Safe Spaces: The Best of the Authenticators, Verifiers, and Fraud Fighters

Left to right: A representative from Alipay joins Tinna Hung, Director of Marketing for EyeVerify during a demonstration of Eyeprint ID at FinovateAsia 2016.

This month we’re highlighting the issue of security in fintech. Our first installment was our interview with ENVEIL CEO Ellison Anne Williams.

Today we use the lens of our Best of Show awards to take a look at companies innovating in the security space for financial services companies and institutions. Three security companies have won Best of Show awards in more than one conference. Biometric specialists EyeVerify and BehavioSec have both earned Best of Show trophies on three separate occasions. Interestingly, both companies won one of their Best of Show awards at FinovateAsia; BehavioSec in Singapore, EyeVerify in Hong Kong. (Speaking of FinovateAsia, remember that Finovate returns to the Far East November 7 & 8.)

Earning two Best of Show awards was Silver Tail Systems (now a part of RSA, the security division of EMC, which acquired the company in 2012). Founded in 2008 and headquartered in Menlo Park, company was a pioneer in leveraging real-time behavior analysis to spot and stop business logic abuse on financial institution websites.

BehavioSec CEO Neil Costigan demonstrating BehavioWeb and BehavioMobile at FinovateEurope 2014.

EyeVerify, which was acquired by Ant Financial last fall, announced in August that it was rebranding as Zoloz. In a blog post at the company’s website, CEO Toby Rush said the new company would be focused on providing a hosted identity platform geared toward the Asian market. “Underserved and underbanked consumers in this region are moving to mobile so quickly that they have leapfrogged biometrics adoption and identity services in other geographies,” Rush wrote. “The platform is centered around the idea that I am me, my phone should just know me, and my apps and services should know me – automatically, conveniently, and securely,” he explained.

Zoloz is headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri, and was founded in 2012. The company most recently demonstrated its technology at FinovateEurope 2017.

BehavioSec, the behavioral biometric innovator, forged a partnership with Gemalto earlier this summer, to provide end-user verification and identity solutions as FIs increasingly embrace digital technologies. “Removing bottlenecks to achieve full digitization of a business goes hand-in-hand with conquering online fraud, through a layered an collaborative approach,” Costigan said. In May, BehavioSec teamed up with fellow Finovate alum Kount, integrating its behavioral biometric technology with Kount’s fraud management platform. A partnership with Appdome this spring produced AppFusion for BehavioSec, a solution that makes it easier for app developers to add behavior-based biometric authentication to their mobile apps.

Based in Stockholm, Sweden, BehavioSec was founded in 2009. The three-time Best of Show winner most recently demonstrated its technology at FinovateFall 2015.

Making it on the Finovate stage as a security solutions provider is one challenge. Taking home a Best of Show trophy as a company dedicated to helping stop fraudulent transactions, prevent unauthorized access, and create truly “safe spaces” in a connected world is quite another. Here is the full list of security companies that have won Best of Show awards at Finovate conferences.

FinovateFall 2017

FinovateSpring 2017

FinovateAsia 2016

FinovateFall 2016

FinovateEurope 2016

FinovateEurope 2015

FinovateFall 2014

FinovateSpring 2014

FinovateEurope 2014

FinovateAsia 2013

FinovateFall 2012

FinovateSpring 2012

FinovateFall 2011

FinovateFall 2010

Finovate 2009

FinovateStartup 2009

  • Silver Tail Systems (demo)

Silver Tail Systems Acquired by Data Storage Giant, EMC

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Fraud-detection company, Silver Tail Systems, announced today that it has been acquired by data storage giant, EMC.

Silver Tail will become part of RSA, a security branch within EMC. According to All Things D, RSA will originally run Silver Tail without disrupting its business model so it doesn’t impede the momentum Silver Tail has already experienced.

While the financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed, EMC states that the purchase price is immaterial to its 2012 fiscal year.

To learn more about Silver Tail Systems, watch its FinovateSpring 2012 demo.

Finovate Alumni News– October 31, 2012

  • Argos sees a record 79 mil of its online visitors engage in conversations about the brand since implementing Bazaarvoice’s Conversations.
  • IP Commerce Payment API Sample Code Now Available on Github.
  • Silver Tail Systems Acquired by Data Storage Giant, EMC.
  • Lendio.com ends Q3 adding record number of lenders to platform.
This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Finovate Alumni News– July 24, 2012

  • Silver Tail Systems announces the availability of Forensics 3.0 software.
  • International utility, National Grid, selects Striata for email billing and transactional services.
  • Social Trading Guru describes Currensee’s new leverage option.
  • Kabbage rolls out new tagline and logo design.
  • InComm forms partnership with Plastic Jungle and Zeevex.
  • Check out the latest CEO interview with Figlo’s Albert van den Broek.
  • Blackhawk Network to implement Prepaid Resources’ BenefitsDirect service.
This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Finovate Alumni News– July 17, 2012

  • Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Finovate-F-Logo.jpgForbes features Tuition.io’s student loan platform. Come see Tuition.io’s live demo at FinovateFall in NYC.
  • Alfa Insurance chooses Kony to power features of its mobile app.
  • Killerstartups features the planwise story and their success at FinovateFall 2011.
  • MSN Money compares CurrencyFair and competitor, Azimo. Come see CurrencyFair’s live demo at FinovateFall.
  • Cartera Commerce named Global 250 Top Private Company for second consecutive year.
  • Actiance integrates Socialite platform and Salesforce.com to help companies track and monetize social media conversations. Come see Actiance at FinovateFall September 12 and 13.
  • SafetyPay, launches mobile version of service available to mobile shoppers internationally.
  • NPR features Silver Tail Systems, discusses how In-Q-Tel gives it the CIA’s seal of approval.
  • Check Point Software Technologies taps the power of virtualization to simplify security for private clouds.
  • Des Moines Register staff blog reports Dwolla CEO, Ben Milne, spreads his mobile payments message at TEDxDesMoines.
This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Finovate Alumni News– July 11, 2012

  • Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Finovate-F-Logo.jpgKabbage to provide Monsoon Commerce customers $20 million in capital.
  • T8 Webware changes name to Banno.
  • Paul Farmer joins Silver Tail Systems as CFO.
  • BofA to provide Acculynk’s PaySecure to enable PIN debit payments online.
  • peerTransfer now supports Indian Rupee and 36 new partner schools.
  • Angry Birds creator selects Braintree’s payments platform.
  • Continuity Control reels in $2.25 million in funding.
  • CashStar receives $5 million in funding.
  • Farm Credit Services of Mid-America selects ProfitStars for ALM reporting.
This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Quid Puts FinovateSpring Companies through its Big Data Algorithm

Quid, a San Francisco-based data analytics company, recently compared the FinovateSpring 2012 presenters against its database of 800 financial services companies. The following were determined to be the most unique and valuable (see methodology below): 
QuidBigDataIMG.jpg
Methodology per Quid:

First, we identified 800 financial services companies in our database hat have raised capital in the past few years, including all of the Finovate presenters. Then, we processed thousands of documents related o these companies (such as patents, job postings, filings, and press releases) to identify key terms and phrases used to describe them. We created the network map by connecting nodes (companies) by a line when here is an overlap in the key terms and phrases used to describe them. Next, we applied a clustering algorithm to detect emerging themes, revealed in the color key.

We then ranked the Finovate presenters by a network measure that filters for companies that are recombining existing technologies (a measure of innovation) and have raised high levels of capital (a measure of market worth). The top 7 companies are highlighted in the map, sized by innovation score.

Founder Interview: Laura Mather of Silver Tail Systems

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To kick off June, we interviewed Laura Mather, Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Silver Tail Systems, a web session intelligence company that won Best of Show at FinovateStartup 2009 and Finovate 2009
Mather has worked for the NSA, eBay, and was recently ranked number 16 of the most 100 creative people in business by Fast Company.
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Finovate: What sparked the idea for Silver Tail Systems?
Mather: When I was Director of Fraud Prevention at eBay, the criminals were creative and tenacious – a challenging combination. My team was always reacting to the criminals instead of getting ahead of them. That was difficult for me since attacks often meant that eBay customers sent thousands of dollars to criminals and I felt like that was my fault. It was clear that eBay (and I assumed other organizations) needed a different set of tools to fight these criminals.
Finovate: What has been the most surprising thing you’ve encountered since launching Silver Tail Systems?
Mather: The importance of corporate culture. In previous positions it was clear how corporate culture influenced my job satisfaction, but since starting Silver Tail it has been very clear that incorporating culture into all aspects of the business helps our team stay focused on the mission of the company.
Finovate: How have you seen the security industry changing and how is that affecting your strategy?
Mather: When we started Silver Tail (2008), it was generally understood that security was “dead”. Enterprises were not investing in security and security officers had very little impact within organizations.
Since then we have seen a reversal of this trend. Security is now an extremely hot area. This is great since there are many places in both our government and our industry that are vulnerable to attacks. Making cyber security a focus will help our country better fend off attacks from our adversaries: whether they are politically or financially motivated.
Finovate: Fast Company just named you one of the most creative people in business. How has your experience in the security industry inspired the creativity you bring to Silver Tail Systems? 
Mather: Security is like a chess game. It isn’t sufficient to understand the next move. You have to understand the three to five moves that follow. If you make a change to make something more “secure”, sometimes that change will move the criminals into a new behavior which is more harmful than the behavior you are preventing. Understanding how the criminals think and how they respond to impediments is key to being able to make good decisions about how to protect websites.
Finovate: What’s the biggest hurdle Silver Tail Systems has overcome?
Mather: Our biggest hurdle was Series A venture funding.  In 2008 venture capitalists were saying two things: security is dead and enterprise sales is dead. We were proposing a business that provided both. In addition, my co-founder and I had no start-up experience. It took us a long time to find people who believed enough in what we are doing to put their money behind us.
Finovate: What has been the most fun thing about being the founder of Silver Tail Systems?
Mather: I have the greatest job in the world. I get to protect some of the largest brands (and therefore hundreds of millions of consumers) from fraud and other attacks. How cool is that? We embrace that in our company as well. Our conference rooms are named “Hall of Justice” and “Bat Cave”. Our servers have names like “Ironman” and “Hulk”. We definitely get to enjoy what we do.
Finovate: What is the story behind the name Silver Tail Systems?
Mather: My co-founder and I liked the bird of prey analogy for a security company. We originally called the company “Kestrel” (which is a type of hawk) and we owned kestrel.com. An overenthusiastic trademark attorney told us we could never use Kestrel because we would have trademark issues, so we gave it up – which we now regret. When we decided not to use Kestrel, we wanted another type of bird of prey. “Red Tail” did have trademark issues, so we brainstormed alternatives. We came up with Blue Tail, Steel Tail, Iron Tail, etc. We couldn’t decide which we liked so I sent the list to friends in China, India, London, and Australia to see if any of them had negative connotations. It turns out “Blue Tail” is not a very nice thing in Chinese. My friends who were helping me avoid the “Nova” situation also informally voted and they all like Silver Tail. Thus the company was named.  
One thing for budding entrepreneurs – budget a lot of time for naming your company. With trademark issues it is extremely challenging to find a name for a company now and that was an activity for which we budgeted very little time, but spent a lot of time!
To learn more about Silver Tail Systems, watch its FinovateSpring 2012 demo. Stay tuned for another interview next month.

Finovate Alumni News– June 4, 2012

  • Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Finovate-F-Logo.jpgO’Reilly Radar takes an in-depth look at FutureAdvisor, interviews CEO Bo Lu.
  • Business Insider recommends Mint & BillGuard as worthy personal finance apps to help you control your finances.
  • Strands Finance, selected as tech partner of PostFinance, a Swiss FI & payment transactions provider.
  • HIT Consultant features Diversinet CEO on Newest Podcast.
  • Security Service FCU selects Tyfone to deliver next gen mobile services.
  • PaySimple named to JMP Securities Hot 100 Software Companies 2012.
  • Austin’s Statesman.com asks: Can Bazaarvoice IPO be catalyst for new wave of startups?
  • Altoona’s Hearld-Index profiles T8 Webare.
  • Barron’s looks at SigFig as A Take-Charge Portfolio Manager.
  • InComm & Absolute Software form partnership.
  • The Examiner looks at how Virtual Piggy is protecting kids online & interviews Founder & CEO, Dr. Jo Webber.
  • Check out the latest founder interview: Laura Mather of Silver Tail Systems.
This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Finovate Alumni News– May 31, 2012

  • Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Finovate-F-Logo.jpgDCisions reflects on its FinovateSpring experience.
  • American Banker looks at TIO Networks as a Silicon Valley Tech company serving the underbanked.
  • CorFire and edo Interactive to connect purchase data and targeted offers via mobile.
  • Silver Tail Systems positioned in the Leaders Quadrant of the Magic Quadrant for Web Fraud Detection.
  • Bazaarvoice acquires PowerReviews for $151 million.
  • doxo adds mobile bill Pay, launches Android app.
  • Prosper takes on Lending Club’s PRIME service with Premier.
This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.