OmniIndex’s Business Development Manager Lucy McKechnie sat down to talk to our new Web3 Developer Mohammad Mohsin about his experiences working with confidential and sensitive data in his previous jobs.
Lucy: Thanks for doing this Momo! It’s great to get this chance to talk to you. So to begin, can you tell us a little about your previous experience before joining OmniIndex?
Mohammad: Hey, you too! I’m super excited to get started here.
Before OmniIndex I mainly worked in financial operations before also recently helping a health and lifestyle startup develop their databases. After spending time working directly with this sensitive data, I got really interested in the actual processes behind the scenes of how it was managed – especially with how many attacks I was seeing every single day. And that’s how I ended up talking to OmniIndex and joining the team.
L: Can you give me a quick idea of the sort of data you’re talking about?
M: Sure! And it’s interesting actually, as despite having studied Finance I was actually still often surprised by just how in-depth a lot of the information we held on customers was. There’s obviously the personally identifiable information (PII) and financial data relating to their accounts, but then in addition to that there was often so much extra information to do with their living situations and employment histories. This is all obviously incredibly confidential, and so I felt a huge responsibility to make sure it was handled correctly and kept secure.
L: So let’s just dive in and talk about the big topic here: the Ransomware attacks. How regular are they?
M: I can only talk from my own experiences and what I’ve heard, but it is scary how often these attacks are happening. And just how often they succeed. All that data I mentioned is of course heavily regulated and protected –- and of course everywhere I worked used the industry standards when it comes to security – but the attacks just keep coming.
I think the last report I saw said there are 19 attacks happening a second? And while I don’t know if that was true for us, the attacks were in the thousands. At that point it just feels like a numbers game of not if an attack will succeed, but when.
To be honest, it was often quite overwhelming. We as a team were always doing everything that was expected of us in terms of our infrastructure, but because the data had to be used and shared and analyzed on a daily basis, it was continually vulnerable.
L: Have you ever been on the receiving end of a successful attack?
M: Luckily not!
L: Well, now you’re at OmniIndex you should be able to keep that clean record! And what about your time with the Startup? What were the data challenges there?
M: The situation was a little bit different there as from the outset we knew we could never risk exposing the heavily confidential and regulated health data. As such, it had to be encrypted at all times. This gave me a huge number of challenges, and it was here that I ended up connecting with you and OmniIndex because of your fully homomorphic encryption technology.
L: You mean OmniIndex’s unique patented encryption technology that enables people to perform computations and analytics on their encrypted data without exposing the private, confidential and sensitive information?
M: Yes. By encrypting the data in this way, we could guarantee to the suppliers, users, and medical partners that the information was always secure and protected, while still being able to use it to do what we actually wanted.
L: Great. Well thanks for doing this with me Momo, it’s been great to get a little more insight into your background and hear about the constant Ransomware attacks facing Financial services today.
M: My pleasure. I’m sure we’ll talk again soon.