Mobile security company V-Key is among the first few innovative tech product companies to receive accreditation from IDA.
SINGAPORE: Mobile security company V-Key joins the first batch of innovative tech companies to receive an accreditation boost from IDA.
V-Key aims to re-establish trust in the mobile world and has received strong endorsement for its approach to securing this space. The company, which showcased its solution at the recent Smart Nation: Data Works event, was one of the first three innovative tech product companies accredited by the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA).
Established in 2011, V-Key’s mobile security suite helps ensure that users’ sensitive information and transactions remain secured, even if their mobile devices are lost or compromised.
The company, whose founding members come from defence and cyber security backgrounds, was set up because the trust model surrounding mobile devices and their operating systems was broken, said Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Benjamin Mah, who previously played key roles in enterprise single sign-on software company Encentuate and managed security services provider e-Cop.
“While desktop security was becoming increasingly sophisticated, mobile security has been slow to catch up. This is worrying because mobile devices and applications are the fastest growing targets for new cyber attacks around the globe,” he said.
To address this, V-Key has developed a patent-pending V-OS (operating system) virtual secure element that is similar to mobile hardware security elements such as the SIM card or NFC (near-field communications) chip. However, the patent-pending V-OS takes the important step of ensuring that mobile applications are also secured even if the underlying mobile operating system is compromised. It does this by providing a secure sandboxed middleware where applications can be protected, protecting the user’s sensitive information and transactions even if the mobile device itself is hacked into.
The sandbox is a tamper-proof virtual layer which incorporates security mechanisms such as binary code morphing, anti-reverse engineering, Trojan detection mechanisms, and device checks, as well as techniques to respond to attempted tampering when detected.
V-Key also uses encryption to protect the data on mobile devices. With this, even if the attackers were to have control of the underlying software environment, they would not be able to steal information from the application or user.
The sectors that V-Key is targeting include financial institutions such as banks, insurance companies and payment networks that are looking to launch new digital mobile products; public agencies with mobile applications and m-services; healthcare and transportation.
In March this year, V-Key entered a strategic partnership with China Payment and Remittance Service Co Ltd (ChinaPnR) to secure more than 1 million merchants in the country.
The partnership enables ChinaPnR to transform the mobile client for its Point of Sale (POS) payment acquisition query platform, ChinaPnR POS Acquirer, into a threat-aware and tamper-resistant intelligent application, said the Chinese financial payment provider.
In a media statement, Mr Patrick Lin, Chief Information Officer of ChinaPnR, said V-Key’s solution helps ensure “a 360-degree comprehensive protection for end-users’ information”.
Building on its unique patent-pending technology and successful large-scale deployments, V-Key aims to scale its user base by 100 times in the next two or three years through more partnerships. “Our goal is to deliver a simple, yet powerful and intelligent security solution that improves users’ confidence and experience in today’s mobile apps-driven world,” said Mr Mah.