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Q&A With Thierry Levasseur On Improving E-Mail Communication Systems And Security

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Thierry Levasseur is a technology entrepreneur and business leader who has a number of patents to his credit, specifically related to e-mail security and data leak protection.

Q: Why did you feel the need to work on improving e-mail security? What inspired you initially to pursue this area of technology?

A: In my mind, e-mail, in its current state, is in dire need of revisiting. The existing design and architecture allows for virus attacks, “spam” abuse and major security concerns. The system I have created is versatile and includes multiple features. One of the main advances includes the secure transfer of e-mail messages through existing clients and without requiring a changed e-mail address. It provides a comprehensive solution that is compatible with existing email systems, while improving their security and functionality.

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Q: Why target e-mail specifically?

A: Well, according to some studies, 90% of viruses are passed through e-mail, which makes users more cautious than ever about what e-mails they open. 51% of corporations have had a virus disaster, while six major viruses over the last five years have resulted in $20 billion in estimated global costs. In 2005, more than 200 viruses actively spread on the Internet resulting in approximately 0.65% of all e-mail messages carrying a virus. If those aren’t good reasons, I don’t know what is.

Q: Are there other advantages to the e-mail systems you have patented?

A: E-mails can be completely tracked and users can view information about a message, including other recipients’ responses, before opting to open it. This application also has the inclusion of private and public messages in a single communication as well as a configurable cryptographic engine for storage.

Q: How long have you spent studying these types of issues?

A: I’ve spent the last 25 years honing my expertise and experience in Web-based issues, concerns and advances, and attempting to innovate around them. It’s a passion of mine. I’m truly dedicated to creating high value, but simple to understand needs for organizations to effectively manage their business communications and content.

Q: Why, in your mind, is e-mail security increasingly vital?

A: I would cite the 2016 U.S. Presidential election for its focus on e-mail security. At first the controversy was limited to just Hillary Clinton’s use of a private e-mail account to conduct government business as Secretary of State, but was expanded when hackers gained access to the Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) database.

The DNC was so compromised that the hackers were able to read e-mail and chat communications. These events, and their political and international security fall-outs, significantly altered the public’s opinion of Clinton and the DNC, as well as highlighted the increasing importance of e-mail security for business, personal and international security. As trust in the security of digital communication is at the forefront of many minds, I think it’s essential for businesses to ensure their data and communications are secure and to relay that security to consumers.

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Q: Of course, e-mail isn’t the only security concern in our online world, Google recently published stats that showed just how much smartphones have infiltrated our daily lives. Do you see security risks around smartphones as well?

A: With so much activity occurring on mobile phones, coupled with actual purchases made on smartphones, the security of mobile data is something that should be addressed. Some of the security concerns are: vulnerabilities in mobile payment services, as hackers look to bypass security measures and steal credit card information via mobile payment apps; mobile browser hijacking as hackers gain total control of a device by exploiting browser vulnerabilities and access personal data; and unsecure wi-fi networks, when you unknowingly have your phone set to auto-connect, your data could be seen by others through insecure apps or web-browsing.

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