Veridium Earns $150,000 Grant

Biometric authentication software company Veridium (formerly Hoyos Labs) was recently awarded a $150,000 grant from Digital Financial Services Lab. The grant is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Veridium earned the funds by completing the first DFS Lab Biometrics Challenge, which required groups to develop software-based technologies that can capture and verify fingerprints using only an Android smartphone. The $150,000 winnings are to be used to create a mobile app that makes it easy to enroll and match users in developing countries against government databases in order to ensure they receive proper government aid and money.

Lori Cohen, CMO of Veridium, said, “Our goal is to help design a new banking model, using our biometric authentication technology to bring the unbanked into the financial services system. Additionally, over time, [we aim to] improve their circumstances, making it possible to open a bank account, apply for credit, and achieve a level of financial stability.”

This isn’t Veridium’s first grant. The company earned a grant in 2017 in which it piloted a new digital banking model using biometric authentication in a partnership with Wala. The pilot aimed to bring accessible, zero-fee banking to residents of sub-Saharan Africa.

“Winning the grant from DFS Lab has enabled us to be one step closer to our goal of disrupting the current banking model, which currently excludes billions of people around the world just because they lack identity documents,” added Cohen.

At FinovateEurope 2017, Veridium showcased 4 Fingers TouchlessID, multi-finger touchless biometric authentication that works on smartphones with a camera. This method of biometric authentication can be leveraged to onboard and authenticate consumers, since the quality of the fingerprint photos is equivalent to those captured on traditional flatbed scanners. Earlier this year, the company deployed its VeridiumID platform with Nordea, the largest bank in the Nordic region. Headquartered in London and Boston, Veridium was founded in 2015. James Stickland is CEO.

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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.

Veridium to Power Biometrics for Nordea

Biometric authentication software company Veridium (formerly Hoyos Labs) has partnered with Nordea, the largest bank in the Nordic region, which will deploy the VeridiumID platform.

With around 11 million customers, 31,500 employees and 600 branch office locations, Nordea will use VeridiumID to replace tokens with biometric authentication for access to confidential and secure data. VeridiumID leverages biometric authentication that works in conjunction with a front-end mobile SDK that allows companies to embed biometrics into their mobile app. The bank considers this a critical first step in embracing multi-factor biometric authentication. VeridiumID’s software-only approach gives Nordea increased customization and scalability and offers increased security and ease-of-use at a lower cost.

And with the upcoming GDPR deadline, this comes at a good time for Nordea. The implementation of VeridiumID is part of Nordea’s strategy to improve how employees access data and accounts while meeting the new GDPR compliance demands. James Stickland, CEO of Veridium said, “With Veridium, Nordea will be able to take its first steps in advancing security for high privilege access and GDPR compliance.”

In addition to VeridiumID, Veridium offers VeridiumAD, which adds biometric authentication to Microsoft Active Directory environments, and 4 Fingers TouchlessID, which authenticates the user by capturing all four fingerprints at once using a rear-facing camera and LED flash.

Stickland most recently demoed VeridiumID with 4 Fingers TouchlessID at FinovateEurope 2017. The company first presented as Hoyos at FinovateSpring 2011, where it showcased its EyeLock solution. Last month, Veridium partnered with Walla to bring biometric authentication to sub-saharan Africa. Founded in 2015, the company has offices in the U.S., U.K., and Romania.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Stop Cyber Attacks Before They Happen: Three Easy Hacks

Written by James Stickland, CEO of Veridium (FinovateEurope 2017). Originally published in FinTech Futures.

Consider this terrible dichotomy: while the average person’s application count has gone up significantly, corresponding end user cyber-security measures have gone up little, if at all. Between the app store, social channels, and the multitude of devices in use, a person’s threat landscape – the number of points from which a hacker could target them – has increased dramatically. As a result, the end-user is enormously reliant on enterprise and application providers to keep their data secure when they use these apps.

Cifas recently reported that cyber-enabled identity fraud has hit record levels in the U.K. – with younger users amongst the top targets. This seems counter-intuitive, as this demographic is certainly more tech-savvy. However, someone aged 18-21 may not be as protective of their finances as someone in their mid-40s. The younger generation doesn’t have distinguished user behavior (i.e., they haven’t opened or closed credit cards or taken loans) so it’s difficult for banks to determine what’s normal for them.

Banks have an endless amount of sensitive customer data in their possession and are under pressure to generate increased revenue per user, which means multiple touch points with single clients. This is proliferating the problem by creating increasingly complex client maps and insertion points where hackers can find their way in. Companies are working furiously to thwart attacks, but there are some very straight forward approaches that institutions should be taking to stop the attacks before they occur.

Why aren’t banks doing anything about it?

The cybersecurity problems are clear and the news headlines tell the story. In fact, in 2016, the five biggest data breaches all involved compromised, weak or reused passwords. So why isn’t anyone doing anything about this? One of the key drivers is a risk aversion to putting off customers, or complicating employee access. Anytime you require a change in behavior you can expect a backlash. For example, what would you do if suddenly your expectation of what was required to use an online account changed? Institutions think they are making passwords safer by requiring them to be more complex. In the end, this approach is self-defeating and delusional. It’s not making us safer, it’s putting us at a higher risk and defeating the original plan.

What can we do in the finance industry?

Financial companies are filled with high-value assets and have been making the attack landscape more complex through better and more intelligent firewalls, managed rules, and policies. There has also been a segregation of the data, isolating high value content and adding end-point and data-specific security. Yet, security is never a finished project; it is an ever-evolving beast and hackers have an incentive to keep getting smarter. So how can we stay alert and act?

1. Take away the easy entry points

Passwords are an easy entry point. Enterprises set rules and requirements in an attempt to maintain security:  increase the number of times a user needs to change their password, set guidelines that say the password can’t have been used before, or it must include seven characters. Yet, adding rules doesn’t change the issue behind the password.

2. Update security questions

Previously, companies didn’t have to consider the social aspect. It wasn’t a concern that someone could find out your mother’s maiden name or your high school mascot just by checking your Facebook; personal details were less accessible. This is not the case today. Consider how simple it is for hackers to research and uncover those answers.

3. Kill the password

Weak and compromised passwords continue to be a major attack point for hackers, and the costs for maintaining them are high. Even with these issues and if your password policy hasn’t been compromised, passwords don’t prove you are you – they just prove you know something about who you say you are.

Biometric authentication allows you to prove you are who you are through a variety of methods – face recognition, iris recognition, fingerprint scanning, and behavioral authentication. It offers your customers the ability to quickly and conveniently access their accounts, avoid forgotten and misplaced passwords, while increasing security and a fit for the digital age.

FinovateEurope Sneak Peek: Veridium

Screen Shot 2017-01-30 at 1.48.56 PM

Screen Shot 2017-01-23 at 4.27.53 PMA look at the companies demoing live at FinovateEurope on the 7 and 8 of February 2017 in London. Pick up your tickets today and save your spot.

Veridium’s end-to-end, biometrics-based authentication software makes it easy and cost-effective to eliminate passwords, PINs, and security tokens. It has many enterprise-ready use cases to share.

Features

  • Reduce financial fraud
  • Convenient for customers to use
  • Cost-effective solution

Why it’s great
2016 was a banner year for cyber attacks and data breaches. You don’t want your company to be the headline in 2017. Protect your employees, customers, and data with biometric authentication.

Presenter

Screen Shot 2017-01-30 at 2.10.44 PM

James Stickland, CEO
A seasoned executive in the financial technology space, Stickland is tasked with driving business revenue and investment growth, as well as leading the company’s global go-to-market strategy.
LinkedIn

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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.