SecureKey makes it easier for consumers to prove who they are to online service providers, in order to gain access to services without creating any new, hard to remember, user IDs and passwords. Securekey works with leading banks, governments and telecommunication companies and is headquartered in Toronto, Canada.
CEO of the Month Greg Wolfond begins the interview by revealing the firm’s ongoing strategy, and their approach when undertaking a new client or project.
“We are in the business of authentication and online verification, with an end goal of making it easier for consumers to get things done online. Our ongoing strategy is to make online identity easy for all consumers, across all industries. We are working with partners across a multitude of industries including banking and telecommunication, healthcare and education, government, as well as the sharing economy, to ensure that consumers are safe, secure and have complete privacy in sharing information.
“It always starts with identifying a problem that needs to be solved. For some companies, that’s making it easier to get from point a to point b, or to rest comfortably when you get to point b. For us, that problem is solving many of the issues around identity fraud and simplifying online access in the digital age.
“Once we identified what we were attempting to solve, it was really about bringing together the right people and the right partners to tackle the numerous aspects of the solution itself. Being able to bring together skilled and forward-looking individuals as teammates, partners, service providers and the like, the task of successfully solving a problem becomes much more reasonable.”
He then steers us towards his reflections on achieving the Canadian CEO of the Month accolade, and how he keeps himself motivated and positive to be a successful leader.
“It’s very exciting! It’s such an honour to be recognised for this award. We have a lot of projects – one in particular launching later this year – that keeps us at SecureKey very busy. To be recognised shows that our hard work and the hard work of our partners is paying off. This award reflects on the entire team at SecureKey and our partners who have been working very hard to increase visibility of the importance of authentication and online privacy.
“My primary passion is people. I am always motivated and inspired by the people around me. I believe that success is not possible without a group of talented individuals with the same common goal. At SecureKey, our mission is to put the consumer back in the middle, giving them complete control of their digital assets, to help create a safer, frictionless digital works and help lead the world’s digital transformation. Working with the best minds in the business – both at SecureKey and working with our partners – motivates me every day, and drives me to be at my best to lead a superior team.”
For any CEO to be successful, there are always several challenges to overcome as Greg goes on to explain, before revealing his thoughts on the key attributes that make for an award-winning leader of his ilk.
“The technology industry can be tough. Major strides in privacy and security are only effective until the next major data breach or hack, when players in the technology industry are forced back to the drawing board. I founded SecureKey because I saw a fundamental lack of respect for consumers’ digital identities in the market. In fact, my cousin and close friend were both victims of identity fraud, with mortgages falsely placed on their homes.
“I’ve made it my mission to solve this issue of identity and ensure that consumers are given complete control over their identity, allowing them to decide who they share information with and when. However, solving identity fraud is not an easy task to accomplish. To overcome this, we’ve developed a broad ecosystem of partners across a multitude of industries – including financial institutions, telcos, Canadian and U.S. governments, among others – to develop a product that will help consumers online.”
“I am humbled by the great people I get to work with every day. Much of the success I’ve had over my career is from being able to bring great people together to solve challenges. Whether it’s the people who work for our company, or people at major institutions like governments, banks, telcos, health services or others, I’ve found the ability to bring together different parties to try to solve problems for consumers. This is certainly the most rewarding and important part in my role as a CEO.”
Greg then turns the interview to his opinions of the state of the industry today, and why it is important that technology is used effectively within it.
“The technology industry is constantly changing. We’re advancing in our approaches to online security and privacy – all while hackers are becoming more sophisticated in their attacks to exploit our identities for their own gain. Regardless of an organisation’s size, we’ve come to realise that the threat of a mass data breach is very real and polarising in today’s digital age, impacting both the companies that are attacked, but especially (and most concerning) their customers.
“Technology is a very important part of our industry. Authentication and identity verification used to be straight forward in person, but the bad guys are active there now as well.
“Online, the problem is much harder. Data breaches give criminals access to knowledgebased data that helps them impersonate with ease. Identity verification processes take too much time and are fraught with weaknesses. To ensure a better process, we are working on developing a platform that puts consumers in the middle, with complete control of their private information – empowering digital consumers to take back their rights to digital assets.”
Greg concludes this in-depth interview by sharing his future aspirations for the firm.
“Later this year, we’ll be launching a new identity network designed to provide consumers with complete control of their digital identity, to combat identity fraud and the complicated, lengthy and costly validation process that it results in, and to remove much of the friction consumers face today in trying to get things done.
“The new service which recently won grants for its architecture and approach from both the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Science & Technology Directorate and the Canadian Government, which will allow consumers to use their smartphone to verify that they are who they say they are, when they want to get things done online, in person or over the phone. Using trusted sources to verify the three core elements of identity – ‘What I Know, What I Have and What I Am’ – the new service puts privacy first while making it easier and more secure to open or access accounts and services, gain access to and update personal information, control who has access to what records and when, and communicate and share information with trusted destinations and services right from a smartphone when they need to verify their identity.
“It’s safe, secure, and completely under their control, and supported by an ecosystem of trusted companies – including BMO, CIBC, Desjardins, RBC, Scotiabank and TD – committed to providing a better, safer digital ID experience for users.”
Company: SecureKey Technologies
Name: Greg Wolfond
Web Address: securekey.com