Martin Staal Boesgaard, Founder and CEO
More often than not, even amongst a company’s management, cybersecurity conversations typically revolve around computer viruses, hackers, and monetary scams. But there are several layers and elements to information security (infosec) that miss the purview of executives across the globe. And ironically, one of the main overlooked problems is related to the most important assets—customers and employees. Or rather, the information collected about the customers and the employees. According to Martin Staal Boesgaard, an infosec expert with over 20 years of experience, the structure of privacy regulations around personally identifiable information (PII) has severely restricted data management within an enterprise’s environment. Data can often not be accessed, shared, or used due to privacy or security concerns. This often leads to lost business opportunities or unwarranted expenditures as a consequence. Boesgaard, understanding this growing need for more robust security and privacy protection measures in today’s digital-first world, founded his company PII Guard to fortify the privacy of companies and their respective customers.
Established in 2018, PII Guard is the product of Boesgaard’s extensive encryption research into obtaining the safest methods to encrypt PII such as names, e-mails, and residential addresses. “When I initially began working on protecting personal information, my broad experience in infosec and cryptography helped me recognise the flaws of existing technologies,” he explains. And with the results the founder procured, he developed a unique method for format-preserving encryption (FPE) where companies can process sensitive data while it remains encrypted. There is little to no need of ever decrypting the information and existing systems and methods can be used when working on the encrypted information. Boesgaard combined his findings with the deep technical and commercial expertise of his co-founders, and a world-renowned cryptology professor, to develop a range of patented products that bolster FPE for organisations across the globe.
The company is currently the sole proprietor of such robust safety measures for PII.
Leveraging the encryption technologies available today, it is easier to comply with regulatory authorities in all parts of the world
PII Guard helps their customers to adhere to GDPR guidelines and to respect the privacy of their users by encrypting data. “Leveraging the encryption technologies available today, it is easier to comply with regulatory authorities in all parts of the world,” adds Boesgaard. The Schrems II decision further hampers an organisation’s ability to effectively implement new changes as a recent ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) states that the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield no longer holds the necessary validity for transferring data to the US. However, with PII Guard’s Data Gateway and Test Data Generator, clients are empowered with democratised information to drive more value and fewer data restrictions while circumventing the challenges posed by Schrems II.
The two products enable seamless data transfers between various IT environments and security zones over the cloud, for example, while applying FPE and other types of protection to the content being shared. Data Gateway protects the information intended for tasks like analytics, AI training, business intelligence, and data warehousing, while Test Data Generator protects data to be used for testing and developing new software and IT systems. Furthermore, PII Guard’s products are built with maximum flexibility to enable quick implementation with minimal effort for a client. “The level of security we provide facilitates more employees to access and leverage greater amounts of data for their business growth,” expresses Boesgaard.
With such powerful features and positive reviews from the market, PII Guard is creating a new generation of data protection products to safeguard each individual’s personal information. Moving forward, the company intends to increase its outreach and acquire new clients while carrying out a geographical expansion as well. It is currently in the development process of a new line of interesting FPE and cybersecurity products that Boesgaard is sure will turn heads across the globe. The mission for PII Guard, after all, is to help set everyone’s data-free.