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whiteCryption’s Thorsten Held on Protecting Critical Content and Applications

Thorsten Held, managing director at whiteCryption, is focused on protecting intellectual property with cryptography. His company helps enterprises that need a greater degree of security in the area of digital rights management (DRM). Held sees a need for stronger protection of content and critical apps on all devices.
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“We want to give tools to our customers to enable them to do what they feel is the right approach,” said Held. “We provide a lot of consultancy so we help our customers understand the different options and the different scenarios. Each industry has different requirements and we help customers achieve them.”

Held was interviewed by Richard Stiennon as part of IT-Harvest’s 2016 Video Interview Series, which ran alongside the 2016 RSA Conference in San Francisco. He explained that the majority of whiteCryption’s initial customers wanted a secure DRM solution.

“We help customers harden the DRM implementation,” said Held. “The solution itself is known and defined. The content owners, [such as] Hollywood studios, require an extra layer of security. Our key mission is to make sure DRM providers hide keys in their system.”

Broadening the Platform

whiteCryption recently teamed up with Trustonic to simplify security for mobile and IoT app developers. Trustonic’s hardware-level security is already embedded in more than 500 million smart devices.

“The whole idea is to broaden the platform,” Held said of the partnership. “So many devices do come with some IP on board today.  And how do you close that gap, especially if you’re talking about customer-facing solutions? You definitely want to be sure that there’s no limitation of use.”

Held said it is not merely enough to say that a feature runs on 55% or 75% of the available devices. By combining IP with a software-based solution (like the one whiteCryption provides), “You [get] the flexibility to say that either the application or the features of the application can run on 100% of the devices.”

The Value of Security

Held also spoke about the benefit of relying on partners to deliver deeper integrated solutions than whiteCryption provides on its own.

“I think that’s key for most of the mid-sized companies,” he said. “They either don’t have the expertise or the funds to develop everything themselves, so they are in need of a deeper integrated solution.”

Not all companies know why they want to invest in security, however.

“It’s hard to convince them,” said Held. “We have a price tag, of course, and it’s a license fee. If you understand the value of security and it’s part of your business model, it’s easy [to convince an enterprise].”

whiteCryption’s integrated code protection and white-box cryptography solutions protect software applications at the source code level to prevent against unwanted alteration, intellectual property theft and keep secret cryptographic keys hidden.