ISO/IEC 19592-1, “Information technology – Security techniques – Secret sharing – Part 1: General,” has just been released. This is a new IT security standard, the first of two standards on the subject. The second is still in draft format and will be titled “Information technology — Security techniques — Secret Sharing — Part 2: Fundamental mechanisms” when it is released.
The trouble with secrets is that they are hard to keep. With data, this is an especially thorny problem. So the concept of “secret sharing” is to protect the information by dividing it into a number of pieces. Such a scheme will have 2 main parts — The message sharing algorithm and the message reconstruction algorithm. The first divides the message into “shares” (the pieces of the complete message). The second allows the message to be put back together again.
What are some of the uses of “secret sharing”? It’s used to store data in distributed systems. And of course it is used during transmission. It is also a fundamental technology for secure multi-party computation, used to protect data when it’s being processed in distributed systems.
What does the ISO/IEC 19592-1 cover? The ISO/IEC 19592 series specifies secret sharing and related technologies. The Part 1 defines the parties that are involved in such a scheme, the terminology to be used, and the parameters and properties of such a scheme. This includes information on the general model of secret sharing.
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