22 Jun Member Spotlight: Qafis
In an era of increased privacy concerns and data breaches, Holland FinTech member Qafis is building a stealth solution to keep our biometric data safe. Edwin Nicolaas, CEO of Qafis explains: “We see all tech giants claiming they have the safest and stealthiest systems but it’s those same companies being the target of major data breaches and discovered vulnerabilities in their systems after years of use.” Notable recent breaches in the tech scene include LinkedIn and Adobe but the fintech sector is not immune to this either. Think about the recent Swift banking network hack, which affects banks worldwide. One other major hack last year, 5.6 million fingerprints were stolen from the US government employee database.
“A major issue is that many applications and institutions still store privacy data and biometrical data together and locally”, says Edwin. Whether you would like to use biometrics to improve your customers’ relationship, or to secure daily operations for accessing services, Qafis can provide the technology where security, reliability, accuracy and speed are the solution to build a trusted environment through biometrics.
The BSSL (biometric Secure Socket Layer) solution creates a layered defense and makes it more difficult for an unauthorized person to access a target such as a physical location, device, network, application or database. Qafis has a system that uses biometric characteristics to authenticate identity for secured access.
The BSSL solution is more secure and accurate, because the biometric data is never stored as a template, Qafis creates an encrypted stored and anonymized biometric database which cannot be linked back to the data credentials, making the biometrical data (a hash) useless in case of a breach. Would a bank or government using Qafis’ system get hacked then customer biometrics would still be safe on another server. Of vital importance, according to Edwin, as biometrics is something you cannot change as we do with passwords.
The Qafis system has endless applicability’s where increased security is needed, for example banking, government and healthcare. Also the new internet of things market is one of Qafis targets. As more and more devices are connected to the internet, more and more are prone to cyber attacks. While someone hacking into your internet connected fridge could only do minor damage, it becomes more risky if hackers target internet connected cars or power generators.
Currently Qafis is running a few pilots. In one of those, they use their solution to increase airport security by adding an extra biometric identification layer to ID cards used by personnel to access restricted areas. With this new addition, called a biometric smartcard, access can only be granted to areas when the ID card matches with the biometric information on card and the separated biometric server. When a card is stolen and fingers are replaced, the Biometric SSL technology authentication system rejects the access. Replacements of biometrics on the stolen card will not match with the biometric server. A big advantage for Access control in buildings, to prevent unauthorized people. (This technology can also be used in Nuclear power plants, Prisons, Flight towers, Government Parliament’s, Hospitals, Pharmacy, Armored car, etc.)
This is just one of the many fields in which the Qafis solution can increase security. In the coming years Qafis wants to run more pilots in its main areas of interest, as Edwin puts it: “we have a solution for everyone, use biometrics as security for a safer environment, preventing Identity theft, phishing and fraud”.