Finis Conner



I am pleased to have an opportunity to share my thoughts on the importance of securing the digital identification and data of individuals, the enterprise, medical services, and financial transactions in our rapidly growing mobile world.

Having had the wonderful opportunity to participate in what is sometimes referred to as the “March to Mobility,” I have been pondering the associated challenges since my early days of cofounding Seagate back in 1979. Later, as the founder of Conner Peripherals in 1986, we helped lead the world into an age of mobile computing as the size of hard drives dropped from 8 inches to 5.25 inches, then to 2.5 inches and finally, the 1.8-inch form factor. This move toward mobile computing was dramatically stimulated by our partner, Rod Canion of Compaq, with the introduction of the first “luggable” personal computer.

The mobile world continues to explode, allowing computing and digital transactions to take place wherever and whenever one chooses. The effective increase in individual productivity has enhanced the quality of our lives and has made the world a much smaller place. The unfortunate issue is that mobile security has not kept pace with the rapid growth of technology. Mobile devices and cloud-based solutions have not lived up to the promises that our information will be kept secure and safe.

Recent cyber attacks, such as the 2015 BlueCross BlueShield breach that left as many as 11.2 million subscribers exposed as well as the loss of nearly 6 million fingerprints by the U.S. Federal Office of Personal Management, clearly illustrate the seriousness of this growing issue.

My team and I have been working for more than three years on a solution to return control of digital identity, privacy, and data access back to the owner in today’s mobile world.

We have reached, what I believe to be, the pivot point where the control of your ID and data can be returned to you; the owner. The evolution of mobile computing has provided the development and availability of key technology that we have integrated into the most widely used platform in the world – a form factor similar to the credit/smart card that virtually everyone already has in their wallet or purse. The BluStor CyberGate platform is here.

cybergate-card

Our objective has been to provide a platform to securely and affirmatively answer two questions that are needed in virtually every digital transaction in the mobile world:

  1. Are you who you say you are?
  1. Are you authorized to do what you are requesting?

Current methodologies primarily utilize usernames, passwords, pins or a single fingerprint captured by a smartphone or tablet. Such methods have proven to be inadequate to protect an individual’s ID or their data. Adequately securing mobile devices, cloud-based solutions or the growing number of products being developed within the IoT industry is virtually impossible. The real solution involves securing the identity of the individual using those platforms with multiple biometrics rather then trying to secure every device or the billions of potential endpoints in our connected world.

The BluStor CyberGate platform has tremendous computing power (32-bit ARM processor); large storage capacity (8GB); a multitude of standard interfaces (BT/BLE, NFC, and USB); government-level encryption; and a rechargeable battery (two-year life). We have integrated all of this technology into the familiar form factor of a credit/smart card that fits easily in your wallet or purse and that never needs to be removed for use.

Given the continuing growth of mobile devices, the CyberGate platform can enable a vast number of new secure applications similar to the explosion seen on smartphones and tablets. Just think of “what’s possible” with this platform across the multitude of vertical markets I mentioned at the start of this article.

From the introduction of the iPhone back in 2007 – yes, some of you were in your teens back then – and looking forward to 2025, one thing will remain certainly consistent: the need to prove you are who you say you are and that you are authorized to do what you are requesting. Those are two questions that the CyberGate platform is ideally suited to answer both now and for many years into the future.

Many will see the above viewpoints not only as contrarian to what is often preached by today’s cyber security policy makers but also flying in the face of what some large device manufactures would prefer you to believe. They would be correct on both counts;, they are contrarian. What I do know is that if we are to continue to take advantage of rapidly advancing technology, we must think about the keys of security.

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