The Digital Supply Chain podcast

Protecting children, your business, and supply chain from child sexual exploitation - a chat with Anna Borgstrom

April 05, 2021 Tom Raftery / Anna Borgstrom Season 1 Episode 119
The Digital Supply Chain podcast
Protecting children, your business, and supply chain from child sexual exploitation - a chat with Anna Borgstrom
Show Notes Transcript

Child sexual abuse is an horrific crime. Fortunately technology can help detect abuse, prosecute the perpetrators, and protect the victims, and potential victims.

One company working in this space is called Netclean. They have developed software that can detect known child sexual abuse images on an organisation's network of computers - protecting the organisation, protecting kids, and helping root out those who would prey on children.

I invited Netclean's CEO Anna Borgström to come on the podcast to talk about this - how organisations can protect their reputation, and help keep kids safe. During our conversation she mentioned that, as reported in their 2018 Netclean Report they have found that 1 in 500 computers in the workplace is used to consume child sexual abuse material. I had no idea it was so prevalent.

We had a fascinating conversation even if the topic is uncomfortable and, as is often the case, I learned loads, I hope you do too...

If you have any comments/suggestions or questions for the podcast - feel free to leave me a voice message over on my SpeakPipe page or just send it to me as a direct message on Twitter/LinkedIn. Audio messages will get played (unless you specifically ask me not to).

To learn more about how Industry 4.0 technologies can help your organisation read the 2020 global research study 'The Power of change from Industry 4.0 in manufacturing' (https://www.sap.com/cmp/dg/industry4-manufacturing/index.html)

And if you want to know more about any of SAP's Digital Supply Chain solutions, head on over to www.sap.com/digitalsupplychain and if you liked this show, please don't forget to rate and/or review it. It makes a big difference to help new people discover it. Thanks.

And remember, stay healthy, stay safe, stay sane!

Anna Borgstrm:

The software uses hash technology that reacts when it detects the digital fingerprint print of an image or a video that law enforcement has classified as child sexual abuse material. And then by following the trail of that protected image, new material can be found and offenders can be prosecuted, and children can be rescued.

Tom Raftery:

Good morning, good afternoon or good evening wherever you are in the world. This is the digital supply chain podcast, the number one podcast focusing on the digitization of supply chain. And I'm your host, global vice president of SAP. Tom Raftery. Hi, everyone. Welcome to the digital supply chain podcast. My name is Tom Raftery with SAP and with me on the show today I have my special guest. Anna. Anna, would you like to introduce yourself?

Anna Borgstrm:

Thank you, and thank you for having me. Yeah, my name is Anna borgstrom. And I'm the CEO of a company called Netclean. We develop technologies that protect it environments against child sexual abuse material. And my background is within it Telecom. And I studied the computer science and economics.

Tom Raftery:

Okay, superb. So, I mean, tell me a little bit about netclean. You mentioned it protects it environments from child sexual abuse. So this is obviously a hugely important topic. But yeah, tell me a little bit about first about a how you protect it environments from child sexual abuse.

Anna Borgstrm:

Yeah, so we do that, basically, by by two products today, and one one of them is called Neptune proactive. And it detects the known child sexual abuse material on work computers. The software uses hash technology that reacts when it detects a digital fingerprint print of an image or a video that law enforcement has classified as child sexual abuse material. And then by following the trail of that detected image, new material can be found and offenders can be prosecuted, and children can be rescued. But that of course requires that the companies have policies in place and that they do a police report once once an alarm is happening in the system. And then we have our newest product, which is nicotine protective, and that is used to protect mobile devices and prevent access to child sexual abuse material. We use different kinds of technology on that product. And we we have a uniquely source continually updated URL list from a number of trusted partners, NGOs and law enforcement. And that URL is used to block webpages in web traffic. It is deployed through Mobile Management device systems and by blocking access children suffer less cerie victimization is prevented. So that's mainly the the purpose of our solutions.

Tom Raftery:

Okay, super. Talk to me a little bit about the hash technology you're talking about. For anyone who is not familiar. Yeah, do explain how that works.

Anna Borgstrm:

Yeah, so when, when law enforcement is, is finding material in conjunction to their house warrants and their, their processes, they classified this material as child sexual abuse or as not child sexual abuse any team it's that these classified as child sexual abuse gets its own fingerprint or hash hash signature, and that hash signature is shared with us and also other companies that develop technologies to detect child sexual abuse material. So, once an image is on a corporate computer is matched against that hash signature, we detected so we cannot by our detection to find newly produced or known the material in the first instance, there in the software, we use two different types of hash detection, we use both the robust hashing and the binary hashing which enables us in some way also to find images that have been slightly remodeled, cropped or, or etc, are modified, but that will sort of or modified exactly and, but that will be in the second you know, first it's one to one matching and then then we look in the folder if there are any images that has been modified with the other type of hash detection technology.

Tom Raftery:

Okay, and who is your typical customer for those who within an organization do you deal with.

Anna Borgstrm:

So we deal with, first of all, we are targeting organizations with more than 2000 employees. And we have approximately 60% of our customer base is, is public sector and 40% is public sector. The person that we are targeting within an organization is often CSO as chief security officer, it could be within the sustainability, it could also be someone that is working with the ESG agendas, where we kind of is, is targeting the s in the SD with our with our software. So we have a verity of stakeholders within a company could be also compliance officers, and those that are responsible for policy compliance, because our solution is basically a tool that makes sure that the Code of Conduct are fulfilled. And also it policies.

Tom Raftery:

Okay, it's gotta it's gotta help as well, with the risk mitigation, I got to think because obviously, there's huge potential brand risk issues for organizations, if any abuse materials found on a, on a computer,

Anna Borgstrm:

yeah, definitely. And, and we see that also, you know, what the type of customers we have, they are more likely to work a lot with our brand and brand enforcement, what they are sort of feeling the brand with what kind of values they are feeling the brand with, we can also see that they have a high standard of security measurements, they are very mature in security, and also in sustainability, I would say that those are the three pillars, that is important for for our customers.

Tom Raftery:

Okay. And if organizations do deploy your product, is there any kind of a reporting mechanism that they can deploy to say, we have certified that all our devices are certified by net clean, for example, to be free of child abuse images?

Anna Borgstrm:

We don't have a certification as such, but once but what we do have in the software is we have an alarm or alarm view that we have developed together with law enforcement. So it it it contains the contains all the information that law enforcement need in order to to continue with the with the legal aspects of this, or the finding that we don't have a certification as such. No.

Tom Raftery:

Okay. And talk to me a little bit about I mean, there's there's two aspects to this. And we've talked a little bit about the the protecting companies and their brand from the risk. But the other side of it is obviously far more important than far less talked about, I suspect, is the protection of kids. Can you talk a little bit about that, that and that side of this?

Anna Borgstrm:

Yeah, definitely. Well, yeah, you're right. I think that that is kind of a reason that over rounds every every other reason is that the companies can basically rescue and safeguard children from child sexual abuse with help of law enforcement. So we have a lot of real cases examples on how that is done. And I can I can, I can talk to you about one of them, please. It was an actual case from a global company that we have as a customer that uses the software to detect child sexual abuse material on work computers, so they were using the Neptune practive solution. And in 2020, the company's security department in Sweden reviewed and alert that one of their employees had access child sexual abuse material using their company computer. Information about that incident was forwarded to police who verified the content as legal and initiated an investigation. The suspect was brought into custody and early on confessed to possession of child sexual abuse material. And during the house search, the police found several mobile phones, computers and an external hard drive, which were called confiscated and examined for further evidence. When all these devices, devices have been analyzed, the police have found more than 15,000 images and nearly 4000 videos of child sexual abuse. And the suspect was found guilty in court and sentenced into two years of prison. And that is kind of quite that process is quite common, when it comes to the detection of other solutions. And another case that has a similar process, but in that case, stead also found that two children of the new material that the police in the police confiscated was depicted in the new material that they had. So in that case that could read they safeguarded two children from abuse. And they could also see that the man had shared the images and videos to friends over Skype. And so the investigating investigation growed. And finally, I think it was two men that was sent to jail and two children that were safeguarded. And that was out of just a couple of detections in the system. Yeah,

Tom Raftery:

well, well, I mean, it this is kind of hard stuff to hear about and to listen to understand. You know, just thinking of that, but I mean, the the the upside is that kids are being safeguarded, and perpetrators are being caught and, you know, put in prison.

Anna Borgstrm:

Yeah, yes.

Tom Raftery:

How widespread is the deployment of your product or not? And how far do you want to take? I mean, you know, you said companies have 2000 employees and above, but, you know, should this be on every computer?

Anna Borgstrm:

Well, that's our vision, to have it installed on every computer, of course. And we have mainly worked at Sweden. So our customer base is mainly of companies with headquarters in Sweden. But we have you know, Sweden is a small country with big companies with global presence. So we have over 1 million licenses deployed in 110 countries. But we wanted to take this as far as we can, and we are looking into taking a more global footprint with our solutions. We do that mainly by working together with this other software platforms, such as we aware workspace one and carbon black in where we are sort of integrating our technologies seem to their platforms. And that will make it easier for our customers to deploy, manage and investigate our solutions.

Tom Raftery:

Okay, super. I know that organizations like a Ariba, for example, have a way that if you're on the Ariba platform, you can look down through your supply base and ensure that there is no child labor involved in your suppliers. Is there any similar kind of aspect to net clean or any plans to go that route?

Anna Borgstrm:

Definitely, I think that is a really good way for us to to go. Because, I mean, if you have companies, like the big multinational companies we have as customers they are, they've wanted to make sure that their supply chain is clean. And so definitely, we have that in our horizon.

Tom Raftery:

Okay. So if I am an organization who has listened to this podcast, and I'm interested in the net clean solution for my organization, what would be my next step?

Anna Borgstrm:

Well, yeah, you can contact net clean through our website, Netclean.com. Or you can find me on social media and above strim, on LinkedIn, and Twitter, and I will make sure to get directed to the right person internally,

Tom Raftery:

shaper. And you mentioned at the start, that the hash technology works through images known images that come from law enforcement. So you work very closely with law enforcement, is that correct?

Anna Borgstrm:

Yeah, that's correct. We work closely with law enforcement around the world, I would say.

Tom Raftery:

And is that like Interpol are which organizations and how does that relationship work?

Anna Borgstrm:

Why we work with Interpol and Europol and we also work with the Swedish police, of course, and, and a lot of others, also, and it is the collaboration works in I mean, and they help us or they help our customers investigate the findings in our solutions. And we get the hash values from them in order to be able to detect more images. So that's how it works. It's a it's a given given take a relationship, but it's, I mean, we have a common goal and that is to make sure that no children are abused.

Tom Raftery:

Okay, super, super. Okay. And I think we're coming to the end of the podcast at this point. Is there anything I haven't asked you that you wish I had any topics we've not brought up that you think it's important for people to be aware of?

Anna Borgstrm:

Yeah, I think that you know, the whole COVID-19 situation is really something that is driving this problem, we have people working from home, where we can see that, that you tend to commit crime in higher rates if you're not in the physical workplace. And that goes also with our, our sort of problem. We know that most findings in our solution happens. Most detection, and our solution happens when people are working remotely and not on the physical workplace. I would also like to say that even this, I mean, it's one in 500 computers, so used to detect child sexual abuse material, within a corporate in a corporate environment. So it's, it's quite, it's not that uncommon. So if you're a company with a couple of 1000 employees, you're more likely to have one or two people that are consuming child sexual abuse with the company computer. And I would like to say that, I think it depends on that you feel that the company computer is somewhat private to you, because it's not something that is shared with other family members. And, and especially now working from home, you have your own space, and you have your own computer where you can access this material. And also, with school close to a lot of kids are online now, more than ever. And that is also it's an increased risk for children at the time.

Tom Raftery:

But the prevalence is approximately one computer in 500.

Anna Borgstrm:

Yeah, we did. We did this study, actually on our installed base, or part of our installed base, and we found that one in 500 computer had retrieved alarms. Wow. So that's, you can find that statistics in the Neptune report from 2018. If you want to read more about it.

Tom Raftery:

Okay. Can you send me the link to that? And I'll include it in the show notes. Yeah, absolutely. Super, super. Okay. And that's great. If people want to know more about yourself, or about netclean or any of the topics we've discussed, where would you have me direct them,

Anna Borgstrm:

you can direct them to netclean.com, of course, which is our site and also net clean on LinkedIn and Twitter, Facebook, we are everywhere. And myself on LinkedIn Anna Borgstrm at LinkedIn.

Tom Raftery:

Brilliant. Okay, and that's been great. Thanks so much for coming on the podcast today.

Anna Borgstrm:

Thank you very much.

Tom Raftery:

Okay, we've come to the end of the show. Thanks, everyone for listening. If you'd like to know more about digital supply chains, head on over to sa p.com slash digital supply chain or, or simply drop me an email to Tom dot raftery@sap.com. If you'd like to show, please don't forget to subscribe to it and your podcast application of choice to get new episodes as soon as they're published. Also, please don't forget to rate and review the podcast. It really does help new people to find the show. Thanks. Catch you all next time.