Why we're watching it: WWPass, which debuted last month, has the ambitious goal of revolutionizing how users authenticate to websites through WWPass technology that will give users single sign-on capability and crypto-based authentication that lets users manage their own encryption keys. Neither WWPass nor the website knows what they keys are or who the users are. The user just needs the PassKey, available as USB fobs, smartphone apps and card form factors. It could be used with the near-field communication technology coming into use for smartphones, says Eric Scace, chief strategy officer. Under the business model, the plan is to charge service providers supporting WWPass authentication about $5 per 1,000 authentications. It could be an uphill battle to get attention for something as novel as PassKey, but WWPass execs say they knows there's a business need for it.
Headquarters: San Francisco Founded: 2009 Funding: Undisclosed amount from Runa Capital and private investors, plus a $600,000 research grant from National Science Foundation Leader: Peter Jensen, CEO Fun fact: Co-founder Michalis Faloutsos is a computer science professor at University of California, Riverside, who is teaming with research student Anirban Banerjee, StopTheHacker's co-founder and now its vice president of research and development.
Ellen Messmer is senior editor at Network World, an IDG publication and website, where she covers news and technology trends related to information security.
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