Identity, Risk Assessments/Management, Data Security

Partnership aims to provide better financial ID security with ‘Confidential Computing’

A woman is silhouetted against a projection of a password log-in dialog box on Aug. 9, 2017, in London. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

Digital fraud prevention developer FiVerity Inc., cloud security provider Fortanix Inc., and chip-Goliath Intel Corp. announced Tuesday that they would be working together to address digital identity fraud within the financial industry.

This trio of security-tech developers will be applying their data privacy technology experience and findings within the financial industry to create a “new level of security and control over personally identifiable information (PII)” to build out what they call "Confidential Computing." According to a recent study by the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC), 1.5 billion PII elements were exposed in the past three years alone.

“Some of the most impactful innovations occur when teams from across organizations work together to reach their mutual goals,” said Greg Woolf, founder and CEO of FiVerity. “But harnessing the power of collaboration is not just a vehicle for growth. Collective knowledge and expertise can also be a company’s best line of defense, especially when it comes to thwarting external threats.”

Until recently, a range of legal, competitive and technological concerns have limited the scope of information sharing across financial institutions, according to the partners. But that’s all about to change with the adoption of Confidential Computing, which protects data in transit, at-rest and in-use

While protocols exist to protect data in transit, and data is moving across a network connection, at rest in storage and databases, Woolf said, this group pointed out that critical data in use can still be targeted and taken. “

"Confidential Computing is an initiative that requires leaders across the hardware and software industries in order to be successful,” added Mike Blalock, general manager for the financial services industry at Intel.

In fact, Intel co-founded the Confidential Computing Consortium to bring together a range of companies to further this technology concept through collaboration.

“We’re proud that Intel SGX has become a crucial component for Confidential Computing initiatives across so many Fortune 500 companies,” Blalock said in a prepared release, “and are excited to work with FiVerity and Fortanix to bring this capability to the fight against digital fraud in the financial services industry.”

In a prepared release, Ambuj Kumar, CEO of Fortanix, said: “We’re excited to work with FiVerity and Intel to expand Confidential Computing in the financial services industry, where the need is compelling in a variety of use cases... .”

“FiVerity was able to incorporate Confidential Computing into its platform quickly to further protect customer identities,” Kumar said. “Digital fraud detection is a particularly important and timely challenge for the industry which can be addressed with this technology.”

Ambuj Kumar, CEO of Fortanix, said that sharing information between financial institutions “greatly helps early detection and prevention, but it has to be done in a way that protects the privacy of data, and sensitive information is not compromised to competition.”

Rob Shavell, privacy expert and CEO at DeleteMe, said: “Identity verification is a double-edged sword. While it allows you to confirm the real identity of a person, it also opens the door to becoming fraud victims, or improperly disclosing personal information, as well as violating individual's privacy if not done correctly.”

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