Techopia Live: Entrust Datacard bringing cybersecurity to physical identification

Hacking, phishing and malware are not the only threats facing individuals and businesses today. While the cyber arena might be more hazardous than ever before, the physical world – and its intersections with the digital realm – is increasingly under scrutiny for its level of security.

Techopia Live stopped by the Kanata offices of Entrust Datacard this week, where nearly 400 people work on not only developing cloud-based software equipped with the latest digital protections, but also bridge the company’s cybersecurity tech into the physical world.

Though Datacard has been in the identity and authentication business for half a century – starting out developing credit and bank cards and eventually bridging into licences and passports – the Entrust part of the equation was born in Ottawa as a spinoff of Nortel Networks. Entrust’s work securing internet communications outlasted Nortel itself, and in 2013 the company merged with ID giant Datacard.

Greg Wetmore, Entrust Datacard’s vice-president of product development, told Techopia Live that the merger of the companies’ specialties in the digital and physical realms addressed a critical need emerging in the security industry.

Today, physical identifications such as passports have microchips embedded inside them, which connect an individual’s digital identity to their physical self. A quick scan of these chips, say at an airport, enables more efficient movement of individuals across borders than in decades past.

“Those chips and digital identities allow that to happen,” Wetmore said.

Beyond passports and ID cards, Entrust Datacard sees the mobile device as the de facto piece of identification in the coming years. Wetmore said the company’s specialties in both the digital and physical spheres have positioned it to embrace the mobile revolution and develop secure solutions for some of the world’s largest banks, governments and enterprises.

“That is the future state for identity. The technology is really converging across those two realms,” he said.

To hear about how Entrust Datacard’s Kanata workforce has driven the company’s business for more than two decades, watch the video above.