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Export Award For Keyghost’s ‘Spy’ Technology

Export Award For Keyghost’s ‘Spy’ Technology

Successfully developing and marketing computer surveillance technology that wouldn’t be out of place in a James Bond movie has won Christchurch company KeyGhost Ltd a Trade New Zealand Export Award.

KeyGhost received the award in recognition of its success as an emerging exporter – in less than two years achieving international sales in excess of $500,000 annually.

Media are invited to attend the presentation of the Trade New Zealand Export Award to KeyGhost, by Trade New Zealand Director Craig Boyce, at 10am, Monday 3 February, at KeyGhost’s premises, 108 Montreal Street, Christchurch.

Marketed as KeyGhost®, the computer surveillance technology records all the keystrokes made on a computer keyboard. Chief Executive Officer Despina Kerdemelidis says the technology has many applications, from cyber forensics and intelligence gathering to parents who want to monitor what their children are doing on the home PC.

Ms Kerdemelidis says KeyGhost Ltd was formed after a group of friends decided to develop an idea one of them had for a data logger. With international experience as an auditor, Ms Kerdemelidis says she could see the potential to commercialise the technology although it was a new product and its uses were not obvious.

“We had to create the market and educate our customers on the positive uses for KeyGhost®. We did this by effective use of the internet as both a sales and marketing tool, participating at trade shows and getting product reviews published in computer security journals.”

The company originally focused on law enforcement and professional investigators in the USA and Europe and Ms Kerdemelidis says KeyGhost has become the world’s leading hardware key logger in that niche.

She says the company is now targeting parents who can use KeyGhost® to monitor what their children are doing on the home PC.

“The Home Edition model of KeyGhost® is a very easy tool for parents to use to see where their child has been on the net and in chat rooms, whether they are communicating with strangers and what information they are giving them.

“It can be used by people who aren’t computer literate, which should give it even greater appeal for parents who are concerned about their children’s safety in cyber space and until now have had no real way of monitoring them.”

Ms Kerdemelidis says the company is focusing on expanding into this consumer market domestically and internationally and has appointed consultants to help it break into the US retail sector.

“Most of our export sales to date have been made over the internet and we predict that success in the US consumer retail market should see our export sales increase dramatically over the next few years. Increased awareness of computer crime and abuse should also drive growth.”

Trade New Zealand Account Manager Cate Hlavac congratulated KeyGhost on its Export Award in the Emerging category, saying the company has got a great product that’s hitting niche markets.

“KeyGhost has excellent engineering and marketing talent and is always looking for new opportunities to improve its products or enter into new niche markets. It is successfully selling its technology into markets all over the world.”

Despina Kerdemelidis says KeyGhost has a broader range of products than any of its competitors. She says KeyGhost® is also the only data logging product with multi-language capability. It supports all the European languages, Arabic and Hebrew and also has the capability to operate on dual keyboards. The product can be customised and encrypted so that it won’t be a security risk if it falls into the wrong hands.

Another strength of KeyGhost® is the amount of information it can record - up to 2 million keystrokes on a flash memory chip. Ms Kerdemelidis says KeyGhost® starts recording immediately and unobtrusively the moment the computer is turned on. It can be attached externally to the keyboard cable or hardwired inside the keyboard so that the user has early detection of file theft and inappropriate use of the computer.

KeyGhost has a staff of ten whose main focus is marketing or product development. Manufacturing and assembly work is outsourced to local companies Assembly Specialists and Talbot Plastics.

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