George Wolf specializes in keeping data secure.
In 1998, Wolf co-founded a company that secures computers for use in high-stakes exams.
As the company learned more about security technology, it discovered another opportunity: making USB flash drives secure. The thumb-size devices are inserted into computer USB ports.
Seeing a need to keep data on those devices safe, Wolf blended security features for the flash drive and created a new business, Deerfield Beach-based Systematic Development Group, which developed the LOK-IT Secure Flash Drive that has an onboard 10-key PIN pad.
The company does most of its business with government, military and health care agencies, and corporate clients, such as global consulting firms, multinationals and financial services channels.
When did your idea first occur to you? What were the circumstances? As we grew in the security technology area, in 2008 we were introduced to another existing technology that we felt held similar potential, but for a completely different application — USB flash drives. Back then, security issues surrounding USB drives dominated technology and security news, and after researching how manufacturers were handling those issues, we concluded the market was ready for an alternative solution.
This is a very competitive field since for the general non-techie all flash drives are the same. Even for techies, it's sometimes hard to distinguish the differences between secure and nonsecure drives, especially based upon appearance. But LOK-IT's appearance is unique since it features a PIN Pad mounted on the drive.
How do you distinguish yourself from the pack? The answer is three-fold: Develop a solution. We wanted to strip away the constraints of software that make drives platform dependent. So we eliminated those negatives making drive-use much simpler. Certify your product if you are to compete in this space. That means going through an industry-recognized agency and process that will rate your product to meet recognized standards in areas such as design assessment, physical security testing, algorithm testing, source code review and operational testing. Educate users. We attend trade conferences and expos. We're heavily invested in web marketing; we provide product data information; we've organized a global network of distributors to assist in marketing; we've hired specialized consultants to work with us in the government and military channels.
What can you do that your competitors cannot? Since user authentication is managed in hardware, not software, LOK-IT is totally platform-independent. As such it is the only FIPS 140-2 drive that, in addition to any PC, will operate with medical devices, scanners, copiers, projectors, smart phones/tablets and DVRs that are host USB or USB O-T-G compatible. This flexibility is a big plus when making a purchase decision.
As the industry expands, what should job applicants be equipped with to be marketable — as if you were their potential employer? Someone planning on entering this job market should focus on a specialty, become the best you can be in that field but remain flexible and continue to learn. You never know how many 'hats' you may be called to wear.
What keeps you up at night? The speed at which technology continues to evolve and the impact that it will have on humankind. Some predict by 2045 the quantity of artificial intelligence created will be about a billion times the sum of all the human intelligence that exists today. It's theorized humans will become redundant as 'machines' will be capable of human-level intelligence. It makes you wonder what type of legacy our generation is leaving for future generations and what the world they will live in will be like.
firstname.lastname@example.org or 954-356-4662 Twitter.com @mindingyourbiz
Five tips to pitch a product
Five tips to pitch a product
Qualify the client
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Company: Systematic Development Group LLC, 350 Jim Moran Blvd., Suite 120, Deerfield Beach Web: LOK-IT.net Phone: 954-889-3535
Certification resource: Federal Information Processing Standard 140-2 published by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, issuer of FIPS 140 Publication Series to coordinate requirements/standards of cryptographic modules for use by federal government agencies.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times