1. Security First
- Security is the top priority, and the architecture is designed with security as the central consideration.
- A comprehensive approach to security is taken, going far beyond perimeter protection with Firewall, VPN, and intrusion detection systems.
- Zero-trust is implemented using cryptography rather than solely relying on access control lists (ACLs).
- The goal is to architect a complete solution rather than "patching" security vulnerabilities.
- Features are only added if they do not compromise security.
- There is no notion of public/unsecured data; explicit sharing is the only allowed method.
- Default shut is favored over default open.
- Public-key cryptography (PKC) is the core concept, with all security mechanisms based on PKC.
- Password-based authentication is not used, and extensive use of cryptography is implemented.
- End-to-end encryption is utilized, and each resource is independently protected.
- Encryption keys are managed using PKC, and cryptographic isolation is enforced.
2. Separation of Duties
- Admin power is decentralized uniformly throughout the system to prevent data breach entry points, even if an admin account is compromised.
- Access control and end-to-end encryption are used together, with the addition of two-factor authentication (2FA) for enhanced security.
- Extreme flexibility is provided in terms of operating system support (Windows and Linux), tooling support (AI + GPUs), and the full software stack.
- The overhead for small and large projects is kept minimal.
- Researchers are empowered to manage and control their data and workflows, decentralizing management and minimizing the role of admins.
- Admins define mechanisms and monitor usage but have no access to user data.
3. Mechanism instead of policy
- The focus is on enforcing behavior through mechanisms rather than relying solely on policies.
- Mechanisms are designed to prevent and deter bad behavior, with system-enforced capabilities.
- Automated system-enforced mechanisms reduce the risk of human error and ensure consistent adherence to security protocols.
- Severely reduce the number of FTEs and "police" behavior responses.
- Policies should only dictate the mechanisms used for enforcement.
4. Support diverse research workflows
- tiCrypt supports diverse research workflows with Windows and Linux OS support, AI + GPU capabilities, and compatibility with various hardware devices.
- It provides flexibility in deployment, allowing on-premises bare-metal servers, cloud deployment (AWS,Azure,Google Cloud,etc), hyper-converged solutions (Nutanix, RedHat,etc), and hybrid models (on prem+cloud).
- Accommodate non-uniformity and "borrow" VM hosts from both cloud and HPC clusters.
- Compatibility with existing security and infrastructure solutions such as Duo, Shibboleth, firewalls, and VPNs is ensured.
5. Detailed auditing
- Auditing is fully integrated into the secure system, addressing compliance requirements directly.
- Different projects may have specific auditing requirements, and the system caters to those needs.
- tiCrypt solution includes an audit system that produces compliance reports, maintains a very detailed audit trail, and retains audit logs for the entire history of the system.
- Reports allow audit pre-dictions of data behavior.
- Partial success can be achieved with significant effort, but there may be system blind spots and limited supported workflows.
tiCrypt is the result of a collaboration with University of Florida over ten years, designed to address all compliance and security needs, making it a proven security unicorn.
- The three pillars of compliance include strong security, system enforcement, and comprehensive auditing and reporting.
- All features are designed to meet the rigorous compliance standards of public institutions.