Bluefin Wants to Devalue Your Data

The above photo is of Bluefin’s Atlanta headquarters.

For those not in the know, talk of a company wanting to devalue their company’s data might inspire fears of ruthless competitors coming to steal a precious resource. But in fact, Bluefin, the company whose core mission is devaluing data, does not want to steal your information; it wants to shield your data from that very outcome.

By devaluing data, the data security and privacy company means encrypting or tokenizing it so that it is illegible — and no longer valuable — to hackers.

“What we do is use Bluefin’s products, either encryption, tokenization, or both together, to devalue the data so that then when the bad guys do get in there, there’s nothing to see, take, or resell, and they move onto the next target,” said Bluefin CEO and founder John Perry.

The data security moment

Bluefin, which was founded in 2007, has seen demand for its solution skyrocket in the past few years. The increased demand came as data privacy legislation took hold in the US, Europe, and now China, making it more costly for businesses to fail on cybersecurity. Here in the US, attention to the issue has only grown further in 2021. The Biden administration has made cybersecurity a top priority following several high-profile hacks of top US companies.

“In 2017, with the rumblings of [the European privacy legislation] GDPR, our sales and inquiries changed dramatically, and that continued through May of 2018 when GDPR was initiated, and then the California Consumer Privacy Act exacerbated the trend,” Perry said.

Perry underscored that breaches are inevitable. The question is what companies do to prepare for them — and therefore whether a breach marks a devastating blow to consumer data security or not.

“Companies are going to get breached,” Perry said. “The sooner that most companies know they’re going to get breached, they’ll understand that, and they can go back and fix [the vulnerability]. What they cannot fix is if their data is compromised in the breach.”

Bluefin’s was the first North American company to receive PCI validation for a point-to-point encryption solution. It stores and devalues data — payment data, healthcare data, personally identifiable information, and more — so that companies can feel confident that, not only is their data less likely to be hacked, but if it is hacked, hackers are less likely to steal it or try to get a ransom for it.

This is what it means to devalue data: making it hard enough to understand that it ceases to be of value to hackers, who will sooner move on to the next hacking target than spend the time trying to decode encrypted information.

Bluefin rebrands

Bluefin rebranded last month, dropping “Payment Systems” from its name. The change reflects the company’s expansion from protecting payments to other forms of information.

“In 2019 we introduced the ShieldConnect platform,” Perry said. “We’ve evolved into more than just a payment encryption company — we now offer a much more robust security platform for all types of data.”

The more capacious name dovetails with the company’s logo, which looks like two triangles, one light blue and one dark blue, or, as the company would have it: two fins, which “represent Bluefin’s dual focus on safeguarding both payments and other kinds of data.”

Bluefin works directly with retailers, healthcare providers, and other businesses to secure their data and payment processes. But it also works with many other payment and data processing companies, which turn to Bluefin to beef up their own security credentials.

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Joe Zappa is the Managing Editor of Street Fight. He has spearheaded the newsroom's editorial operations since 2018 and compiled the daily newsletter since 2016. Joe is a journalist who has written widely about technology, business, and politics. You can contact him at jzappa@streetfightmag.com.