One Allentown software security company intends to launch its product at the end of September and change the way people send out all of their private information.
“Let's say I send you an email. That email comes to you encrypted so that if you send it to someone else, I am alerted and I can trace it. That other person will not be able to open the email without my permission,” said William D. Brown, CEO and founder of SeKur Technology Inc. of Allentown.
The yet-to-be released software has the ability to encrypt, track and control the distribution of any file whether online or offline, he said.
A user logs onto SeKurXfr, the firm's transfer system, to upload a protected file. A notification is received when the file is opened, and the firm can monitor the file's status and disable it at anytime if there is a security issue.
Brown, a veteran of the computer industry, also had a career as a music producer. He and an artist, for whom he was a producer, fell victim to piracy. This breach of security was the vehicle that fueled the creation of SeKurXfr.
“We put out records, and we were thinking that they were not successful. Then, all of a sudden, we were finding out that they were popular in other countries, Germany, Russia and China, for instance,” Brown said.
“We weren't getting royalties, and, yet, we could go online and download the full album of music and see the music cover,” he said. “This stolen music perpetuated the software.”
Brown said a friend of his in the tech industry encouraged him to find a way to stop this kind of infringement from occurring in the future.
“He said, 'You worked in the tech industry, why don't you figure out a way to stop this?' That is how it began.”
From there, Brown began searching for companies that would help develop this software. He enlisted a company in India to assist with producing it.
Lindsay R. Watson was the singer and songwriter who had her music stolen while working with Brown's production company. The emotional upheaval she suffered from the invasion of privacy prompted her to join Brown's cause and launch software to help other artists.
Watson is director of business development at SeKur Technology.
“There was nothing there to keep other artists from going through the same pain I experienced,” Watson said. “I understand that pain, and this is about helping others.
“It hurts to see your music circulating all over the world, being downloaded for free.”
According to Brown, who established the company in 2009, it has taken several years for the security software to gain momentum, since the software initially was conceptualized primarily for the music and entertainment industry. The product was first presented to music executives, who had difficulty believing that it could stop piracy.
Not willing to let go of the concept, Brown and his team analyzed the software and began seeing it in a universal format that was not just limited to music. They went back and did some reinvention and created a product that could be used in many industries across the board.
This generated more interest and served to help the company acquire investors and a provisional patent for the product.
Watson and Brown said Tom Garrity, managing partner of Compass Point in Allentown, has been working with SeKur Technology over the last year and has been a great asset to the software company. Garrity has been instrumental in the development of SeKur's business strategy, implementation and fundraising, Watson and Brown said.
“We took the software to a smaller market. We are starting at the colleges and having beta groups use the software,” said Brown, adding that he hopes that as many as 5,000 people join the beta group. “Then, we are going to have other companies try it.”
One college put the software through a trial run to determine its functionality, what it liked and what it didn't like.
“They looked at the interface, they came back to us with what they would change, and we made those changes. Now, everybody likes it,” Brown said.
This month, SeKur Technology will launch a crowd-funding campaign with a company called RocketHub, which is in partnership with Project Startup on the A & E network. The campaign, which will be unveiled on the Internet, is expected to draw people to contribute small amounts of money toward the venture.
Brown said the firm recently linked up with an information technology and data center systems integrator to raise the initial $200,000 for the software and up to $5 million in capital. The partnership also is expected to help SeKur Technology navigate through government regulations and clearances.
“Our system was created so that people and companies of all sizes can use it. The software gives you complete control of any document you put out there,” Brown said.