From Passwords to Selfie-Secured Biometric Authentication

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Ireland-based SensiPass, envisions helping users rid of alphanumerical passwords and instead, secure their identity with unique, three-factor digital signatures. It counts its differentiator to be the secret interaction it initiates with the user’s biometric image, which creates a dynamic digital signature, difficult to be faked or shared with others

One among the historic hacks which turned the tables in the global cybersecurity industry was the 2014 comprise of critical data from Sony Pictures Entertainment. That year, a hacker group named ‘Guardians of Peace’ leaked crucial company information including social security numbers of employees and actors, usernames and passwords of social media accounts of major motion pictures, emails, copies of unreleased titles and more. In fact, a Telegraph report indicated that Sony lapsed in security wherein it had saved company passwords in PDFs, excel spreadsheets and word documents, in a folder titled Password.

An incident such as this raises a crucial question; are passwords really safe?

While passwords could never go out of the equation, at least in the near future, two founders, Michael Hill and Tom Ruddy came together in 2012, much ahead of the Sony travail, to find an innovative, more secure alternate to passwords; a three-step biometric authentication reliant on sensory prompts and responses. When they founded SensiPass, their goal was quite clear; to eliminate passwords containing alphanumerical elements and replace them with sensory prompts and responses.

So, how does it work?

When a user registers SensiPass on a mobile, computer or tablet, the technology initiates a secret interaction with the user’s biometric image, which creates a dynamic digital signature. In fact, the ‘secret interaction’ is what the founders claim sets them apart from competition. While this is a patent-pending technology, the company believes that the unique three-factor digital signature is impossible to fake or share with others.

While the company is targeting its technology at mobile manufacturers, biometric companies, network service providers and security firms, it has currently deployed SensiPass in areas of identity management, mCommerce, education, healthcare and other sectors, with its clients comprising the likes of MasterCard, Deloitte, Bank of Ireland and Oracle JD Edwards. 

Where Money Matters

Thus far, the company has raised investments from two fronts; in July 2013, an amount of 50,000 euros from SOS Ventures, after completing the SELR8R Programme, which teaches entrepreneurs how to sell their own products before investing in a sales team. Soon after, it secured a second round of funding from Enterprise Ireland’s Competitive Start Fund, which accelerates the growth of startups that have the potential to become a High Potential Start-Up (HPSU) company.


Category: Identity & Access Management 

Founded: 2012 

Founders: Michael Hill and Tom Ruddy

Investors: SOS Ventures, Enterprise Ireland’s Competitive Start Fund

Headquarters: Cork, Ireland

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