Naum Berestetsky of LYNX.io tells us about how their system will substitute this easy-to-copy hand-written signature and will secure it on the cloud.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Naum Berestetsky: COVID-19 is a challenging period for all of us, and my family is no exception. Thank God everyone is healthy, and fortunately, we live in an advanced country. It gives you support and confidence. These feeling helps to get through such a life period more easily.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded LYNX.io.
Naum Berestetsky: I was born in Moscow, Russia. During the year 1992, along with my family, I moved to Jerusalem, Israel, and since then, I have been living and developing here. I have over 15 years of hands-on industry experience, raging across process engineering, compliance, validation, and project management, and hold M.Sc. in Chemistry and Materials Science from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
My personal attribute of passion for solving problems inspired me to become an entrepreneur. The idea of developing a solution to protect handwritten signatures and hardcopy documents originated in the motive of a personal story. My family lost very expensive real estate in Moscow due to the forgery of related documents by criminal structures, which stimulated me to start developing a game-changer solution.
This is how Lynx.io was established. Lynx.io is an early-stage startup, which was founded in 2018 by me and my partner Emil Shaked to solve a global problem related to the forgery of handwritten signatures and manipulation with paper-based documents.
How does LYNX.io innovate?
Naum Berestetsky: Even though paper-based documents are still relevant and are still widely used today for several reasons, there is no reliable, foolproof solution protecting the authenticity of the date and signature on paper-based documents. You may find this hard to believe, but paper records double every three years. According to reliable sources, the paper may continue to be the go-to medium of business communication for many more decades. Even in companies with an integrated electronic document flow, a certain percentage of documents will always remain on paper. Not to mention those countries where the paperwork is paper-based only, and the number of forgeries and fraud grows from year to year. We at Lynx.io developed and patented the signing method system and device.
How it works: The Lynx.io stamp determines the signer’s identity using an integrated biometric sensor, then the document is scanned using a dedicated app thru the user’s smartphone device. After the text’s characters are extracted and converted, the content is hashed. This hash digest is encrypted together with the signer’s ID, event’s date, location, and finally, using the signer’s private key, which is stored inside the Lynx.io stamp, the digital signature is created. The entire cryptographic process is conducted on the Lynx signing device. This digital signature, together with the URL to cloud storage, is incorporated into a QR code. The QR code is printed on the physical document thanks to the integrated printer in the LYNX stamp. We reinvented the classic and traditional seal stamp to the smart, biometrical stamp to produce a digital signature for hardcopy documents.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Naum Berestetsky: But on the other hand, new opportunities always open up.
During the pandemic, when governments mandate physical distancing and components implement remote working arrangements, many companies are faced with different challenges, including signing documents without physical accessibilities. Lynx.io developed an innovative product that allows working remotely event with paper-based documents safely and efficiently.
This innovation has attracted the interest of several organizations around the world. We are now nearing completion of MVP (Minimum viable product) development. Our handheld signing device is almost ready and currently undergoing final tests and integration with software (server-side, mobile, web). For more details, please find a description here.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Naum Berestetsky: Since we are at a relatively early stage, of course, there were moments when we had to set priorities and make a decision. We had to reduce the number of programmers and engineers to the required minimum, and of course, as a result, it was reflected on the project duration; the development took a bit longer. On the other hand, we still managed and met the goals and budget allocated to the millstone/project, which really matters.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to navigate this crisis?
Naum Berestetsky: At such times, assertiveness and resourcefulness are developed. Time management and multitasking skills are the key paraments. Of course, we held most of our meetings through the most popular video conferencing tools like Zoom and Teams, although personally, I prefer to have face-to-face meetings instead of remote ones. But there is always a possibility to adapt and improve the remote collaboration processes and outcomes. We also had meetings with potential partners via Zoom, and although it allowed us to meet with people in different countries, still when you meet face-to-face, the interaction is much more personal and productive.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Naum Berestetsky: It is a unique and niche product. I’m sure that success awaits us right around the corner because this product makes business life easier and fights against counterfeiting hardcopy documents and fraud. For us, the game is just beginning the task for the near future to completely finish the development and integration of our system and start a pilot project in several geographies.
Your final thoughts?
Naum Berestetsky: Undoubtedly, the year 2020 was a challenging year, and following it changed some rules of the games and plans. The great thing is to know adopting yourself to change quickly according to the situation and proverb: what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, confirmed over and over again.
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