Interview with Gerry Euston, CEO, Ceelox Inc.
Jan-15-09 fB You have a very impressive line up of products in your Security Suite. Can you please briefly describe your product lineup? Ceelox The Ceelox Data Security Suite consists of our core products – Ceelox ID, Ceelox Vault and Ceelox SecureMail. Implementation of the Ceelox solution provides increased security, productivity and regulatory compliance with the swipe of a finger. ID Server Edition, Stand Alone Edition and Online (SDK) Ceelox ID is easy to use Identity Access Management software that seamlessly integrates with Windows Active Directory. ID creates a biometric Single Sign On that pushes user credentials to networks and programs. ID creates true audit trails while eliminating the need for multiple passwords and reducing costly help desk password administration. More secure, more cost effective and easier to use and administer, ID is an excellent replacement for security tokens. Increase the speed of authentication with the strongest security available today - biometrics. Vault and Vault Stick Ceelox Vault is easy to use data protection software. Ceelox Vault Stick is a Flash Memory Drive with the Vault software, an embedded biometric reader on the stick and available FIPS 140-2 cryptographic module. With Vault, encrypting sensitive files and folders is now as simple as drag and drop. Secure credit card and social security numbers, ePHI and PII, critical business information and intellectual property with government grade encryption. Vault is the most cost effective desktop and portable data storage encryption solution available today, combining powerful encryption ciphers with fingerprint biometrics. SecureMail Ceelox SecureMail is easy to use email encryption software. Besides having a Microsoft Outlook plug-in, SecureMail now works with web-based email products like Hotmail, Gmail and Yahoo Mail. SecureMail insures data security and the proper handling of sensitive information in email communications. Email is not a secure form of communication. SecureMail enables you to securely deliver sensitive information and to proactively keep confidential information from prying eyes with powerful encryption ciphers and fingerprint biometrics. fB Legislation is now coming into place that requires businesses to encrypt customer data. How will the legislation affect your business? Ceelox
So far, seven states (Nevada, California, Texas, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Michigan and Washington) require businesses to protect personal and private customer information. The state laws are new, but the FTC and GLBA have required the use of encryption to protect PII for several years. With the state legislatures getting involved, we expect a serious increase in awareness leading to an increase in compliance. Our solutions have helped many companies fulfill their regulatory requirements and with the new state laws, we expect to benefit from the additional regulatory focus. My vision for the future is that using biometrics and encryption will become standard operating procedures for businesses of all sizes, both here in the North America and throughout the world. fB Has this been a good year for the company? Ceelox Few things are more exciting than the frontline of dramatic change, be it politics or business. In my career, I’ve been fortunate to shepherd a few technology companies through periods of astounding growth. This has been a phenomenal year for Ceelox. Ceelox ID and Vault received excellent reviews from SC Magazine in the September and October issues respectively. This was a huge milestone for Ceelox. Tested against our most successful competition, companies with staffing and resources of 10 times Ceelox size, we received reviews that were equal to and often greater than our competition. One competitor even mentioned our product in their press release – third party validation of our competitive standing. Citrix products are in 99% of the world’s largest 500 corporations and our technology partnership with Citrix has driven significant Ceelox ID improvements. Our brilliant product development team has re-engineered our biometric access control product to work across multiple virtualization servers in Citrix Server Farms. Ceelox ID Server Edition deploys across Citrix server farms and neighborhoods to improve security, management, access control and lower hardware and software costs. With multiple Citrix virtualization servers, Ceelox ID controls biometric access to Windows, networks, programs and Web sites for Citrix ICA Clients. In the published desktop mode, communications between the local client and Citrix servers allow the local biometric scanner to submit credentials to remote servers. We are among the first biometric authentication applications to apply for Citrix Ready status and possibly the only program to authenticate and enroll across the server farm. This very exciting accomplishment will drive huge opportunities for Ceelox. In 2008 we launched our CSP or Channel Sales Partner program - an overwhelming success. We offer new partners a significant "Quick Start" discount and are thrilled with the success to date. We have built several strong partner relationships that are beginning to bear fruit. We expect the Channel to drive over 40% of our 2009 growth. 2008 was a great year and I look forward to Ceelox’s continued success in 2009. fB
Your solutions apply to many industries. Are their certain vertical markets that you are focusing on? Ceelox We focus on the highly regulated industries – financial services, utilities, healthcare and government agencies. Needing secure network access and data communications, our first implementations were in banks and utility SCADA systems. We have recently begun to increase our marketing efforts in the Healthcare industry. I feel that with HIPAA and Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology regulations, we can make a considerable impact in this vertical. Ceelox is a veteran-owned small business and we have close ties to the Former Attorney General John D. Ashcroft. To kickoff to our efforts in the Government sector, we invited our local Congressman to visit our Headquarters in Tampa. Having already built an amazing government pipeline, we are in the final stages of acquiring our GSA Schedule contract and have an entire team focused on the vertical. We recently participated in a NASA event focused on VOSB and plan to participate in several events in 2009. We are deeply committed to the highly regulated market, but at the same time, growing public acceptance and legislative requirements are opening up biometrics and encryption to wider markets. In 2009, we will drive significant marketing efforts in the SMB marketplace. This is a very diverse market and requires significant marketing efforts to gain a strong foothold. But we are determined to be the biometric security software leader in the SMB market. fB Can you please walk us through a recent deployment? Ceelox We have several financial institutions using our solutions in varying degrees. One of our recent deployments in a bank is a great example of measurable success. In the back office management, IT, and accounting - they have enhanced the level of their security by implementing Ceelox ID, Vault and Vault on flash memory sticks. Throughout the day, the staff is able to quickly and easily access their systems, networks and online programs with just a swipe of the finger. No more passwords – the weakest form of authentication, to remember or change, no more helpdesk calls due to lock out or forgetting passwords, no more audit trail inaccuracy. They utilize the desktop Vault solution to ensure that data at rest is always protected. Encrypting a document is as easy as drag and drop. Plus, since they have biometric fingerprint scanners, the files are not only protected with AES 256 encryption but the password is their fingerprint – ensuring that only authorized personnel can decrypt the files. Further, they use Ceelox Vault on flash memory sticks with embedded fingerprint readers to ensure that data in transit is secure, as well. In the next few months we will be expanding Ceelox ID company-wide in areas such as the teller line and account executives laptops.
I mentioned that this was a deployment with measurable success. The bank’s outside security firm does a regular security assessment for all their information systems. The firm is basically a white hacker firm and was very successful in previous years in obtaining long lists of user names and passwords. After the introduction of the Ceelox Security Suite the audit results improved dramatically. Giving the bank a big check in the compliance box! fB What are some of the challenges you face with this technology? Ceelox Public legislation and acceptance is growing, but this has not yet driven biometrics to be SOP. Although you can’t fool modern RF sensors with a gummy finger, mythology about biometrics is still a barrier to adoption. Despite what movies such as "Eagle Eye" and "28 Days Later" depict, you can’t trick modern biometrics with an identical twin or a chopped off hand! But mass media continue to make our business case difficult to present. Once you get past the hype of Hollywood, we are at a turning point in the market. Today, securing information systems with biometrics and encryption is simple to deploy, easy to use and provides increased security and productivity. Our challenge is to spread the word. fB In terms of new product development, what can we expect to see from Ceelox in the near future? Ceelox At the time of printing this article, we are launching Ceelox ID version 1.6. By adding an Active Directory snap-in to Ceelox ID, System Administrators can easily add biometric access control across their domains including Citrix Server Farms. Location APIs in the upcoming Windows 7 OS enable application developers to access sensor data with C++ programming or COM scripting. This will help set a standard for universal acceptance of fingerprint and other forms of biometrics. When Windows 7 arrives, we plan to be ready on day one. We are currently building multi-modality into our core products and plan to release them in mid 2009. This will increase our marketplace and provide our customers with several choices depending on deployment requirements. Being able to use our products on smart-phones and thin clients will be another Ceelox development in 2009. But I don’t want to give away too much. Let’s put it this way, our competitors may not name Ceelox in their press releases in 2009, but they will be putting Ceelox in their Competitive Intelligence analysis. Thanks findBiometrics for the continued great work.
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