What is our digital identity?

This article was initially published in The Leadership Review

Santosh Devaraj is the CEO and founder of TrustGrid Pty Ltd.. Drawing upon his many years of commercial and technical experience in cybersecurity, TrustGrid™ is his brainchild to solve the challenge of secure digital ecosystems.

What is our digital identity? 

Digital Identity has become overly complex. Having worked in cybersecurity and digital identity for over 20 years, I believe you, as a person, are the identity. One of the core aspects when developing TrustGrid™ was ensuring we don’t create multiple digital personas for individuals. In today’s technologically advanced world, where we have an extensive digital presence, the key to protecting a digital identity is giving individuals the control of how, where and when they share personal information. The more digital we become, whether in the workplace or personally, the larger our footprint extends.

How are you addressing the ever-increasing cyber threats and challenges?

Cyber threats and challenges are constantly evolving. However, we have minimized the complexity around identity in terms of how it is created and managed. That’s why we have invested almost five years into developing this world’s first technology ecosystem that will solve the global security crisis in data and digital identity. Our goal is to empower individuals worldwide to take back total control of their digital identity, personal data and simplify how they are used and verified by external constituents, in both public and private entities.

What innovation have you brought to how government, businesses, and citizens navigate digital identity? 

TrustGrid is going back to basics and understanding why people are using and creating identities using other individuals’ personal information. Individuals need to be involved in when and how their information is being used and shared. If someone uses another’s identity, the individual needs to know or at least provide consent. We have created an ecosystem instead of just relying on a digital strategy (putting everything online).

As a Digital Ecosystem, our software allows everybody to be accountable for their data or use that information, removing the idea of trusting a government or organization to protect an individual’s information. We are front and centre, eliminating the requirements of storing someone’s identity and trusting in protecting that data. 

The surge in cyber and identity crimes has accelerated the need for faster, more innovative, and more secure privacy and digital authentication solutions on a government, enterprise, and citizen level.

By unleashing a high degree of privacy, security, and integrity via a distributed trust network, we address the ever-increasing problem. By simplifying, the management of shared information, we deliver superior confidentiality. It enables government agencies to access and use critical public sector data while maintaining the privacy and security of citizens’ data.

We see the delivery model as innovative, offering flexibility and agility, making us true outcome-based deployment partners. An Aussie built and operationally proven technology that can be up and running in no time.

Why shouldn’t we put their head in the sand (so to speak) about cybersecurity and digital identity? 

We are highly sympathetic to the plight and dilemma that organizations face concerning security. In particular, we understand that small to medium businesses (SMB’s) face a difficult challenge in dealing with digital security. However, SMB’s need to know that all sectors are a target. Often SMB’s are considered to be the low hanging fruit for cybercriminals. 

This is in part because hackers can enter downstream of the digital supply chain and then work their way up to their primary target. That’s why TrustGrid™ is such an excellent option for SMB because the platform can secure and enable their digital aspirations. 

The stats tell us you need to address cyber and digital identity challenges sooner rather than later:

  • In 2020, there was a record 4,500 hacking attempts in just one day. From the Annual ACSC Cyber Threat Report, hardest hit sectors during 2019 to 2020 financial year included government (Commonwealth and state/territory), health, education, finance, and IT
  • Identity crime has reached more than $4 billion. 
  • The global fraud detection and prevention market was valued at USD 18.24 billion in 2020 and expected to reach USD 40.8 billion by 2026 with a CAGR of 18.17% over the forecast period (2021-2026).

What changes do you predict to the cybersecurity and digital identity landscape?

We predict the inevitable redefining of identity and its attributes that form the personal identification process. Identity should not be created; it’s an aspect of a particular individual. We are not creating identities which makes sense because you can’t compromise an individual or an asset. The majority of cyberattacks are identity theft, leading to financial and reputational losses, stolen assets, etc.

Looking at it this way changes the view on how cyberattacks lead to compromise. What we want to do in the future is to get rid of constantly creating new identities and persona identification attributes.

So you can see now why we believe the current overcomplexity of the identity landscape lends itself by its very nature to vulnerability. Secure by design must become the default position.

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