In a big acquisition for Finland, McAfee has announced the acquisition of Helsinki-based Stonesoft for a nice €297 million in cash. As you might expect, Stonesoft is a security as a service solution, and leads research into cyber threats and advanced evasion techniques used in stealth cyber attacks, which is becoming a growing threat for businesses. Their focus is on all network sizes, like next-generation firewalls, evasion prevention systems, and SSL VPN solutions.
MePIN, a Helsinki-based specialist security provider, has now announced a multi-factor authentication system and user verification aimed at the gaming industry. Higher security features makes sense, people are putting more and more money into online gaming accounts, and a hacked game account could potentially destroy tens of hours of work.
MePIN is available as either a smartphone app or a USB key. The solution is based on banking grade public key infrastructure, and it solves the problem of having to remember multiple passwords, or being a target for phishing and password hacking.
A Lithuanian company has created a Microsoft Kinect-based login system for secure online banking, with the added benefit of minority-report style arm waving to pay your bills. In total it looks like ETRONIKA has built a concise security system. You begin by using a Kinect plugged into a PC, where the sensor's motion-based software will use your face and voice as login information. On top of that they use a phone-based pin code for an extra layer of security when you actually move money aroud. If you were ever to step out of the Kinect sensor's range, the system would log you off automatically to protect your information.
Security is a prerequisite in the real world and perhaps more so in the digital space. And with security online, comes WOT that has been ensuring a safe browsing experience for the millions of users online. WOT announced another major partnership earlier, this time with Kiosked.
Kiosked is an online service that transforms online content into a marketplace. The service provides consumers with access to more information as well as making both online and offline purchases easy. Kiosked was also one of the Arctic15 finalists this year.
Yandex has been on top when it comes to coverage recently and sharing another piece won’t be surprising. Unless it isn’t positive. BBC has mentioned that Yandex, Russia’s largest search engine has confirmed sharing confidential data with the state’s secret service; the FSB. Bad news, given that Yandex had set its eyes on raising $1 billion via listing on Nasdaq.
Web of Trust or WOT, the safe surfing software that protects surfers from malicious links, spyware and spam continues its growth that has been exponential in the last one year especially. The service recently crossed the 2 million registered user mark and out comes another update. The Web of Trust went past the 20 million download mark, quite significant since it took only a year to add another 10 million.
It has barely been a couple of weeks when we last reported of WOT achieving a milestone with 2 million registered users and there is one more news already. The Web of Trust might have grabbed attention of all those users but it appears to be in hot waters right now.
Web of Trust or WOT, the safe surfing software that protects surfers from malicious links, spyware and spam is growing bigger by the day. WOT achieved another milestone on 28th January, 2011 when it announced the registration of its 2 millionth users. Web of Trust had only recently released the WOT plugin for WordPress.
We at Arctic Startup have talked about WOT or Web of Trust extensively and honestly love how it helps the online community. The safe surfing software keeps users protected from malicious links, spam, spyware, etc by warning them of such sites. The working is based around the idea of getting information from other trusted sources as well as from the online community.
Gemalto, provider of end-to-end security solutions, has acquired a Finnish startup Valimo Wireless. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Some of Valimo's investors included Altine Group, Risto Siilasmaa and SpringBank TechVentures.
Valimo has developed a two-channel, two-factor authentication based on Public Key Infrastructure, combining an over the air platform with a software client in the SIM to generate a legally binding electronic signature. What this jargon from the press release means is that Valimo enables mobile phone users to securely authenticate themselves, digitally sign documents and confirm legally binding transactions simply by entering a self-chosen passphrase or a PIN code. Voilà!
Accumulate, a Swedish mobile payment and security solution provider, has received an investment from The Sixth Swedish National Pension Fund (The Sixth AP Fund; Sjätte AP-fonden). The Sixth AP fund is the so called Swedish state fund for longterm risk capital, investing in small and medium-sized growth companies. The size of the investment has not been disclosed.
erAce Security Solutions has launched a mobile firewall for preventing SMS attacks on smartphones that could result in an attacker hijacking mobile data connections. The product is called Settings Firewall and it is targeted Symbian and Windows Mobile operating systems (more info, PDF).
There has been a lot of discussion on possible SMS vulnerabilities lately. For example, F-Secure has reported the first ever SMS worm, and just end of 2008 there were headlines about the Curse of Silence denial of service attack. It is often deemed as just a matter of time before the first more serious threats appear.
Yubico is a Swedish American security startup, founded in 2007 and based in Stockholm Sweden and Sunnyvale CA.
Yubico's mission is to "make Internet identification secure, easy, and affordable for everyone". The firm offers a physical token called YubiKey, which can be used for secure identification to web services.
The device is a simple one-button USB keyboard designed to generate a unique user identity and a one-time passcode, which will be sent to the PC as keyboard characters, thus saving the user from typing. When submitting the web form with the passcode, the information is verifed against the security provider’s authentication server. YubiKey can also be combined with a PIN or password for two-factor authentication.
YubiKey has quite good differentiating benefits compared to competing solutions. It also doesn't require any client software or installation, and thus works on any USB-enabled computer. YubiKey can currently be used with any website supporting OpenID. At the moment other possible uses include Windows login, Wordpress, Web single sign on, OpenVPN, Phpbb Forum, and Windows ActiveDirectory. Yubico has a developer community working on gradually spreading the support.
The company states the product suits perfectly any high security web-based application where fast and frequent online authentication is needed, for example government services and financial transactions as well as different purchases. According to their own words they aim to serve everyone from individuals to large corporations and the web community (which sounds ok for a universal security solution provider, though somewhat unfocused for a startup).
Yubico sells the YubiKey hardware online for quite an affordable price of 30 USD and offers the basic SDK under open source, to enable building customized authentication services. They also run their own validation servers and offer the service for subscription.
WOT, or Web of Trust, is a so called 'safe surfing' software that warns the users of ill websites, namely scams, identity theft, spyware, spam, viruses and unreliable shopping sites.
WOT wants to primarily see itself as a community website. The service gets it's information from other trusted sources that gather related data as well as from its user community. WOT software can be downloaded for Firefox (as I did) and for IE.
The company boast some impressive figures. According to WOT's CEO, Esa Suurio, it has 20 million rated website and broke 1 million user downloads during August 2008.
When asked about WOT's business model, Suurio says that they are still working on the best way to monetize the service, but that 20 million rated websites is clearly an asset, which the company is ready to lincense to third parties. Suurio adds that WOT can also act as a marketing platform. For this particular use new concepts that fit WOT's philophy and its community model are under way.
Before starting WOT Esa Suurio, a Finnish serial software entrepreneur, founded a local Business Intelligence and Data Warehousing house InfoManager and led the company for about ten years before a successful exit in August 2001 -just before the hardest downturn in the dot-com bubble years.