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Talking Data Security & Privacy with OmniIndex CEO Simon Bain

Q: Let’s start with a broad and fairly obvious question! What does data security and privacy mean to you?

Security means my privacy. My data, my choice. 

It also means responsibility, because any custodian of data has to ensure they keep the data in their care safe from anybody who should not have access to it. This is why Security means Privacy: Because if data isn’t private from those who should not have access to it, it’s simply not secure. 

Q: Thank you. So let’s dive in. What’s the biggest issue you’ve come across in your work with organizations and governments when it comes to data security and privacy?

User actions. 

Users already have an incredibly difficult task of doing their job. Add to that data security and privacy then at certain times within a work cycle it accidentally slips their mind and an email with phishing data is inadvertently opened. You can have all of the back-end systems in place, but if just 1 of the 17,000,000 phishing emails hits a target then bang! 

Q: Interesting. How can this be solved?

By realizing it’s not their fault. Users have enough to be dealing with already with their actual jobs. As such, we as developers and ISVs need to put safeguards in place in the actual tools and platforms to help the users without getting in their way.

In other words, we need to create applications that work with the user. Integrating into their tools and making sure that at the back-end data cannot be lost in those rare moments a phishing email does make its way through. 

Q: And so is this what informed the development of OmniIndex’s Data Platform?

Very much so, yes. 

There is a saying in Crypto World: “Not Your Keys, Not Your Coins.”

We have the same philosophy: ‘Not your Keys, not your Data’. 

If you are not the data owner and you haven’t been given permission by the data owner to access it, then we will simply not let you access it. Period. 

And crucially it is not down to the user to control that access with The OmniIndex Platform fully integrated into productivity and collaboration tools with the security and privacy running at all times in the back-end. 

Q: But what about ‘user error’ – surely this cannot be avoided and stopped?

No, but you can mitigate against it. The OmniIndex Platform’s distributed data store (Blockchain) is immutable and compensates for these accidents. 

This is because even if a phishing email is let through and gains access to a particular file in the Blockchain, they:

  1. Cannot read it because it is encrypted with a unique key that nobody but the data owner has. (This includes OmniIndex with each key unique and there being no back door in the security and no third-party access.)
  2. They cannot change anything about the file because it is immutable.
  3. And even if the file is somehow corrupted or erased, that data is not lost because the decentralized nature of Blockchains means there are multiple identical and immutable copies of each file as opposed to a single copy. If one copy is therefore lost, it can be reshared by the other nodes in the Blockchain to ensure it is instantly recovered. 

That’s great thank you, I’m sure we will do another one of these again soon. 

To hear more from Simon in the meantime, visit his LinkedIn where he regularly posts about all things data security and OmniIndex.

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