EP #502: The Secure Space just beyond the limit of app trust – with Graphite co-founder Alec Main

Are we all getting a little wiser when it comes to our mobile security? Sure, fingerprint scanning and password lock screens are a start but those aren’t the real challenges when it comes to protecting your identity from prying eyes. Much of what is shared is given away once you have already passed your security checkpoints. I’m talking about the price we all pay in order to use mobile applications: Our Facebook credentials and those of our extended social network, our email addresses, our phone numbers, our kids names and even our credit card and banking information.

Protecting this information should be important to us all. We don’t offer it up on our business cards, we don’t give it away to strangers, we don’t put it on our mailboxes yet, for some reason, we readily give it away to apps that ask us for that permission – often without a thought.

Today’s guest is trying to help secure our app world. His name is Alec Main and he is the co-founder of an Ottawa, Canada based company called Graphite Software. Graphite focuses on creating isolated “spaces” that control different personas of permissions – think of it as a sandbox for your apps. Trusted apps go in one, work apps in another and temporary (or “not-as-trusted”) apps can go in another. You get the point.

Alec and his team have a deep-rooted pedigree in security with a previous exit under their belt and are now focusing on a consumer story in an emerging field. Giving control of identity and security to the mobile user is a must for our industry to flourish unfettered. We dive into the state of acceptance for this kind of software, the commercial potential for “branded” spaces of curated content and temporary apps and how they were able to land their first customers.


Key takeaways from this episode. Click on the link and the video will take you to that clip

1. What does Graphite Software do? 1:30
2. Why attack this problem – what is the back story 3:45
3. What has been different between your first business, Cloakware, and this consumer-driven business? 8:20
4. Why is controlling identity important to consumers? 11:45
5. Do consumers understand the importance of controlling identity? 16:10
6. Is selling this type of offering to enterprise getting easier? 20:20
7. How does this help control identity? 22:45
8. How does context contribute to Spaces? 25:10
9. How branded spaces does curated content 30:10
10. What a temporary branded space could look like 34:00
11. What was the approach to be able to find your first customers? 38:15
12. What will it take for people to realize the importance of controlling identity and security on a mobile device? 41:40

Raw Transcript

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About Alec Main
Alec Main Graphite SoftwareAlec is an experienced business leader who develops and executes strategic business plans to drive company growth. Alec has been influential in the security industry, shaping the security models and technology that are used by many of the largest OEMs and service providers in the world. While with Nagra, he managed a large, cross-functional and international development and delivery team providing OTT streaming video solutions to a broad range of service providers and CE devices. As the CTO of Cloakware, Alec guided the product strategy and led engagements with key customers until the acquisition of the company in late 2007 for US$72.5 million.

About the author

Rob Woodbridge

I'm Rob, the founder of UNTETHER.tv and I've spent 14 years immersed in the mobile and pervasive computing world. During this great time I've helped some of the most innovative companies grow their business through mobile. If you are in need of a mobile business advisor or coach, connect with me here to get things rolling.

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