Why we invested in HYPR
Data breaches continue to be a major issue, as we recently saw when more than 140 million consumers had their personal information and credentials stolen from Equifax. We come to trust corporations with highly sensitive information about us, but when they fail there’s not much we can do about it.
Passwords and login credentials are highly sensitive and constantly under attack from hackers, and securing them is a multi-billion dollar effort and a massive liability for businesses. Today about 80 percent of all data breaches are the result of weak or stolen passwords, but biometrics and multifactor authentication have emerged to head off those attacks.
Many of us are already using mobile biometrics such as fingerprint, iris, and face scanners on our mobile devices, and a number of existing companies already market solutions in this space. However, while there are billions of biometrically enabled devices available today, only a small fraction are used for authentication, mobile payments, or other applications.
Another issue facing us is that enterprises often store our highly sensitive personal information and credentials in centralized repositories that represent a single point of failure. Reducing the attack vector and removing the risk from these enterprises would make hackers’ jobs significantly more difficult and reduce security costs and potential liability by millions of dollars.
A decentralized approach to security is necessary. HYPR, a New York-based startup that provides decentralized biometric encryption to secure password-less authentication across desktop, mobile, and IoT systems.
After learning more about HYPR’s approach to solving the problem of enterprise security, as well as its customer traction, Samsung NEXT was excited to take part in the company’s Series A financing.
We believe HYPR’s ability to offer a neutral, one-stop platform that offers a suite of biometric solutions for clients to choose from is very attractive. That’s because its technology allows enterprises to deploy and scale interoperable biometrics authentication to millions of users.
Rather than having a centralized store of customer credentials that presents a single point of failure, HYPR employs a decentralized authentication approach where credentials are stored safely on the user’s device.
By adopting this approach, enterprises can drastically reduce their attack surface for being hacked as well as their compliance liability. They’re also able to save millions due to better fraud prevention, fewer password resets, and lower customer service costs.
Aggregating biometric data in this way, and making it available for others to use poses a non-trivial problem to solve at scale. That has enabled HYPR to build a competitive moat in a nascent but growing category.
In addition to dealing with the large number of devices where biometrics capabilities are available, any aggregator needs to be able to work with various modalities across hundreds of different apps. Then it needs to integrate with the business logic and access controls across various business units, identity platforms and anti-fraud tools.
HYPR has been developing solutions to this complex suite of problems for the past four years. The company already has gained traction with some major finance, payments, and insurance companies and now touches more than 25 million users across all its customers and partners.
In addition, HYPR has partnered with the Samsung Pass team, which develops and manages the biometric authentication platform used in many Samsung devices. Together, Samsung Electronics and HYPR are planning to deliver advanced authentication solutions leveraging the iris, fingerprint, and facial recognition sensors in our smartphones to different industries in 2018.
Today, HYPR makes it easy for enterprises to offer scalable biometrics-enabled authentication services to their individual customers. In addition, we expect that this decentralized approach will in the future allow the company to become a platform for cross-organization authentication, providing convenience with the security. I’m proud to back the HYPR team as it continues on this journey towards a more secure, simpler mobile landscape.