Interview – Mark Curling – Klevio
ANDREW MCLEAN [00:00:04] We’re on a roll now, so we’re going to move on to our next guest. I have Mark Curling from Klevio. Mark, welcome.
MARK CURLING [00:00:13] Thanks. Hi. How you doing?
ANDREW MCLEAN [00:00:14] I’m not too bad, I’m not too bad. So where are you at the moment?
MARK CURLING [00:00:19] I’m in my house. We’re still working from home. Cautiously returning piece by piece.
ANDREW MCLEAN [00:00:24] I can imagine. Klevio, why don’t we start at the beginning, tell us about the company, about yourself and how you got into all this?
MARK CURLING [00:00:33] Sure. So in its simplest terms, we are designing a product that lets you open your front door with your phone. So moving away from keys, moving towards technology. Actually came about this when I was previously working with onefinestay, where we were working with property letting so people letting their homes out for holiday guests. And we had a huge problem managing keys. It was difficult and expensive and we had so many failures of people being locked out. Keys getting lost, keys getting stolen. We thought there must be a more modern way of doing that. So this is where the idea came from. And since then, we’ve moved on a few years of prototyping and taking it to market and now have a product which works and works rather universally across residential and commercial doors across the country.
ANDREW MCLEAN [00:01:16] It’s very fortuitous that we’re speaking. I was speaking to someone yesterday about lock picking. Seems to be the big hobby at the moment during lockdown is teaching people to lockpick and I even got targeted advertising on it. So it’s really interesting that you’re talking about moving this into a digital environment. But locks, you know that the keys to your castle, almost, well it is the keys to your castle. What are the challenge around the security of that?
MARK CURLING [00:01:47] Yeah, it’s an interesting point. I actually got one of those lockpick kits at Christmas given to me, so I had fun playing with that. Yeah, your front door is a really interesting place where lots of different parts of security all come together because obviously we have the cyber security aspect, which is a lot of the themes today. So can my front door and I’ll be hacked when it couldn’t before, which an important question. But there’s also a lot of other security questions. So is it physically secure you know, if I changed my lock, can someone now lock pick their way in or crowbar their way into my door? Also, the kind of secure by design elements if someone finds my key and let themselves in or can someone find my phone and lets themselves in. And then that’s the regulations side aswell so am I still insured, am I fire safe in my property? So, yes, a lot of different areas of security that converge on one physical door. And when we’re trying to bring knew products to that, I think it will take a long time from other people’s mindset to shift towards wanting their door to be digital. Personally, obviously, I see huge security advantages in going to digital. But across the broader market it will take a lot of people a longer time to really begin to see the benefits of it, I think.
ANDREW MCLEAN [00:02:55] Yeah, I mean, I could ask you the question whether are physical key is more secure than the cyber key but this is really psychological? Is this really the more people get used to these types of things, the more they will they will embrace it?
MARK CURLING [00:03:10] I think so. I mean, I often compare it to online banking. The technology started existing then it took 10 years for it to really become mass market and I see a similar thing here because to me, digital is obviously more secure because with a physical key, you can get copied. With digital, you can see exactly who’s been in when you have your photo audit trail. But we can see that it’s a lot of his mindset because of whose stuff was taken up. So early adopters want a product, but also it’s much easier to put smart locks into, say, businesses where people are much more comfortable with it. Everyone lets themselves into their office using an RFID card or FOB because that’s totally normal. It’ll take a long time for that to become perfect normal for your front door, even though it’s still letting yourself through a door. But obviously, once that is the case and once it’s commonplace for front doors to be more porous electronically, I guess the whole landscape of e-commerce and grocery delivery completely changes and gets a lot more efficient.
ANDREW MCLEAN [00:04:06] So I keep asking about the negatives of these but let’s ask this about the positives. What are the security benefit of having digital keys?
MARK CURLING [00:04:16] Yeah, I think there’s a lot and it really depends how you’re using your door, your home. The good thing about a digital key is you can revoke it instantly. So if I’ve given the key to someone and no longer want them to have it. Obviously some people give it to family members, but mostly to Airbnb guests. You can revoke it instantly so they no longer have access to your home. There’s no risk of them copying that or sharing it further because you’ve got full curation of who has access. There’s also advantages that you can open your door from anywhere so you don’t have to have an object in a place. You don’t have to have that key in front of your door. And if someone else wants to get in, you don’t have to send a courier to send them a key to get in. You can grant them access yourself remotely or grant access to them to do it. And so it makes your front door a lot more flexible, which is, I guess, a lot more suitable for the economy now, where we don’t have to be where we need to be every time.
ANDREW MCLEAN [00:05:09] Fantastic. Well, I’m Mark. I can’t believe we keep running out of time with people. I’m gonna ask you one last question. It is a security expo, we may ask another security question. But the digital keys. Where exactly is the information stored? How will people be confident that this isn’t going to be a problem? Can you talk a bit more about the tech?
MARK CURLING [00:05:33] Yes, sure. So one of the key things is how we split up our infrastructure so that there’s no one way, like a bad act could come in and break the way into our system. So, for example, you have your digital keys on your phone which talk to our server and then our device itself speaks to our device server and we have a completely independent commission system which is handling the request between the two. So we’ve completely eliminated, I guess, the problems you often see with cars where your key is talking to your car remotely and you can intercept that and read it. So very much by design we’ve built a system where firstly each part is secure so can’t be hacked into but then even if each individual part can be. That won’t give you enough access to be able to open the door and then on top of that, even if you could open the door, you would not know where that door is you know, you’d never advise someone to write their address on their key and drop it in the street in the same way we have that layer as well. So a lot of it is by design and then lots of layers of security that makes deem that anyone a security problem would not cause a breach.
ANDREW MCLEAN [00:06:39] That what they did sounds like absolutely fantastic technology. I mean, I personally can see this changing more and more. I spoke to a lot people who don Airbnb rentals and of course, I know the residential but a lot of the time they’ve got these little lockboxes and stuff like that and just think, oh, someone has put the key back in, things like that. So yeah, though I could absolutely see where you’re going for this. Thank you for talking to me about Kelvio and what you’ve been doing around the security of it. It’s been fascinating. So thank you very much.
MARK CURLING [00:07:11] Thank you very much. Thank you.
ANDREW MCLEAN [00:07:12] All right. Brilliant. That was Mark Curling from Kelvio, talking about remote doors, remote keys. I might actually get one myself. You’re watching the Cloud Security Expo. I’m going to take a short break and I’ll be back in a minute with a very good friend of mine, Mr. Tim Stringer from Blue Chip.