At the end of November, we were present at Trustech, the largest international event dedicated to the world of trust-based technologies. For 3 days the famous Palais des Festival in Cannes (France) brought together over 13,000 participants, 350 exhibitors and 250 speakers of international relevance with the aim of presenting and sharing innovative, simpler and faster methods and tools based on digital technologies. To reach out to new customers online and operate internationally by offering higher levels of Trust ‒ in compliance with EU regulations.
Our participation led us to reflect on the need to reaffirm the importance of concepts such as “trust”, “reliability”, “security” in the field of digital technologies and transactions carried out with IT tools.
The importance of trust in the digital age
The considerable importance of digital tools in the business world is now a certain fact. Digitizing processes and interactions within companies, as well as those towards the outside, whether it’s Business to Consumer (B2C), business to business (B2B) or business to government (b2g) offers to all parties a benefit in terms of speed of execution, ease of use and levels of efficiency never achieved in the past.
Digitization in the workplace is a fundamental condition to remain competitive and be successful. The more a company’s success depends on the digital tools used, the more important its ability to guarantee the highest levels of reliability and security. How do we achieve such a result? Relying on trust-based technologies.
Trust means giving clients the ability to purchase and use online services without fear; guarantee security and confidentiality of data and information in electronic format; ensure full compliance with regulations on security and privacy; give certainty of the proper functioning of the services and solutions offered.
New challenges for trust services
Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, Big Data, Mobile Payment are some of the key topics where many companies and start-ups are investing for their future. From these areas of innovation new interesting opportunities can arise, which must be balanced with adequate levels of trust. We see three areas of innovation where trust is a critical point.
According to the Mobile Payment & Commerce Observatory of the School of Management of the Milan Polytechnic in 2016, mobile payments reached the figure of 3.9 billion euros with a growth of 63% compared to the previous year. It is estimated that over the next 2 years, globally, the frequency of use of mobile devices to make payments in proximity and remotely will increase to double in 2019.
These figures raise great interest in Mobile Payments by many companies. There are more and more services offered by phone manufacturers (Apple, Huawei, Samsung, Xiaomi), operating system providers (Android and Microsoft), telephone operators (e.g. Vodafone).
In the field of digital payments, trust is a condition that cannot be renounced. Therefore, it may be useful to apply technologies such as blockchain to ensure traceability, transparency and immutability of transactions.
AUTHENTICATION BASED ON BIOMETRIC SYSTEMS
A biometric recognition system allows to identify and authenticate a person based on one or more biological and / or behavioral characteristics (fingerprints, facial features, iris, voice, heartbeat), comparing these with the data previously acquired and present in the database, using algorithms and sensors to acquire input data.
The advantages of biometric recognition rest largely on the user experience. If we think of smartphones it is easy to understand how much more comfortable it is to unlock your device by taking advantage of the fingerprint or face recognition, rather than inserting a pin or a password each time.
The greatest limitation of biometric recognition systems concerns the uniqueness of the data on which they are based: a password that has been discovered can be changed, fingerprints or facial features no.
Recall that the biometric recognition is based on a correspondence between the characteristics examined in the authentication phase and those previously stored on a database, within a biometric template (the set of biological data in digital format present on the database). In case of data breach, a hacker who could get hold of one or more biometric templates could impersonate the real owners of those templates, stealing their identity.
Therefore, even in this case it’s essential to be able to adequately protect data by using the cryptography and distributed databases on which the blockchain is based.
CYBER SECURITY AND INTERNET OF THINGS
Internet of Things (IoT) is a broad scenario where number of smart objects increases every day (objects with sensors, able to acquire and communicate data on themselves and access aggregated information from others) and new fields of application arises: Home automation, Industry 4.0, Healthcare, Agriculture, Smart City.
IoT smart objects, through numerous interconnections, allow to collect and share huge amount of data and useful information. The more the exchanged connections, the more important it is to guarantee security. Privacy by design and digital technologies able to guarantee the security of online communications must also be at the base of all IoT applications (concept also contemplated by the new European Privacy Regulation, GDPR).