The impacts on storage and compliance from Blockchain, robots and IoT

At Web Summit in Lisbon, key issues for storage and compliance included the internet of things (IoT), Blockchain, biometrics and always-available health data.

In this podcast, Computer Weekly storage editor Antony Adshead talks with the CEO of Vigitrust, Mathieu Gorge, about the implications for storage and compliance of always-available healthcare data, biometric security methods and the data generated, Blockchain, and human-robot interaction in internet of things deployments.

Antony Adshead: What is Web Summit, why is it important, and what key themes emerged with regard to storage and compliance?

Mathieu Gorge: The Web Summit has been held every year for the past 10 years. It grew from 400 people to more than 59,000 people this year, and is currently held in Lisbon. The founder is Paddy Cosgrave, who started it in Dublin, but it got so big it needed a new home.

Web Summit is organised in different tracks. There are tracks for startups, for scaling companies and for enterprises. It’s a mix of 24 different summits; some focus on software as a service (SaaS), some on compliance and others on next-generation IT, which is primarily the IoT and robots at the moment.

It allows people to get a feel for everything web-based, and any type of new solutions that are coming out. It also has a number of keynote speakers that come in from large organisations, but also innovative startups. It’s always excellent to learn and it’s very good for networking.

Adshead: Could you expand on key themes that emerged with regard to storage and compliance?

Gorge: If I look very briefly at four key things, the first one is startups. There is always a number of them that pitch every day at Web Summit.

There was a trend around solutions to do with health data; how we build solutions that allow consumers to have a full overview of their health status in such a way that it’s available and securely stored on the cloud, and that they can get access to that information anywhere and anytime so they can get treatment anywhere in the world. There were a number of innovative solutions there that were showcased.

The second was security and compliance; new ideas on how we can provide strong authentication and identity management. There was a lot of focus on biometrics, looking at your eyes, fingerprints and a mix of different things.

These are not necessarily groundbreaking, but there was an emphasis that wasn’t there last year. It was coupled with the question of how we store those credentials from a security perspective. Is it stored on the go, in vaults or in dynamic storage? Again, there are a number of startups in that domain.

Focusing on Blockchain

Third is Blockchain. There were a number of keynotes around Blockchains; some around what an initial coin offering is, how it works, why it is good for startups and the industry, and what it allows you to do. It was interesting to see heavy hitters like Tim Draper speaking on the main stage.

Finally, there was the concept of the IoT, focusing on the advent of the first robots coming out in the market and how those devices become intelligent through AI. From a storage and compliance perspective, they accumulate information about humans and our interaction with robots. One of the key questions asked how we make sure this is done in a correct and secure way; as well as how we make sure it is done in compliance with the new EU GDPR, because it’s going to be very hard to track everything.

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