Meet the Team is our ongoing series of employee profiles. It’s an opportunity for our users and partners to get to know us a little better. As a remote company with employees around the world — from the U.S. to Slovenia to Spain to New Zealand — it’s also an opportunity for our team to get to know each other a little better.
We’re thrilled to introduce Nikhil Khare, Product Manager of Identity Operations at GlobaliD. Nikhil has been working in the technology industry for about ten years and has held positions at Cisco Systems and Duo Security. He earned his undergraduate degree at the University of Michigan before receiving a Masters degree from San Jose State University.
Now, he is helping bring our digital identity solutions to businesses and the people who power them in order to help fix the broken identity systems that exist today.
My name is Nikhil Khare and I’m the Product Manager of Identity Operations at GlobaliD. I’m based in San Francisco, California and I’ve been working in the identity access management space for about five years. I’m really excited to be at GlobaliD and help develop identity solutions for businesses that also enable users to take more control of their data and preserve their privacy.
What attracted him to GlobaliD
As I mentioned, I’ve been in the identity access management industry for a while and I also have a cybersecurity background. A lot of my work has been based around understanding who the user is, who the customer is, and enabling them to have a safer online experience. That’s why GlobaliD really resonated with me because I could help build a future where our online identity is privacy preserving by default. The company seemed to be one of the organizations in the industry that was ahead of the curve in that regard.
I was also looking to have a larger impact with my role and truly get in the trenches with my team. Since GlobaliD is a startup and still relatively small I thought I would have a great opportunity to do that.
Before joining the GlobaliD team
I graduated from the University of Michigan with a bachelor’s degree in social computing information systems. After finishing college I got a job in California at Cisco Systems where I started out as a front end developer. Eventually I moved into a product management role where I gained an interest in cyber security. I also received my Master’s degree in software engineering while attending a part-time program at San Jose State University. The majority of my identity access management experience comes from my time at Duo Security where I managed the core authentication product.
How GlobaliD can help users
The best way to think about how people can utilize GlobaliD is in situations where you have an option to sign in to a website with a third-party like Apple or Google. You can also sign in with GlobaliD which is a more privacy preserving way to access your account.
When you utilize a sign-in option from Apple or Google, you’re supporting their business model which is based on harvesting your data in order to try and better understand your online behavior.
GlobaliD has a really different approach and it’s primarily ethos driven. We want to give users control over what data they share. That is the methodology and the ethos behind the company. Our hope is that by bringing a privacy preserving solution to the market we can offer end users a different option compared to what exists today where they’re trading privacy for convenience.
How GlobaliD can help businesses
One of the biggest problems that businesses have is ensuring that people who are trying to interact with them online are who they claim to be. They’re constantly trying to make sure that people aren’t committing fraud or acting maliciously.
GlobaliD’s identity platform enables companies to offer secure onboarding and authentication via a passwordless, mobile app based process. For example, we have customers who require that their users verify a photo ID document as part of their onboarding process. They can add GlobaliD as an option to their login and configure a KYC (know your customer) check in our admin panel without having to handle any of the integration themselves.
That’s where we can add a lot of value because businesses just want to know that a customer went through a reliable KYC process. They don’t want to store images of all their customer’s driver’s licenses. They don’t want to store any PII (personal identifying information). GlobaliD allows businesses to not have to deal with that issue which in turn helps them manage risk.
If they don’t have PII data about their users then when the inevitable happens and they have a data breach or get hacked, bad actors can’t access anything.
Why he’s looking forward to verifiable credentials
GlobaliD is building support into our platform for a new W3C technology called verifiable credentials. This is really exciting because if we get this right, we have the opportunity to solve the online identity problem in a different way than what is offered today. Current solutions like liveliness checks, SMS verification, email verification, and even physical document verification all have multiple points of failure, and the most determined bad actors can spoof them.
In contrast, verifiable credentials will enable a business to independently trust another organization who makes a claim about a GlobaliD user, and then issues that user a verifiable credential. This will give businesses a higher degree of certainty the user is who they claim to be while making the verification process easier for the individual.
An example where you might see this play out in real life is in the fast growing market of decentralized finance (DeFi). By nature, DeFi only requires a crypto wallet to access funds and transact on the internet. However, we still want to make sure these funds aren’t being laundered or used nefariously, so we have to bridge that gap between decentralization and security.
We can do this by having other centralized crypto exchanges who require users to go through a KYC process, like Coinbase or FTX, issue a verifiable credential to your GlobaliD. This enables smaller DeFi projects to be regulatory compliant while not requiring the user to repeat the same process over and over again.
While we still have a long way to go to achieve this vision, these identity building blocks are beginning to stack on top of each other. It’s really exciting to be a part of and I believe it’s what’s going to get us to the future we’re trying to build.
The benefits of a remote work lifestyle
We’re so fortunate to be working in technology and be given the ability to work remotely. One of the biggest positives is how my work and personal life have managed to meld together in a really flexible way. I’m very thankful for our leadership who prioritize our mental health and well being. They do a great job of making sure we’re not burnt out and allow us to step away and take care of ourselves when we need to. That allows me to bring my best self to work everyday.
It also makes it really exciting when we get to meet up and see each other in-person. When I first started I was able to attend the RSA Security Conference with Kevin Boehm (CEO) and Todd Collins (Head of Design). I also got to meet Trey Steinhoff (Product Marketing Manager) when he traveled to San Francisco for a company meeting. When you don’t see these people everyday and then you get the opportunity to meet them in-person it makes you really appreciate the interactions you’re able to have. You can figure out what their passions are both at work and outside of the company and it helps you build camaraderie with everyone.
On his hobbies and interests
Right now I’m learning how to play the piano. I’m taking lessons remotely every Wednesday. I also have a personal goal to get better at surfing throughout the rest of the year. I live in San Francisco which is next to the ocean, so I feel like I should take advantage of that and improve while I can. Those are the things I’m doing in my free time when I’m not focusing on identity standards.
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