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Trusted Data Format (TDF)

Trusted Data Format (TDF): Encrypt, Control Access, and Audit Information Sharing

Virtru Data Security Platform and products are powered by the Trusted Data Format (TDF)— an open standard for object-level encryption that keeps data protected and under the data owner’s control, wherever it’s created or shared.

Graphic demonstrates the difference between traditional Zero Trust (internal data) and Zero Trust Data Control with Virtru (including externally shared data)

Implementing Zero Trust? Start with the Data.

Data is meant to be shared. It’s also highly valuable and should be both respected and protected. Historically, people have had to make a tradeoff — locking down data (and sacrificing shareability) or setting it free (and sacrificing control).

With the Trusted Data Format (TDF), you don’t have to make any sacrifices when it comes to data management. You can share your data anywhere and maintain full control.

This can transform the way you work:

  • Teams can operate at higher velocity.
  • Enterprise data is no longer locked away in silos.
  • Your professional and personal data remains under your control at all times, even after it’s been shared externally.
  • You can enforce access controls at the data object level to maintain different levels of trust for different partners. 

Military-Grade Encryption, Accessible to All.

The TDF was created by Virtru Co-Founder and CTO, Will Ackerly, to address gaps in secure information sharing between U.S. federal government agencies.

Today, it is used by thousands of organizations, including the U.S. Intelligence Community, to enable secure sharing with platform-agnostic encryption for any type of data, across any cloud environment or device, using persistent access controls that ensure data privacy.

  • Organizations reap the security and financial benefits of rapid, secure business collaboration.
  • Data owners don’t have to trust third parties with their content.
  • Collaborators are continuously verified to ensure privacy.
  • Enables open source development via the Virtru Developer Hub.

How the Trusted Data Format Works

Trusted data format (TDF) is a JSON, XML or binary-encoded data format that employs multiple cryptographic and security techniques to enable secure sharing in ways that are impossible with traditional network-based defenses.

End-to-End Encryption

TDF encrypts data using a unique encryption key for every object for persistent control that enables secure sharing. TDF also supports strong protections for the encryption keys by double wrapping them to further protect the data.

Attribute-Based Access Controls

Data owners define policies for who can access the keys protecting the data, for how long and whether they can add other users. These policies enable granular controls such as revocation, expiration and disabled forwarding.

Policy Binding

TDF binds the encrypted data with the policies using public-based signatures, ensuring policies cannot be tampered with. Only the data owner can adapt control policies, guaranteeing information integrity.

End-to-End Auditability

TDF and supporting infrastructure logs every key request for persistent visibility, reinforcing information integrity. Data owners can easily track shared data to support granular audit and modifications to access controls.

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Key Management

The Trusted Data Format and supporting infrastructure logs every key request for persistent visibility, reinforcing information integrity. Data owners can easily track shared data to support granular audit and modifications to access controls.

Identity Federation

As collaborators request access to protected data, TDF leverages existing accounts through federated identity and authentication frameworks such as OpenID, OAuth and SAML, to enable seamless access.

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Large File Support

TDF enables the encryption and decryption of very large files—up to 1 TB—including streaming files – making it easy to protect and share PDFs, Excel spreadsheets, Word documents, and more.

Offline Create

Trusted Data Format-enabled clients can create TDFs without an internet connection. The offline-created TDF can be sent to anyone via offline methods, or when the device is back online.

Schedule a demo with Virtru today


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