Vancouver’s FusionPipe is on the Frontline of Password-less Authentication

Security is paramount and passwords are passé.

Data security technology has become a hot market. FusionPipe Software Solutions, a 2015 Technology Impact Awards Most Promising Startup nominee, is ahead of the curve in providing an enterprise solution.

Password-less authentication is a domain garnering increasing interest. Passwords and usernames no longer provide as much security as times past, and lead to inefficiencies in enterprise.

FusionPipe is a Vancouver-based company with the mission to provide secure password-less authentication combined with enhanced data security, while increasing convenience and decreasing operating costs.

FusionPipe’s solutions address current authentication and data security concerns surrounding the use of passwords and multi-factor one-time passwords in an enterprise world increasingly using cloud and mobile technologies.

CEO David Snell told Techvibes, “We replace complex passwords. We encrypt them and use them, but the user doesn’t have to enter them in.  We use the most convenient way of authenticating, through a smartwatch or tapping the app, or automatically just through proximity.”

The company has four security solutions:

  • QuikID Smart allows for secure authentication and user identification through proximity using private encryption keys stored on a user’s smartwatch or smartphone apps.  The technology automatically locks the device when the user is out of Secure Communication range.
  • QuikSafe Enterprise HE Container is a segregated space on an iOS tablet that safeguards sensitive data, providing an added security space within the mobile device.
  • QuikSafe KeyVault encryption technology ensures that each data file in the HE Container on a mobile device is individually encrypted, with encryption keys residing on a second device, such as a smartphone or smartwatch.

The three main benefits of FusionPipe’s products are a reduction in the cost of ownership, increased security and convenience, and the elimination of hardware, such as authentication readers, smartcards, and dongles, and their associated maintenance and support costs.

“The final stage, and what we’re working with some of our proof of concepts, is replacing smartcards and dongles. We displace all of that.  In the enterprise world, the nirvana of getting rid of smartcards, and dongles, one-time and complex passwords that people have to enter, is a huge reduction in the total cost of ownership, because there’s a lot of hardware and support required. Plus it’s as secure or more secure,” said Snell.

The company started when the founder, Peter Luong, realized that mobile devices created a new frontier of data security they are being increasingly used in BYOD enterprise environments.

Luong worked with experts in security at UBC, and started developing the QuikSafe Enterprise HE Container for iPad which separates business data from personal files, and allows users to encrypt the data so that it cannot be accessed without the de-coupled encryption keys.  If the tablet is stolen but sensitive material is encrypted with FusionPipe’s solution, no one can read the material unless they have the encryption keys themselves.

The team at FusionPipe then developed the authentication piece for the smartphones.  The encryption keys were moved from the device that stores the sensitive files to a smartphone over a secure communications layer, Bluetooth Smart.

“About a year ago, we had our VP of sales start talking to a lot of our target customers, and all of them said, the container’s interesting, but if you can solve that password-less authentication piece, we’ll buy it. So last summer, we really did a pivot,” said Snell. “We looked specifically then at putting most of our resources into our password-less solution.”

They created a smartphone application which decoupled the encryption keys from the data itself and moved those encryption keys securely to a smartphone. The next stage was to use Bluetooth Smart proximity to then automatically authenticate someone to a PC or Mac depending on their proximity to it. When within a user-designated proximity, the smartphone uses those encryption keys to automatically authenticate the user to data on the appropriate PC or network.

FusionPipe plans to be in revenue this year, followed by a Series A of five to ten million dollars.

Snell believes FusionPipe has all the pieces in place for growth, with emphasis on the entrepreneurial mindset of the individuals involved.  On the announcement by the BCTIA of their TIA nomination, Snell said, “We are honored to have been chosen for the second year in a row as a finalist for this coveted technology startup award. FusionPipe is currently experiencing a tremendous ‘inflection point’ with outstanding global customer traction with new and disruptive authentication technology being commercialized in May. All the signs are telling us that this will be a banner year for FusionPipe – right product at the right time and place, with the right team.”