I am pleased to present a new blog in a series of interviews with companies introducing interesting and disruptive emerging technologies that impact the new era of Industry 4.0. Today we explore product innovations in securing communications, the supply chain, and ensuring personal safety, with Monte Brown, Founder, and CEO of The Rapier Technology Group
Hi Monte, can you describe the mission and capabilities of the Rapier Technology Group?
Monte: Yes, I would be happy to do so. Our mission is securing things we care about by enhancing product/data security, safety, and authentication for businesses, governments, and individuals. The Rapier Technology Group (RTG) has developed a full suite of cutting-edge technologies for supply chain security, secured communications, and product authentication across multiple sectors.
RTG offers specialized security products for the government mission and has a global commercial division with products tailored for industry. Unfortunately, data breaches and counterfeiting are on the rise in every industry and causing damaging results. The existing strategies to mitigate threats are intensive and require additional infrastructure or highly specialized solutions to solve the problem. And physical and digital vulnerabilities exist despite the best efforts and innovations in cybersecurity.
RTG seeks to fill such voids in the cybersecurity ecosystem by creating products that are disruptive by design, and easy to deploy and use. Our goal has been to develop simplicity in systems and security to allow cost-effective solutions that resolve today’s complex problems. Solutions do not always need to be so complex that we are unable to manage them.
Also, RTG is not just about delivering new and better technologies. A cornerstone of Rapier’s success has been and will continue to be the high degree of professionalism and integrity demonstrated every day by our employees throughout the company. As we grow in numbers and in the variety of clients and locales that we serve, it is important that we provide clear guidelines regarding how we should approach important issues and decisions that may arise as we strive to provide the best service to our clients and the best work environment for our employees
What is RTG’s unique stenographic communications platform and how does it enable security?
Monte: RTG’s product Ricochet is a file security and communications platform with a user-friendly interface and unparalleled security. Our proprietary pseudo-steganographic technique ensures sensitive data, messages, and files are imperceptibly hidden within innocuous carrier images and can be stored, transmitted, and accessed securely and reliably only by those authorized to do so. This approach has been tested against industry-standard analysis and attack methods, and reliably ensures hidden data is not statistically detectable and robust to brute force attack. A tiered access system ensures security at the individual and organizational levels and incorporates the ability to set time frames in which data is accessible. Finally, the Ricochet platform can be used on all common operating systems (Windows, MacOS, Android and iOS) and has compatibility across any file type.
Conventional means of communication, such as text messaging, can provide actionable intelligence to bad actors, and eavesdropping third parties. For example, in early March 2022, Russian intelligence was able to determine the location of a small cell of mercenaries based on their phone numbers and text metadata; once discovered, the suspected mercenary base was bombarded, leading to the deaths of 35 people. By contrast, users of the Ricochet platform could easily utilize less traceable forms of communication, such as emails sent through a VPN/Tor network or virtual dead drops via social media. Alternate forms of communication such as these are inherently more private, less suspicious, and can be carried out without the identifying information associated with cellular service/SIM cards
The Ricochet communication platform allows for secured file access and covert communications over normal communication channels, such as SMS, Facebook, email, etc. Using a proprietary asymmetric steganographic technique, hidden data, messages and files are imperceptibly embedded within innocuous carrier media and can be stored, transmitted and accessed securely and reliably. This process can be used on any common operating system (Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS), and has broad compatibility across any file type. Our steganographic algorithm takes the strengths of several more common approaches, then utilizes them in such a way that hidden data is no longer statistically detectable and is no longer susceptible to brute force attack. A tiered access system also ensures security at the individual and organizational levels, all the while adding the ability to set timeframes in which data is accessible.
Supply chains are highly dynamic and transit geographic spaces that exceed most organizations’ capacities for maintaining persistent monitoring and threat identification and pose a continual cybersecurity risk. What is Rapier’s approach to securing supply chains?
Monte: We have an amazing product called TAKEOFF that provides supply chain resilience through vetting, analytics, and persistent monitoring.
Because we have experience performing the SCRM mission in commercial and government organizations, we know that organizations can predict threats and mitigate vulnerabilities when they perform accurate and timely analysis of millions of data sources and records. For every part of an organization’s echelon—from the tactical to the strategic—we offer a SaaS-based, big data analytics platform for supply chain missions that enables clients to better track items moving within the supply chain, identify and assess vulnerabilities and threats, and provide insightful trend analysis. Our product enables clients to track commodities as they move through supply chains, while also using AI-enabled big data analytics tools to derive insights into companies, threats, vulnerabilities, processes, economic, social, and geopolitical trends, and more
TAKEOFF is the one-stop shop for meaningful data analysis and monitoring of shipped commodities. Going beyond mainstream technologies that only provide clients with insights into cargo manifests or business relationships, TAKEOFF performs two critical functions—persistent monitoring and predictive trend analysis and big data threat sensing. We integrate authentication and tracking sensors within complex, global supply chains, providing persistent awareness and security of sensitive commodities as they move from distributor to storage to delivery to installation. TAKEOFF comes with tailorable dashboards and visualizations, huge data sources and insights, AI/ML-driven analytics of billions of digital records, and supply chain verification and authentication sensors. The product is open architecture and common ontology easily integrates with other data and client network configurations. Blockchain, access controls, and DOD cyber security standards are employed to protect data and ensure need-to-know.
The capability of our system to prevent unauthorized access to files poses the possibility of securing supply chain records. By making file access, modification, and viewing restricted to only authorized personnel, supply chain records can be made fully confidential, and unhackable. RTG’s cloud-based track-and-trace platform is designed for manufacturers and supply chain operators with real-time visibility and product information from raw materials, to production floor, to warehouse, to retailers, to end user. The platform improves supply chain collaboration, security and visibility by enabling users to track the WHAT the item is, WHO last handled the item, WHEN the item was handled, WHERE it has been and is currently, and other customizable information as defined by each client.
TAKEOFF could be used for: Financial Industry (PII Protection), Security Industry (Chain of Custody), Medical & Pharma Industry (PII Protection), Music Industry (Authentication)
Voter Fraud (Authentication), and Movie & Entertainment Industry (Authentication)
In summary, TAKEOFF enables clients to track commodities as they move through supply chains, while also using AI-enabled big data analytics tools to derive insights into companies, threats, vulnerabilities, processes, economic, social, and geopolitical trends, and more.
What other products are available from RTG?
Monte: A horrific problem around the world is human trafficking, It is now the second fastest-growing crime globally and is a $150 billion business, factoring in sex and labor trafficking alone. A new product of RTG is our EVER24 smartphone application that acts as an instant detection, and emergency alert service (IDEAS) in the event of kidnapping/abduction or any other threat to personal safety. This application utilizes a smartphone’s LTE cellular connectivity, Bluetooth, speaker, microphone, accelerometers, and GPS to offer a full-featured suite of tools to assist in any emergency situation (i.e. medical emergencies, violent crime, fire, human trafficking, active shooter scenarios, and other traumatic events) at the moment it occurs. Currently, in the event of emergencies, there are limited options available to communicate on smartphones with loved ones and to receive assistance. Given the capabilities of modern-day smartphones, this lack of functionality is completely solvable with EVER24.
Emergency contacts with the application installed can work synergistically, regularly pinging the other devices in a one-way communication with their location and any panic signals. Connected smartphones can also send alerts to others’ devices and communicate with a cloud server to track panic signals. Emergency services call centers (PSAPs) can also be contacted with intuitive and customizable text-to-speech conference calling, enduring direct contact with users while automatically transmitting crucial, context-specific information.
In summary, EVER24 is a specialized application to enable personal safety. It is seamless, discreet, and can provide integrated tracking and reporting of users in distress with instant connection and communication to people who can help!
I really like your approaches using fusion of various technologies to address immediate gaps in cybersecurity and address real-world problems. Do you have other interesting projects in your research & development pipeline?
Monte: Yes, we are working closely with the Universities computational centers and top researchers from around the world. We have already developed and tested a digital system to create, deliver, and manage tax stamps for taxed goods. The full platform will track compliance, revenue, and with various access levels, allow regulators more oversight without requiring on-site visits to stores and distributors. We have active research in addressing issues with detecting attacks via sensors on OT and IT platforms and are building a sensor biometrics platform that is a secure, unclonable sensor monitoring system to VALIDATE INTEGRITY of sensor outputs and AUTHENTICATE IDENTITY of a sensor without modification of the sensor or manufacturing processes. And RTG even has its own 3-D printing studio. Please stay tuned!
Where can someone find more information on RTG?
For more information on the Rapier Technology Group, please contact: [email protected]
Thanks, Monte for a very informative interview!