It’s not often that we readily endorse a product or company. However, when the type of work they engage in is considered groundbreaking – and one with the potential to have a massively, positive impact on our livelihoods, it most certainly warrants a mention.
The rationale for considering such tech-driven projects as highly significant is neither due to ‘gut feeling’ nor that it is cutting-edge/fascinating and therefore must be an excellent product – it actually has a value proposition for everyday people!
We are indeed well into the information age and while we have written extensively about data, its importance to marketers and its fragility when used and abused by unscrupulous third-parties for their financial gain, the issue of data security is quite a serious issue – we must just pay attention to the news to become even more aware.
In Europe, the where security is supposedly more advanced, we have seen the likes of renowned airline British Airways, being hacked – with several hundreds of thousands of customers’ personal data compromised. This was followed by hacks on other major airlines such as Cathay Pacific. Aside from airlines, other business outfits have suffered a similar fate.
The perpetrators are getting a lot more brazen and very recently, a cable car, used as public transport in Moscow was hacked, leaving vulnerable passengers terrified and stuck high up in the air – probably to the amusement of the pranksters (hackers). We all know about driverless buses and cars coming to the market soon.
Can you imagine the chaos and commotion that would be caused if their control systems were to be hacked? The hacks get even more sophisticated: this time, affecting the very wealthy – private yachts are being hacked and taken into the pirate waters, all via uniquely coded signals, reading data from their antennas!
On the issue of data security (with almost full anonymity); we have also heard about extra protection (and not just anti-virus and anti-phishing software) but the more secure and heavily encrypted Blockchain technology that is making waves in the digital sphere. Mainly for the escalation of its once shining star by-product designed for discreet transacting – the Bitcoin.
It has also triggered several other technologies based on its digital cryptology technology to ensure that information is kept safe from prying eyes while stored, used or transferred online.
The company we chose to highlight uses a unique vault system and is called Zortrex. It has adopted one of such Blockchain technologies dubbed tokenization – and will be using it to initially ensure that highly sensitive data online is kept safe.
“Our tokenised solution would have protected their customers’ personal identification information (PII) details, instead the hackers ran off with the date of birth, passport numbers, financial data etc,” says Susan Brown, Chairperson of Zortrex – relating to the British Airways incident.
“Tokenization is the process of converting rights to real-world assets into a digital token on a blockchain.”
The establishment of this start-up company was due to Brown’s background in data privacy systems as well as her devoted passion for the protection of PII and financial/healthcare data. In her view, companies have disrespected their customer data for over 25 years, and if left unattended, there will be nothing left to protect.
Thanks to new laws like the European GDPR law which is now imposing the data protection; data breaches and abuse of customer data is now met with hefty financial penalties. Companies now think twice about consent and how to use and share customer’s data digitally – but is it enough? The simple answer is a no. The authorities just do not have the resources to investigate every complaint nor to actively enforce all data breaches – yet.
“We have ingeniously invented systems that automatically align with financial messaging, payments and securing information, all of which require data. However, we should and need to go a step further to secure all the PII details with tokenisation so that in the event of a hack, the cookies and trackers will only be following a useless token as there is no real identification on it,” Brown explains.
Zortrex would naturally like to tokenise all healthcare data so that vulnerable people living outside of major cities can also feel assured that their privacy is protected. In a previous blog, we wrote about the new Internet of things (IoT). For all those devices being built for it, their IP addresses and the serial numbers can be tokenised to avoid the terrifying thought of the whole Internet being compromised.
The application of the all-powerful Blockchain is not limited to use in the financial sector and will be applied via the supply chain to all industries that deal with customer data – especially the most sensitive ones.
An angel investor or any investor for that matter looking to get onto the next best thing since Amazon would therefore be unwise to pass up the opportunity to back the Zortrex venture given its scope!
Furthermore, regulations are currently being implemented primarily in the pharmaceutical sector and a tokenised supply chain such as what Zortrex offers would be ideal for this new law which is planned to be implemented by 2023. A judiciary blockchain, for instance, would enable the police to “talk” to the prison service, who in turn, will communicate with the legal sector and public health institutions such as the UK’s NHS.
Forensic evidence would in such instances be tokenised and kept secure (away from tampering) during legal hearings. In another practical scenario, Smart Contracts (which are touted to replace lawyers) can spark off legal aid assistance, so that court cases can be heard quicker, more efficient than currently pertains. Protection registers can also be protected with tokenisation rendering it more secure.
Blockchain technology offers quality assurance with every process being undertaken making sure that no shortcuts happen; as the smart contracts trigger any possible malfeasance. This will enable the monitoring/tracking of any data sharing to third parties once it is tokenised. The third party apps would only gain access to the data once the trigger has been activated.
The company will be providing numerous business blockchain platforms; Asset Chain, Supply Chain, Accountancy Chain, Debt Chain, Life Cycle Management Chain, Outsourced Worker Chain; the list is endless, and all will be adequately secured.
Like other pioneers and visionaries, Brown’s futuristic hope that every child being born will have their name, date of birth, blood type data being tokenised, might seem farfetched – but may we remind you of the need for data protection taking into consideration the growth rate of massive data breaches.
Zortrex is aiming high and wants to use their technology to put the hackers out of business! Tokenisation cannot be mathematically reversed and thus it will least it will stop the hackers for a while.
Brown explains further that as they move with their education; other information can be added on to the token, as with all their healthcare; any allergies tokenised; what injections they have had right through their life cycle until the day no more data can be tokenised.
For such high ambitions, the creators of Zortrex’s software have adequately ensured that the technology used is fully scalable. One stumbling block many Blockchain projects now face is what is referred to as scalability – which in tech terms, is the ability of a network or software to grow and manage increased demand.
Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum specifically – which is used to build a lot of Distributed Applications, has massive scalability issues. The growth in demand for DApps is crippling those systems and they are having to investigate the incorporation of alternative technologies, upgrade or split their platforms and accompanying cryptocurrencies to cope with such high demand.
Someone must take the first step in securing this data forever. Citizens should be able to purchase what they want without being harassed by trackers and cookies. The need for tokenisation is endless and further, down the line, celebrities and government official’s PII can also be secured to protect them from damaging schemes, ‘bad press’ and scandals.