WWPass, which was founded in 2008 by Russian-born physicist Gene Shabylgin, and recently moved to the former Bank of America building in downtown
"People want to make things extremely convenient and simple -- the same username and password over and over again for everything we do ... The I.T. world is more concerned about security. The result is that we end up with a system that's secure but not convenient to use, or really convenient and not secure," said
WWPass (it stands for "worldwide pass") says it has solved this balance via a passkey system. Instead of typing the requested username/password for software that has accepted the WWPass system, the user inserts a passkey, via USB port or "near-field communication" similar to an
Users can add a password to keep the passkey secure if they lose it -- but at least they can use the same password for every site.
Many keyfob password systems exist already.
WWPass says its system is different because it acts as an intermediary between the user and the application, via cloud-based systems.
"We play a role as part of the authentication process -- authenticate the user, authenticate the application, authenticate ourselves," Dixon said.
The process also has the effect of keeping personal information private by divvying it up among various servers.
"We don't store personal information about the user or the certificate or private key on the device -- it's stored in the cloud. The only time that information becomes present is when all the keys are matched up and aligned and authenticated," he said.
The system requires that the receiving application -- a website, an application like Dropbox, an account with a company, virtual private network -- run the WWPass technology. They pay a flat fee or per-transaction fee; each passkey costs about
WWPass sells it system to companies of varied sizes. Dixon said one customer has three employees but deals with legal and medical records that it has to keep secure, while another customer has several thousand employees and WWPass is in a "proof-of-concept" with very large firms that have tens of thousands of employees.
The company has an R&D office in
"Looking to expand overseas is next step," Dixon said.
It would like to be part of a continuing expansion of
"Gene travels around world ... he saw what was happening in southern
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