Patented system better secures digitally stored data

May 21, 2013 by Natalie Pierce & Joe Kullman

(Phys.org) —Arizona State University computer scientist Gail-Joon Ahn has been granted a U.S. patent for a novel identity management system that helps protect personal identity information stored on digital devices.

The patent is the result of a 10-year project Ahn began in 2003 as an associate professor at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte (UNC Charlotte), where he was the founding director of the Center for Digital Identity and Research.

Ahn is an associate professor and a Fulton Entrepreneurial Professor in the School of Computing, Informatics, and Decision Systems Engineering, one of ASU's Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering.

He's also founder and of GFS Technology, an ASU-incubated company set up to commercialize his mobile security technologies.

GFS Technology focuses on identity management solutions and also works on a platform for mobile users whose mobile devices are used for work, eCommerce, financial transactions and Internet use. The technology protects against insecure connections, hackers, phishers and identity thieves by targeting four layers of vulnerability: networks, applications, services and data.

Ahn's platform stems from a more ambitious project to produce a "mobile wallet" that can safely store a person's "digital presence" and other personal information on a mobile device.

"This invention is just one piece," Ahn says. "There are a lot of other applications for this technology."

GFS Technology's solutions can be used for anything from ensuring confidential business transactions to securely purchasing groceries at the supermarket.

"This invention can create a new paradigm in terms of purchasing transactions in the mobile computing community," he explains.

Ahn led a research project on the identity management solution for Bank of America for five years when he was at UNC Charlotte, but due to economic restrictions at the time, could not afford the technology. When Ahn came to ASU in 2008, he brought his security research project with him.

The Open Invention Network (OIN), a North Carolina-based company, purchased and licensed Ahn's work at ASU in 2009 - including an invention that protects customers' identity. The company's clients include large corporations such as IBM and Cisco. Through the licensing, Ahn has so far brought $200,000 in royalty payments to ASU.

When Open Invention Network licensed Ahn's work, the company filed seven patent applications in his name. "ASU realized it was very valuable," Ahn says, and Arizona Technology Enterprises (AzTE) – the university's intellectual property management and technology transfer organization – then helped to develop GFS Technology.

GFS chief executive officer and founder Ken Petzoid and director James Power now work out of the business park SkySong – The ASU Scottsdale Innovation Center.

The patent on the identity management system is the first Ahn has received. He has six pending patents for the digital security platform, along with two other security patents pending on systems that focus on picture-password authentication and Internet security.

Explore further: Apple sees iCloud attacks; China hack reported

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

SKorean presidential hopeful vows freer Internet (Update)

Nov 15, 2012

(AP)—A South Korean presidential candidate has promised to get rid of encryption technology that has tied South Korean Internet users to a single web browser—Microsoft's Internet Explorer —for online financial transactions.

Portable metabolism tracker launched

Jan 25, 2013

Breezing, a new startup based on technology developed by researchers at Arizona State University, is offering the world's first portable device that can track an individual's metabolism and use that information t ...

AP settles lawsuit with AHN Media

Jul 13, 2009

The US news agency the Associated Press announced Monday that it had settled an intellectual property lawsuit against AHN Media, an online company accused of misappropriating AP articles.

Recommended for you

Apple issues security warning for iCloud

3 hours ago

Apple has posted a new security warning for users of its iCloud online storage service amid reports of a concerted effort to steal passwords and other data from people who use the popular service in China.

Review: Better cameras, less glare in iPad Air 2

3 hours ago

If I've seen you taking photos with a tablet computer, I've probably made fun of you (though maybe not to your face, depending on how big you are). I'm old school: I much prefer looking through the viewfinder ...

User comments : 0