SendSafely: "Zero Knowledge" Platform to Keep Data Safe in the Cloud

Brian Holyfield, CTO
The amount of digital information in the world is rapidly increasing, and the risks associated with sharing sensitive documents online are also on the rise. It is generally assumed that sending files through an online sharing service like Dropbox is secure. “People don’t realize that in almost all cases, their data files are being stored in plain-text. If the service provider’s system is hacked or the user’s account gets compromised, their data will be exposed,” says Brian Holyfield, Co-founder of SendSafely. Headquartered in New York, SendSafely provides secure file exchange and collaboration capabilities that offer a higher level of security than traditional cloud-based platforms.

SendSafely operates what is referred to as a “Zero Knowledge” platform. “We as service provider have no knowledge about what our customers send through our platform,” notes Holyfield. According to its website, files and messages sent through SendSafely are encrypted before they ever leave the user’s machine, and SendSafely never has access to the decryption key needed to view them. By doing so, a user’s data will remain secure even if the system is hacked or the user’s account is somehow compromised. “As the service provider, we have no way to view your data,” says Holyfield. The company has also developed add-on applications that integrate with popular email systems like Microsoft Exchange and Google Mail. The SendSafely Outlook Plug-in allows users to send encrypted files in the same way they would send a normal email attachment. Recipients don’t need to have any software installed, and can download and decrypt the files natively using any web browser.

Zero Knowledge platforms like SendSafely provide a compelling new reason for industries that deal with highly confidential or regulated data, like financial data and health information, to start using cloud services.“Companies that handle certain types of information have historically been unable to use cloud services due to strict data privacy requirements and hefty penalties if protected data is ever inadvertently disclosed,” says Holyfield.
“SendSafely’s Zero Knowledge model mitigates the threat of data exposure because the information is encrypted at all times,” affirms Holyfield.

Holyfield also noted that many customers report significant time and cost savings by using SendSafely compared with managing an in-house file transfer infrastructure. “Even without considering the costs of managing an in-house file transfer infrastructure, the efficiencies gained by using our platform make it a no brainer,” says Holyfield. Without a system like SendSafely, a system administrator would need to create an account every time a new user needs to send or receive files, communicate the login credentials to each user, and delete files once they are no longer needed. With SendSafely, recipients are authenticated on-the-fly using a unique one-time passcode, so there is no need for them to register an account. Files also automatically expire and get deleted after the recipient picks them up, meaning that the user doesn’t need to manually remove the files once they are no longer needed. “It’s like a built in self-destruct button,” notes Holyfield. SendSafely also provides a detailed audit trail and notification capabilities every time files are accessed.

We believe sharing information should be simple, fast, and always secure

When asked about future plans, Holyfield made it clear that SendSafely is letting the market guide the direction of new development efforts. “We take great pride in listening to our customers, and we look to them to help us develop our product roadmap. We believe this is the best way for us to stay relevant,” says Holyfield. “We are currently expanding platform to allow for secure team collaboration, so that people from different companies can communicate and exchange files in a common secure workspace. It’s a perfect market for our technology,” concludes Holyfield.


New York, NY

Brian Holyfield, CTO

SendSafely operates a Zero Knowledge data exchange platform that allows users to exchange highly sensitive information while ensuring total end-to-end privacy.