Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Application Security //

Database Security

05:00 PM

Ubiq Rolls Out Encryption-as-a-Service Platform Aimed at Developers

A few lines of code and two API calls is all that it takes for developers to add encryption to their applications, startup says.

While companies have traditionally marketed encryption software and services to security teams aiming to protect data, compliance professionals tasked with meeting regulations, and business executives looking to avoid breaches, startup Ubiq Security has targeted a different professional: developers wanting an easy way to lock down their applications.

Today the company launched an API-based encryption platform that aims to give developers the tools they need to quickly add robust encryption to their applications and easily use the services they need to manage their keys and products. The company says encryption can be added to an application with a few lines of code and two calls using its application programming interface, or API. Among the early adopters are the US Army, the US Department of Homeland Security, and Verizon. 

Developers often don't have the specific knowledge of encryption libraries, algorithms, or the security architecture necessary to protect their data in the application, says Wias Issa, CEO of Ubiq Security.

Related Content:

About 50% of Apps Are Accruing Unaddressed Vulnerabilities

2020 State of Cybersecurity Operations and Incident Response

New on The Edge: How AI Will Supercharge Spear-Phishing

"The challenge that most developers have when it comes to selecting libraries or algorithms is that they don't have any real context or knowledge," he says. "They will be working on a program and the first thing that they will do is search for encryption libraries, go to Google, or Stack Overflow, and then it is a guessing game from there."

The company is not the first to try to make adding encryption as simple as possible for developers. Last December, StrongSalt, a firm started by an engineer from FireEye, debuted its own encryption-as-a-service platform focused on making encryption easy for developers to incorporate into their applications. The company had originally focused on applications of blockchain technology for encryption. 

The strongest argument for marketing to developers is the success of payments firm Stripe, which aimed to make accepting payments as simple as possible for web developers. The company initially survived on word of mouth between coders and, as of April 2020, is valued at $36 billion. 

Acknowledging the influence, StrongSalt says its encryption-as-a-service "works like Stripe," while Ubiq Security's tagline is that its technology "reduces the complex world of encryption to two API calls and three lines of code." With an estimated 18.9 million active developers worldwide, making encryption as simple as possible can lead to significant adoption, says Issa. 

"We want to make sure to get out there so that developers know a solution like this exists," he says. "We originally aimed for people at companies who are use to using APIs natively — the technology companies like Lyft or Uber who use Google APIs for navigation and Stripe's for payments."

Encryption has always been a fundamental part of computing — many of the early uses of computers were for cracking codes — and the technology has always been difficult to implement correctly. Despite the fact that there are many open source encryption efforts, adoption has remained low until the data-security capabilities could be integrated into technology. Even companies immersed in security and technology have had poor adoption rates. Google, for example, only had encryption implemented in half of its products in 2014, although the company claims that share is 95% today.

On the development side, encryption errors continue to be prevalent among applications, irrespective of the programming language. Cryptographic errors are the second most common software vulnerability, occurring in 62% of applications, just behind information leakage, which occurs in 64%, according to application security firm Veracode. 

Encryption failures are also a significant factor in the severity of many data breaches. From the theft of unencrypted e-mails from Stratfor in 2012 to the failure to encrypt data in publicly accessible databases and Amazon S3 buckets, the failure of developers and operations workers to lock down every step in the data life cycle has led to reoccurring breaches. 

Many companies assume developers have the necessary knowledge to implement encryption, but that is often not true. Nor should it be, says Ubiq Security's Issa.

"For us, developers are king," he says. "There are way more developers out in the world than security professionals. If we can solve this problem and shift it left to earlier in the process, that gives developers time back so they can spend more of it on creating a great product."

Veteran technology journalist of more than 20 years. Former research engineer. Written for more than two dozen publications, including CNET News.com, Dark Reading, MIT's Technology Review, Popular Science, and Wired News. Five awards for journalism, including Best Deadline ... View Full Bio

Recommended Reading:

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Ransomware Is Not the Problem
Adam Shostack, Consultant, Entrepreneur, Technologist, Game Designer,  6/9/2021
How Can I Test the Security of My Home-Office Employees' Routers?
John Bock, Senior Research Scientist,  6/7/2021
New Ransomware Group Claiming Connection to REvil Gang Surfaces
Jai Vijayan, Contributing Writer,  6/10/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win an Amazon Gift Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: Zero Trust doesn't have to break your budget!
Current Issue
The State of Cybersecurity Incident Response
In this report learn how enterprises are building their incident response teams and processes, how they research potential compromises, how they respond to new breaches, and what tools and processes they use to remediate problems and improve their cyber defenses for the future.
Flash Poll
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
Recent breaches of third-party apps are driving many organizations to think harder about the security of their off-the-shelf software as they continue to move left in secure software development practices.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-16
This vulnerability allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code on affected installations of Foxit PhantomPDF User interaction is required to exploit this vulnerability in that the target must visit a malicious page or open a malicious file. The specific flaw exists within the han...
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-16
This vulnerability allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code on affected installations of GE Reason RPV311 14A03. Authentication is not required to exploit this vulnerability. The specific flaw exists within the firmware and filesystem of the device. The firmware and filesystem contain hard-...
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-16
Helm is a tool for managing Charts (packages of pre-configured Kubernetes resources). In versions of helm prior to 3.6.1, a vulnerability exists where the username and password credentials associated with a Helm repository could be passed on to another domain referenced by that Helm repository. This...
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-16
Apollos Apps is an open source platform for launching church-related apps. In Apollos Apps versions prior to 2.20.0, new user registrations are able to access anyone's account by only knowing their basic profile information (name, birthday, gender, etc). This includes all app functionality within th...
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-16
FOGProject v1.5.9 is affected by a File Upload RCE (Authenticated).