It’s not often that we readily endorse a product or company. However, when the nature of work they engage in is considered ground-breaking and has a positive impact on our lives – it most certainly warrants a mention.
The rationale for considering such tech-driven projects as highly significant is neither due to ‘gut feeling’. Nor that it is simply fascinating and therefore must be an excellent product. This project actually has a value proposition for you!
We are indeed well into the information age and while we have written extensively about data, its importance to marketers and its fragility when used and abused by unscrupulous third-parties for their financial gain.
The issue of data security is however, quite a serious issue. You just need to pay attention to the news to become even more aware.
Data breach incidents
In Europe, the where security is supposedly more advanced, we have seen the likes of renowned airline British Airways, being hacked. Several hundreds of thousands of customers’ personal data compromised.
These were followed by hacks on other major airlines such as Cathay Pacific. Aside from airlines, other business outfits have suffered a similar fate.
The perpetrators are getting a lot more brazen and very recently, a cable car, used as public transport in Moscow was hacked, leaving vulnerable passengers terrified and stuck high up in the air. And this probably to the amusement of the pranksters (hackers).
Can you imagine the chaos and commotion that would be caused if their control systems of driverless cars were to be hacked?
The digital intrusions get even more sophisticated.
This time, affecting the very wealthy: private yachts are now being hacked and taken into the pirate waters, all via uniquely coded signals, reading data from their antennas!
On the issue of data security, you often hear about extra protection but not just anti-virus and anti-phishing software. The more secure and heavily encrypted Blockchain technology is, however, making waves in the digital sphere.
It is mainly for the escalation of its once shining star by-product designed for discreet transacting – the Bitcoin.
Blockchain technology has also triggered several other technologies based on its digital cryptology technology to ensure that your information is kept safe from prying eyes while stored, used or transferred online.
Blockchain products such as cryptocurrencies, however, are not completely safe from hackers!
The company we chose to highlight uses a unique vault system and is called Zortrex. It has adopted one of such Blockchain technologies dubbed tokenization. It will be using it to ensure that highly sensitive data online is kept safe.
“Our tokenised solution would have protected their customers’ personal identification information (PII) details. Instead the hackers ran off with the date of birth; passport numbers; financial data etc,” says Susan Brown, Chairperson of Zortrex – relating to the British Airways incident.
Tokenization is the process of converting rights to real-world assets into a digital token on a blockchain.
Brown’s background in data privacy systems as well as her devoted passion for the protection of PII, financial and healthcare data led her to start up and chair Zortrex.
“Companies have disrespected your data for over 25 years, and if left unattended, there will be nothing left to protect,” Browns says.
Thanks to new laws like the European GDPR law which is now imposing the data protection, data breaches and abuse of customer data is now met with hefty financial penalties.
Companies now think twice about consent and how to use and share your data digitally. But is it enough? The simple answer is no.
The authorities just do not have the resources to investigate every complaint nor to actively enforce all data breaches – yet.
We have ingeniously invented systems that automatically align with financial messaging, payments and securing information. All of which require data.
“However, we should and need to go a step further to secure all the PII details with tokenisation so that in the event of a hack, the cookies and trackers will only be following a ‘useless’ token as there is no real identification on it,” Brown explains.
Zortrex would naturally like to tokenise all healthcare data so that vulnerable people living outside of major cities can also feel assured that their privacy is protected.
In a previous blog, we wrote about the new Internet of things (IoT). All those devices being built for it. They would all need their IP addresses and the serial numbers tokenised for instance.
The application of the all-powerful blockchain is not limited to use in the financial sector and will be applied via the supply chain to all industries that deal with data – especially the most sensitive ones.
An angel investor or any investor for that matter looking to get onto the next best thing since Amazon would therefore be unwise to pass up the opportunity to back the Zortrex venture given its scope.
Furthermore, regulations are currently being implemented primarily in the pharmaceutical sector.
A tokenised supply chain such as what Zortrex offers would be ideal for this new law which is planned to be implemented by 2023. A judiciary blockchain, for instance, would enable the police to “talk” to the prison service, who in turn, will communicate with the legal sector or public health institutions (NHS).
Forensic evidence would in such instances be tokenised and kept secure (away from tampering) during legal hearings. In another practical scenario, Smart Contracts(which are touted to replace lawyers) can spark off legal aid assistance.
You court cases will be heard quicker and be more efficient. Protection registers can also be protected with tokenisation rendering it more secure.
Blockchain technology offers quality assurance making sure that no shortcuts are taken. The smart contracts specifically, trigger any possible malfeasance.
This will enable the monitoring and tracking of any data sharing to third parties once it is tokenised. The third party apps would only gain access to the data once the trigger has been activated.
Like other pioneers and visionaries, Brown’s futuristic hope that every child being born will have their name, date of birth, blood type data being tokenised, might seem farfetched. However, given the nature and rise of data breaches it is evidently necessary.
Zortrex wants to use their technology to put the hackers out of business!
Tokenisation cannot be mathematically reversed and thus it will least it will stop the hackers for a while.
For such high ambitions, the creators of Zortrex’s software have adequately ensured that the technology used is fully scalable. One stumbling block many Blockchain projects now face is what is referred to as scalability – which in tech terms, is the ability of a network or software to grow and manage increased demand.
Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum specifically – which is used to build a lot of Distributed Applications, however, have massive scalability issues.
The growth in demand for DApps is crippling those systems. They need to investigate the incorporation of alternative technologies, upgrade or split their platforms to cope with such high demand.
Someone must take the first step in securing this data forever. You should be able to purchase what you want without being harassed by trackers and cookies.
The need for tokenisation is endless and further, down the line, celebrities and government official’s PII can be secured by it to protect them from damaging schemes, ‘bad press’ and scandals.
In a previous blog, we “prophesized” that data is the new commodity – like gold or oil. However, the actual value with that data will lie in its privacy, the ability to store it securely and unlock it only with legal permission by its rightful owner.
We count on our intelligence to survive. Your IQ level or Emotional Intelligence (EQ) can help you with strategy and sharpen your life-skills. This goes some way in preventing the same fate as Dodo!
On a more serious level, intelligence means gaining the upper hand in mostly military warfare. It is like going into war to win against the enemy.
Employing tactics by institutions such as the CIA, KGB, MI5 and Interpol etc would help you anticipate the next action to take to mitigate costs (casualties).
Likewise, in the business environment, it is a crucial requirement to be strategic for the business’ survival.
It is no surprise, in today’s technological advancements, that there are tools available to draw up business plans, and predict events affecting its operations. This is conveniently referred to as Business Intelligence (BI).
The purpose of BI
The function of a business intelligence tool is to mainly assist with forecasting. After all, if you aren’t selling anything like a ‘for-profit’ business – you are out of business!
Using a good business intelligence tool can help accelerate and improve decision-making. It also helps with optimizing internal business processes, increasing productivity and efficiency.
This, in turn, helps generate more revenue with the same resources and can provide a significant competitive advantage over your competitors. BI tools can also help companies identify market trends and spot business problems that need serious attention.
Business intelligence is a technology-driven process for analysing data. It presents actionable information to help executives, managers and other corporate end users make informed business decisions.
There are a few BI tools out there, but the most usable and compatible ones are what you should be looking for. Compatibility is critical because to use these tools you need to analyse raw data!
Most people use MS Excel to store large (or small) transactions and datasets for sales, stock and other accounting-related reports. This data will need to be imported or accessed directly by the tool to generate real-time graphs, forecasts and reports.
A good BI tool should make accessing and processing such raw data a breeze.
As a business intelligence tool user, the one that makes the most sense to use is a Microsoft-based tool called Power BI. This is the one we recommend. It also comes free with a subscription to Office 365 Proplus package (latest Office apps), for as little as 12 USD per month.
That means you can dive in straight from MS Excel without having to add-on or pay for another subscription to a third-party software.
Sharing and publishing data easily. It is convenient to have an arsenal of data and professionally created graphs and reports. However, without the ability to inform others about the outcomes, it would be futile.
Fortunately, the real-time sharing functionality allows for you and all your stakeholders to ‘get the 411’ on trends and forecasts.
There is a lot of banter, which is backed up by well-research papers on how Automation and Robotics (powered by machine-learning systems) will replace jobs in the manufacturing and labour-intensive industries.
Blue-collar jobs are not the only ones however, that face imminent and progressive extinction.
A recently survey report conducted by the World Economic Forum predicts futuristic trends affecting certain jobs in the modern workplace.
Robert Solow predicted decades ago, in his Solow-Swan model, a massive driving force of global growth: technology.
And the evidence is prevalent with the likes of Apple, Microsoft, Google and Amazon championing stock markets with Billion-dollar market capitalizations and in the process creating an abundance of jobs globally.
Disruptive technological advances such as AI(Artificial Intelligence); the ubiquitous high-speed mobile Internet (5G); widespread adoption of big data analytics; cloud technology; and the recent Blockchain technology will be the drivers of this job evolution.
Based on the report, by 2022, this job evolution will be firmly in place as it has already.
In a matter of just 4 years, we could have a situation where jobs such as postal service clerks, data entry clerks, and bean-counters (accountants and auditors) would be made redundant.
Impact on services
Software like Microsoft’s Dynamics 365, aims to remove ‘silos’ within customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) processes.
The latter takes over (fully automates) back-office operations such as stock-taking and supply chain management.
Such tasks will be performed via software, reducing the need for more human supervision. Consequently, the focus would be more on managerial roles.
In the sales and customer service realm, technologies like Microsoft’s AI will provide automated insights to guide employees on improving customer experiences.
Furthermore, it may lower support costs by using virtual agents or Chatbots to eliminate in-house AI experts and those writing code. This will result in more redundancies!
On a positive note, newer and more exciting jobs such as data analysts, machine learning and AI specialists, digital transformation experts and in general information system services will be on the rise – up to 135 million globally, according to the Report.
The fields to benefit directly from new technologies would be information technology; information security; innovation; customer services and risk management (financial services).
Impact on finance
Another group of professionals whose nature of work will be affected due to the advent of ‘disruptive technology‘ are financial middlemen. Likewise, smaller banks and money transfer institutions.
Decentralised systems were primarily put in place to eradicate extra fees associated with transferring money across borders, and from one account to another. This because fees increase due to such intermediaries (financial middlemen).
Cutting them out completely undoubtedly renders them redundant. It is therefore pertinent for them to innovate their products in order to open up sufficient job position.
Recently, Malta’s finance minister whilst in a private interview during a Blockchain Conference, echoed this. He said that the advent of cryptocurrency has changed financial middlemen into traditional “photo developers”.
“I can see this, just like in photography when you could tell that […] those who process the photos will lose their jobs; a lot of financial intermediaries will be facing the chop in the not too distant future,” says Edward Scicluna.
The good news for governments will be that the trend shows that the jobs created will surpass those lost.
Be proactive and skill yourself accordingly or get the right personnel who can quickly adopt some of the mentioned skills so that you do not fall behind!