[Pangyo Tech] Octatco’s EzFinger for Easier and Safer Security without a Password.

Most of affairs in our lives are becoming more dependent on IT with the advanced technologies of the fourth industrial revolution. Accordingly, security is getting more important for individuals and companies.

Along with other technologies, security technologies advances day by day to prevent leakage of privacy and business information.

About 80% of data leakage cases comes from password leakage. Around 70% of authentication system of these days uses passwords. The biggest problem of such system is that one’s password is not exclusively owned by the one but shared with respective service providers.

Even if one’s password is kept in secret, if a service provider is hacked, the one’s data will be leaked. On the other hand, service providers may have to be filed for indemnification even if a registered password was used for authentication. Over half of internet users use five or less passwords for all of their accounts. Password leakage can entail bigger consequence as a password for personal account is, sometimes, used for business accounts as well.

Many companies introduced multi-factor authentication solutions including OTP to tackle the password-related problem. While such approaches are effective for security, they entail complex procedures for system integration and hefty cost. They still have risk of leakage as they check numbers and characters only leaving possibility of leakage or theft of authentication codes.

Octatco uses biometrics tools and applies encrypting technology to all communication routes. The company provides biometrics security keys and solutions which save personal information into h/w security areas. It enables more convenient and safer digital life of clients.

We met Octatco’s CEO Yoo Mi-young at the Startup Campus in Pangyo Techno Valley discussing the biometrics security firm’s service named EzFinger. The service is certified by Windows Hello and FIDO and allows use of dozens of services without additional installment of software including Windows PC Sign-in, Office365, Azure Cloud and other services of MS, Google Gmail, Google Cloud and Salesforce.

Q1. Please introduce us about your company.

CEO Yoo Mi-young: Octatco enables people to enjoy safer and more convenient digital services with its safe and convenient authentication solution that replaces vulnerable and inconvenient password-based system. Our service meets the requirements of AAL3 (Authentication Assurance Level 3), the strongest level of authentication, of NIST which is known as one of the most credible standardization research center of the U.S.

We use FIDO standard, an international standard for biometrics and security authentication to end the time of password that is characterized by inconvenience and vulnerability. We aim to grow bigger and contribute to the development of South Korea with our safer and easier authentication tool.

Q2. Tell us about your major target client

CEO Yoo Mi-young: Our clients are individuals and companies who use passwords. EzFinger is H/W-based biometrics security key that can be applied to diverse work environment covering tablet PCs and PCs. Card-type EzFinger requires a single device for entering an office, signing one’s PC, using group-wares and online authentication.

EzAuth is a biometrics solution that can be applied to various biometrics devices including smartphones and fingerprint usb security keys. EzAuth can be established into one’s business environment with 10 times lower price compared to other companies’ on-premise biometrics solution. The service can be linked to existing legacy systems and various security authentication systems within two to three days.

EzFinger series are is certified by Windows Hello and FIDO and allows use of dozens of services without additional installment of software including Windows PC Sign-in, Office365, Azure Cloud and other services of MS, Google Gmail, Google Cloud and Salesforce.

Q3. What makes your services different from others?

CEO Yoo Mi-young: Over 70% of authentication market is about password-related services. And there are four companies around the world which provides online authentication solution and encrypting H/W security solutions that can be applied to PCs. Out of the four companies, we are the only one that provides authentication services that use biometrics, Windows Hello biometrics and FIDO authentication for H/W finger print security and biometrics solutions.

Existing physical security authentication services is based on offline entry-control market that uses biometrics. The group of service is vulnerable for cyberattack. Information security authentication services focus on encryption technologies and S/W authentication solutions and are vulnerable against biometrics H/W technologies. Octatco provides integrated authentication services that combine biometrics and encryption technologies encompassing H/W and S/W.

Q4. What about your strategy for overseas market?

CEO Yoo Mi-young: Demand for cloud service increased with the onset of coronavirus pandemic of the last year which forced many companies and institutions to begin remote working, virtual meeting, virtual events and other contact-free activities. Digital transformation of many companies and institutions boosted the demand for security-guaranteed cloud services.

However, most of authentication services for cloud services use password. If an administrative account falls on bad people’s hands via phishing or something, huge damage can be inevitable. EzFinger series products can prevent such risks as they provide better security and convenience. We plan to tap into the US and Singapore markets leveraging on the partnership with cloud authentication providers such as zscaler, MS or consulting firm such as PWC.

Q5. What about your current performance?

CEO Yoo Mi-young: Samsung Life has used EzFinger2 for its employees. A local firm whose name includes P has used EzFinger solution as well for security authentication for its smart offices that were added due to COVID-19. Aside from them, many public institutions and companies have used EzFinger for their security.

We became official security-key vendor of Microsoft this year. We have collaborated with SK Telecom and will launch the EzQuant, the world’s first finger print-recognition security key based on quantum random number generator. We will target global market by capitalizing on our collaboration with SKT and ADT Caps for covering other sectors that require security-authentication such as finance and national defense sectors.

Q7. What made you chose Pangyo for your company?

CEO Yoo Mi-young: Pangyo is a home of many IT firms and research centers. You might find it a global R&D hub that covers IT and CT. I believe it is the best place for carrying out collaborative projects and researches with diverse companies and institutions.

The city and central governments support you in various ways if your company resides in the city. And the place is close to Seoul and Gangnam which makes it more attractive for your business.

Pangyo Technovalley is an innovation hub for global companies comparable to the Silicon Valley in the US, Zhongguancun in China, and STATION F in France. It is an Asia tech hub with 1,259 IT, BT, CT, and NT companies that possess innovative products and technologies. Located just south of the metropolitan area, it provides the best environment for Korean companies to do business with great transportation access and infrastructure.

Various high-tech companies are located in Pangyo Technovalley, and it is occupied by 64,000 full-time employees, many in their 20-30s. In terms of industry, the companies are engaged in information technology, contents technology, biotechnology, and nanotechnology.

With the support of innovative companies with global capabilities such as Kakao, Naver, AhnLab, Krafton, NCSoft, Nexon, and Hancom, companies in Pangyo Technovalley recorded 107 trillion won in sales last year. Investment and infrastructure growth in Pangyo is expected to continue, with the Metaverse hub entering Pangyo this year.

Source: Pangyo Techno Valley Official Newsroom 

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