perfect secret sharing schemes have found little use in managing generic data because of the high computation overheads incurred by existing schemes. Our proposed approach uses a novel combination of XOR secret sharing and replication mechanisms, which drastically reduce the computation overheads and achieve speeds comparable to standard encryption schemes. The combination of secret sharing and replication manifests itself as an architectural framework, which has the attractive property that its dimension can be varied to tradeoff amongst different performance metrics. We evaluate the properties and performance of the proposed framework to show that the combination of perfect secret sharing and replication can be used to build efficient fault-tolerant and secure distributed data storage systems for collaborative work environments.
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