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Ionburst: Local Scottish startup building solution for global Cloud security market

Edinburgh-based Ionburst was founded in 2018 to address the most fundamental requirement of global Cloud adoption: Data security.

Edinburgh-based Ionburst was founded in 2018 to address the most fundamental requirement of global Cloud adoption: Data security.

CEO and founder David Lanc, who was instrumental in the UK’s Chip and PIN roll-out while an executive director at RBS, set up Cyborn in 2018, and following a £150k grant from Innovate UK, the company created Ionburst and has developed their first product release and begun engagement with their first customers.

Cloud Data Security, as a Service

Ionburst is a Cloud service for securing your data in the Cloud. Given the long list of big name firms that have experienced data breaches and the huge cost of each, the market potential is enormous.

As the Wall St Journal writes a common cause is simply human error, quoting a cybersecurity expert who highlighted the complicated process of setting up and securing a server on AWS’s popular S3 storage system.

A key dynamic to understand is the ‘Shared Responsibility Model‘ defined by Cloud providers like AWS. In short AWS is responsible for the raw underlying infrastructure that hosts the data, the customer is then responsible for the security of that data.

It’s often mistakenly assumed that simply using a Cloud service means data is automatically secure but that’s not actually the case – Misconfigure access rules to your S3 service or fail to encrypt the data and it’s your fault that you’ve inadvertently made it open and easy for sensitive data like customer records to be hacked.

Ultra Secure Cloud Storage

Ionburst addresses that specific gap. Their ‘Flex‘ product integrates with and adds a security layer to the AWS S3 storage service, applying their patented technology to fragment and secure your data across multiple AWS stores.

This improves both security and resilience. Data is rendered utterly useless to anyone but you, and you can recover your data anytime faster than today’s backups. You can plug in whichever additional method of data encryption you prefer and have that applied; for example regulated industries like Finance and Government often stipulate specific standards and technologies be used, and these can be incorporated to achieve compliance with those.

Ionburst is easy to integrate with your applications, architectures and processes via their open source SDKs (currently available for .NET, Python, Node.js & Go, with more coming soon), and doesn’t impose changes on your existing security or technology stack.

With the ‘Bulk Loader‘ service you can utilize the tool as part of your Cloud Migration process, transferring large volumes of data into the Cloud and immediately be secure upon doing so.

Ionburst is currently available in the AWS EU regions, with global roll out part of their ongoing product roadmap, as is also adding support for other Cloud providers like Google and Azure, so that a “multi-cloud” architecture can be achieved.

Grow Global

The company is an exemplar of the massive potential Digital Scotland is organized around. Our primary asset is the ingenuity that has invented much of the modern world, which as a small nation we can apply to small but critically important innovation fields that present hyper-scale growth opportunity.

Given the fact that despite it’s colossal scale of Cloud computing today the reality is that we are still in the early adopter phase, with many sectors like Government still operating the bulk of their IT on premise. We haven’t yet seen this massive estate of legacy data centre footprint migrate to the Cloud, primarily for reasons of data security and compliance fears.

With the Scottish Government declaring a “Cloud First” approach to their own IT there is a tremendous opportunity to ‘solve problems locally, export globally’ – To define best practices for how the public sector can securely achieve this goal and then leverage that case study to replicate the solution around the world.

David Lanc praises the support of the local enterprise innovation ecosystem:

“We have benefited massively from the collaboration and support of Innovate UK and Scottish Enterprise. In particular, Morag Eaton of SE played a huge part in helping coordinate our work with Innovate UK and shape our go to market thinking.”

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