Investments

Comcast Leads $18.3 Round For Authentication Software Firm

Venture capital funding

With new venture capital from Mastercard, Comcast, Samsung and other investors, New York-based tech startup HYPR has notched $18.3 million in funding. The company sells authentication software to Mastercard, T-Mobile, Rakuten and Aetna, and the round was led by the venture capital arm of Comcast, Fortune reported. 

Mastercard, as well as Samsung, participated in the round. VC firms RRE Ventures, Triphammer Ventures and .406 Ventures joined as well as investment bank Allen & Co. Issues with password-based security have been well documented. Users often the same weak password on many different websites, with slight changes that hackers can too often crack or pilfer.  

HYPR, however, takes an alternate approach. The company’s technology keeps cryptographic keys that are private on mobile devices. That means that logging on is as easy as tapping a button on a phone. George Avetisov, CEO and co-founder, got the concept for the company after scammers targeted his last company. 

With fraudsters impersonating other people, he was led down the path that the digital verification process of one’s identity could see great improvement. Avetisov said, according to the report, “My passwords have passwords — that’s how many we have now.” 

Avetisov continued, “Companies spent millions of dollars on authentication. They’ve built walls higher and higher and made passwords more complicated. They’ve done a lot of investing in cybersecurity, but we still log in with passwords every day.”

In separate news, a report surfaced in August that more than 300,000 people who were compromised online are still using logins that were hacked per a Google study unveiled at the USENIX Security Symposium in Santa Clara, California. Google came across the information from its recently-released Chrome Password Checkup. 

Google said, according to reports at the time, “We scanned 21 million usernames and passwords and flagged over 316,000 as unsafe — 1.5 percent of sign-ins scanned by the extension,” Google continued, “By alerting users to this breach status, 26 percent of our warnings resulted in users migrating to a new password. Of these new passwords, 94 percent were at least as strong as the original.” 

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