You can look, but you can’t touch – nor save, nor print, nor copy.

Such is the basis for Boomerang, the latest offering from I Think Security, a fast-growing startup based at Waterloo’s Accelerator Centre.

“It allows you to share documents securely and take them back at any time,” says company founder Cedric Jeannot, who will release the new product Feb. 25.

Through a simple drag-and-drop interface, Boomerang can render any document as read-only and fully retrievable by the sender, making it impossible for the recipient to download it or make their own copy.

Because security is embedded in the document, “you can’t even screen-shot it,” Jeannot said. “The only thing a person could do at this point is write on a piece of paper what the document says, or take a picture with a camera or third-party device – but within the next few months, we’ll have a version that prevents that as well.”

Boomerang is likely to grab the attention of anyone who needs to share sensitive or valuable documents without risk of losing control of them, including diplomats, parties to deals such as mergers and acquisitions, businesses that provide quotes and creators of unique artistic content.

The product is the latest addition for the two-year-old company already known for the QI, a secure USB token that allows users to encrypt, decrypt and share files with other QI users, and Qloud, which Jeannot boasts is the most secure cloud in existence for document storage, backup and sharing.

Combined, these offerings bring military-grade security to documents, allowing users to control access to sensitive files based on geography, track who is opening them and keep them out of the wrong hands.

“Within government, it essentially prevents the WikiLeaks problem,” says Jeannot, who started developing his security solutions as a master’s and PhD student at the University of Louisville.

I Think Security has grown quickly and steadily as governments and companies in 10 countries have become aware of the capabilities built into its products. Jeannot, who has 10 employees now and hopes to have 25 by the end of this year, has appeared on various business television shows and been quoted in national newspapers.

While Boomerang is not officially out yet, it has already drawn attention and inquiries from demos Jeannot has conducted.

“There’s a lot of interest, because obviously it has a lot of applicability,” he said. “Everybody can find their own use, so we’re pretty confident there will be more and more use cases that we don’t even know about yet.”

News media looking to monetize content, for example, could deploy Boomerang by selling temporary access to articles or full editions of their publications, he said.

The company, meanwhile, is raising a Series A investment round to bolster its sales and marketing efforts.

Jeannot has taken full advantage of various incentives to grow his company to date, including the Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP), FedDev Ontario, Mitacs and Communitech’s Hidden Gems program. He hopes to secure further support through the Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) program in the near future.

 

 

About The Author

Anthony Reinhart
Director, Editorial Strategy
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Anthony Reinhart is a veteran journalist who left the Globe and Mail to join Communitech in 2011. Tony has covered everything from crime, politics and courts to business, the arts and sports, and his writing has won numerous journalism awards. He is Communitech's Director of Editorial Strategy and senior staff writer.