By @SimonCocking. Interesting interview with Ben Carter from B-Secur B-Secur is the next gen in authentication, securing devices, and , using ECG technology to authenticate using an individual’s heartbeat. See more here.

What is your background?

I have spent the last 15 years within the technology industry with a major focus on the mobile phone industry. I have worked for organisations such as Microsoft, Nokia, Pace and Sony, developing sales, marketing and business plans across global and regional markets, within both consumer and enterprise.

B-Secur have recently returned from Silicon Valley, what were the highlights of the trip?

Over the last year, we have seen the demand for our innovative biometric technology from the US grow exponentially. The US market is extremely progressive and forward thinking, where a disruptive technology such as ours is received with huge interest and excitement. As a result, we have built up significant traction from a customer and commercial perspective. We now spend a week a month in the US, driving the projects we have with our US client base.
On top of this, we have also been having conversations regarding future investment. Within the UK and Ireland there is a fast growing interest in disruptive, high tech, security focused start-ups. However, the main investment and support for this type of technology, still remains on the west coast of California. As such, we have been talking to a number of venture capitalists regarding future investment for accelerated growth and scaling. The reception we continue to receive continually demonstrates to us the interest, demand and excitement around our technology.

What tips can you share with others having recently been to SV?

It is imperative to have a very clear vision as to what problem your company/technology is trying to solve, and how this can be scaled and deliver real future value to your target customers and investors. It is also extremely important not to make one off trips. Relationships and traction are built through consistent and frequent meetings, so try to develop a plan for the long term – demonstrate your commitment to the US market.

What are you excited about in terms of biometric innovation coming out of Ireland and the UK?

The attention to Biometrics is really building globally as concerns over cybersecurity mount, and it’s encouraging to see the UK government commit to a £1.9billion investment programme for cybersecurity over the next five years. We are particularly excited about future use cases for biometric technology that extend beyond security for smartphones, tablets and laptops.

We forecast that ECG biometric technology will be widely adopted by banking over the next five years. Touch screens identifying the customer through their unique heartbeat will replace pinpads, and contactless cards will incorporate authentication technology in a specialised conductive coating. The use cases are endless, the potential of the technology to aid automotive security, for building access, airport security and smart wear are clear to us.
In a few years, say within the next decade, the applications could move to border control and military operations, as a key component of IoT, and in healthcare for patient ID, as well as eventually, AI and robotics, this is no longer such a futurist concept, it’s very much within reach.

Will we reach the point where we have unique, non hackable ID?

The latest ‘secure’ advances are often short-lived, as hackers find routes to undermine the technology and I don’t think there will ever be a point where we can rest on our laurels on this one. Biometric technologies offer the most secure method to authenticate identity at the moment, but external biometrics are vulnerable to imitation and inaccuracy. That’s why we’re investing heavily in internal biometrics, specifically ECG authentication.
Each individual’s ECG produces an electric waveform different to another (inter-variability), like a fingerprint, but more than that, each heartbeat also forms a different signal (intra-variability). The ability to capture those uniquely means that we can form a particular pattern. If we see an exact match of this pattern, which wouldn’t be the normal occurrence, then we know there is likely a spoofing attempt underway, so imitation will be detected. So even if you were able to develop the technology to harvest this data, which is obviously much harder to do based on the fact that the biometrics are internal and not publically accessible, then it would not be possible to imitate. This is another benefit of using a “live” signal as part of a dynamic biometric modality, versus static first generation biometric modalities.

If we achieve this, how do we balance this with personal privacy too?

The balance between identification, authentication and privacy will always be a challenge. With more than 50bn connected devices in the market place, and with an average internet user having 27 passwords, the opportunity for cyber threats and hacking becomes ever more possible. We are part of an industry that is trying to bring enhanced security solutions to support this proliferation in devices connectivity and growth. With IOT, robotics, AI and other technology revolutions on their way, this need is greater than ever so we can support the delivery of these new technologies. This is an area where business and political leadership must come together to allow technologies like ours every opportunity to demonstrate the value it can add.

Who do you follow / read for inspiration in the area?

We monitor the market, cross industry, weekly, for latest the news. Most months we see or hear a latest announcement regarding biometrics as the technology looked to to really start solving the security and customer experience challenge. In the last month alone we have seen Google “declare war on the password” as unfit for purpose, and the “White House recommends biometrics for data breaches”.

If you would like to have your company featured in the Irish Tech News Business Showcase, get in contact with us at [email protected] or on Twitter: @SimonCocking

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