Meet Interlock’s CTO: Erhan Justice
Why DeFi Needs Better Security, Web2 Security vs. Decentralized Security & More
A self-taught programmer and Interlock’s CTO, Erhan Justice is the “mad scientist” behind Interlock’s innovative technology. His passions lie in creating security products that make DeFi a safer place one wallet at a time.
Why do you think security is important for
Right now, decentralized finance (DeFi) is in a Wild West stage where there are very few regulations or safety measures in place. Between 2020 and 2021, over $3.1 billion in cryptocurrency was stolen and not returned to consumers.
Consumers are vulnerable to fraud and theft. Everyone’s scared of having their NFTs stolen, wallets hacked, and rug pulls. In order for decentralized finance to reach mass adoption, we need to see more robust security measures put in place. Otherwise, people will continue to be scared off by the risks involved.
What do you think is the biggest difference between web2 security and decentralized security?
Web2 security companies are like castles. Hierarchical, rigid and protected with moats. Moats made up of your data, which they don’t share publicly and sell to large corporations.
These data moats have a profound effect on our technology choices. Only big corporations can afford to use the information to improve and secure their products, which limits innovation choices for smaller businesses. So it prevents new products from coming to market because startups can’t afford the data to secure their products.
We need to flip the paradigm of these data moats and decentralize the security data, which is our ultimate goal at Interlock. To eliminate the gatekeepers and make online security accessible.
So instead of castles with data moats (web2 security), we’re creating a bazaar (decentralized security). An open, friendly and accessible way to get the fruits and vegetables (security data) you need. It will enable more people and more projects to benefit and to create better products.
How did you get interested in technology?
I got started at an extremely young age — -I started programming at the age of nine! My dad had computers in his tech-man cave and I wanted to play video games on them. Back then, you had to write code in order to create. So, I taught myself how to program and voila! I was creating video games.
After high school, I started a digital boutique where I was developing and selling websites to businesses. Then I got a degree in physics, which eventually led me to becoming a cybersecurity entrepreneur.
What first got you interested in cybersecurity?
I was introduced to security through a friend who was into the hacking conference scene, which piqued my interest when I saw it was like the art and security scenes rolled into one.
I was also really into this idea of internet privacy. I’ve interacted with computers my whole life and always felt that people needed better protection online.
When I met Rick Deacon, our CEO at one of the conferences, we realized we shared the same interest and pretty soon got to work creating security products together.
How can cyber security be improved by understanding the principles of physics?
Physics and security are related because of the concept of entropy. Entropy is the measure of disorder in a system. The higher the entropy, the more random and unpredictable the system is. In security, entropy is used to measure the strength of passwords and encryption keys. The longer a password is, the more entropy it has and the harder it is to crack. By understanding how entropy works, we can better protect our information from hackers and cyber threats.
What inspired Interlock team to develop
a consumer product?
Our product started out as an enterprise product for large businesses. Some are top crypto exchanges that you would know. Then we realized that crypto companies were the most interested in our product because they truly cared about security.
Browsers are our primary method of detections, so we already fit this decentralized model. Then Rick and I had an epiphany: if we’re already selling into top crypto firms, then maybe it’s time to start providing DeFi consumers with solid protection too!
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PS: If Erhan’s vision for DeFi security looks interesting, come help build it — we’re hiring!