Yet again, for the third time, you try to enter the password of a critical application, and this is your last chance before the application shuts you out for the next 24 hours, only after which you can try again!
Sounds familiar? Yes, because most of us have been there.
We forget passwords and their combinations and sometimes get the capitalized letters wrong, and what’s worse, we may not even realize that we had accidentally turned on the caps lock. Before we figure out the right combination and mistakes, we have exceeded the maximum number of tries allowed for entering a password.
This means either we are shut out for a specific time, or we have to go through the “Forgot Password” process again.
All these are frustrating, to say the least. Also, it prevents us from accessing the application we want and wastes our precious time.
But from an application owner’s standpoint, these checks are necessary to prevent unauthorized access and to reduce the possibility of errors and frauds. So, such a checking system is essential, and such an authentication process is justified as well.
Embarking on an Error-Free Login Process
Since there is merit in what the user wants and why the application behaves the way it does, what’s a more streamlined and error-free solution that will satisfy both the application’s need for security and the user’s need for a simplified and error-free login process.
One Time Passwords
Passwordless authentication systems eliminate the use of passwords and the pain points that come with them.
Instead, the user can enter the email address or phone number associated with the account and enter a One Time Password (OTP) that is sent to either the email ID or the phone number.
If the OTP matches, the user can access the system.
It sounds like the perfect alternative to the idea of remembering passwords, right? Except that this has its pitfalls as well.
What happens in the following situation?
- Your device is lost or stolen, so you’re unable to see the SMS that was sent to your cell phone.
- You forget the password of your email ID.
- Your email is hacked, and you’re unable to log in
Worse, hackers can easily intercept the SMS and use it for their own gain.
In this sense, you’re addressing one problem, but in the process, opening a can of worms that can have an even more serious security downside. So, these OTPs are never a standalone solution for secure authentication.
Biometrics is often seen as a foolproof way of authenticating a user because it is based on personal identifications such as fingerprints and retinas that are hard to steal.
Also, science has proved beyond doubt that these are unique, so no two individuals in the world share the same fingerprint or retina, thereby making them unique identifiers.
Other advantages are that these identifiable things are non-transferrable to others, and they meet the authentication principles of “something a person has and is.”
So, biometrics is touted to be a great alternative to entering passwords, and the added advantage is that it provides a great user experience as well.
From a user’s perspective, the hassles of coming up with a unique combination of words to form a password, remembering the same.
There are high frustrations that come with using your passwords when they don’t work — or when there are times that you forget your password — or if a needed password is removed.
Now, let’s look at a practical implementation of biometrics by a company called SAWO Labs.
SAWO Labs is a startup that has come up with a unique way of implementing biometrics to ease the process of authentication without compromising on security. Its name is the acronym for Secure Authentication Without OTP and is rightly named, as it eliminates the need for passwords and OTPs.
In this process, all that a user does is visits the sign-in page and enters the phone number or email ID associated with that application. That’s it. No passwords.
SAWO uses your phone lock as the biometric attribute to verify your identity and, accordingly, authenticates you into the app.
Some of the advantages that come with SAWO’s authentication model are:
- No complicated passwords to create or remember
- No possibility for hacking the SMS messages sent to your phone
- An easy authentication process that scores high on user experience
- An extremely secure way to authenticate users
- The entire authentication process completes under one second
- Works for all kinds of applications
There have been many cyberattacks that have occurred in just the last few days around the nation and even in governments. It is time that we all take our company’s security seriously and find a way to keep all of our logins safe.
Image Credit: kevin paster; pexels; thank you!
Fintech Kennek raises $12.5M seed round to digitize lending
London-based fintech startup Kennek has raised $12.5 million in seed funding to expand its lending operating system.
According to an Oct. 10 tech.eu report, the round was led by HV Capital and included participation from Dutch Founders Fund, AlbionVC, FFVC, Plug & Play Ventures, and Syndicate One. Kennek offers software-as-a-service tools to help non-bank lenders streamline their operations using open banking, open finance, and payments.
The platform aims to automate time-consuming manual tasks and consolidate fragmented data to simplify lending. Xavier De Pauw, founder of Kennek said:
“Until kennek, lenders had to devote countless hours to menial operational tasks and deal with jumbled and hard-coded data – which makes every other part of lending a headache. As former lenders ourselves, we lived and breathed these frustrations, and built kennek to make them a thing of the past.”
The company said the latest funding round was oversubscribed and closed quickly despite the challenging fundraising environment. The new capital will be used to expand Kennek’s engineering team and strengthen its market position in the UK while exploring expansion into other European markets. Barbod Namini, Partner at lead investor HV Capital, commented on the investment:
“Kennek has developed an ambitious and genuinely unique proposition which we think can be the foundation of the entire alternative lending space. […] It is a complicated market and a solution that brings together all information and stakeholders onto a single platform is highly compelling for both lenders & the ecosystem as a whole.”
The fintech lending space has grown rapidly in recent years, but many lenders still rely on legacy systems and manual processes that limit efficiency and scalability. Kennek aims to leverage open banking and data integration to provide lenders with a more streamlined, automated lending experience.
The seed funding will allow the London-based startup to continue developing its platform and expanding its team to meet demand from non-bank lenders looking to digitize operations. Kennek’s focus on the UK and Europe also comes amid rising adoption of open banking and open finance in the regions.
Featured Image Credit: Photo from Kennek.io; Thank you!
Fortune 500’s race for generative AI breakthroughs
As excitement around generative AI grows, Fortune 500 companies, including Goldman Sachs, are carefully examining the possible applications of this technology. A recent survey of U.S. executives indicated that 60% believe generative AI will substantially impact their businesses in the long term. However, they anticipate a one to two-year timeframe before implementing their initial solutions. This optimism stems from the potential of generative AI to revolutionize various aspects of businesses, from enhancing customer experiences to optimizing internal processes. In the short term, companies will likely focus on pilot projects and experimentation, gradually integrating generative AI into their operations as they witness its positive influence on efficiency and profitability.
Goldman Sachs’ Cautious Approach to Implementing Generative AI
In a recent interview, Goldman Sachs CIO Marco Argenti revealed that the firm has not yet implemented any generative AI use cases. Instead, the company focuses on experimentation and setting high standards before adopting the technology. Argenti recognized the desire for outcomes in areas like developer and operational efficiency but emphasized ensuring precision before putting experimental AI use cases into production.
According to Argenti, striking the right balance between driving innovation and maintaining accuracy is crucial for successfully integrating generative AI within the firm. Goldman Sachs intends to continue exploring this emerging technology’s potential benefits and applications while diligently assessing risks to ensure it meets the company’s stringent quality standards.
One possible application for Goldman Sachs is in software development, where the company has observed a 20-40% productivity increase during its trials. The goal is for 1,000 developers to utilize generative AI tools by year’s end. However, Argenti emphasized that a well-defined expectation of return on investment is necessary before fully integrating generative AI into production.
To achieve this, the company plans to implement a systematic and strategic approach to adopting generative AI, ensuring that it complements and enhances the skills of its developers. Additionally, Goldman Sachs intends to evaluate the long-term impact of generative AI on their software development processes and the overall quality of the applications being developed.
Goldman Sachs’ approach to AI implementation goes beyond merely executing models. The firm has created a platform encompassing technical, legal, and compliance assessments to filter out improper content and keep track of all interactions. This comprehensive system ensures seamless integration of artificial intelligence in operations while adhering to regulatory standards and maintaining client confidentiality. Moreover, the platform continuously improves and adapts its algorithms, allowing Goldman Sachs to stay at the forefront of technology and offer its clients the most efficient and secure services.
Featured Image Credit: Photo by Google DeepMind; Pexels; Thank you!
UK seizes web3 opportunity simplifying crypto regulations
As Web3 companies increasingly consider leaving the United States due to regulatory ambiguity, the United Kingdom must simplify its cryptocurrency regulations to attract these businesses. The conservative think tank Policy Exchange recently released a report detailing ten suggestions for improving Web3 regulation in the country. Among the recommendations are reducing liability for token holders in decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) and encouraging the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to adopt alternative Know Your Customer (KYC) methodologies, such as digital identities and blockchain analytics tools. These suggestions aim to position the UK as a hub for Web3 innovation and attract blockchain-based businesses looking for a more conducive regulatory environment.
Streamlining Cryptocurrency Regulations for Innovation
To make it easier for emerging Web3 companies to navigate existing legal frameworks and contribute to the UK’s digital economy growth, the government must streamline cryptocurrency regulations and adopt forward-looking approaches. By making the regulatory landscape clear and straightforward, the UK can create an environment that fosters innovation, growth, and competitiveness in the global fintech industry.
The Policy Exchange report also recommends not weakening self-hosted wallets or treating proof-of-stake (PoS) services as financial services. This approach aims to protect the fundamental principles of decentralization and user autonomy while strongly emphasizing security and regulatory compliance. By doing so, the UK can nurture an environment that encourages innovation and the continued growth of blockchain technology.
Despite recent strict measures by UK authorities, such as His Majesty’s Treasury and the FCA, toward the digital assets sector, the proposed changes in the Policy Exchange report strive to make the UK a more attractive location for Web3 enterprises. By adopting these suggestions, the UK can demonstrate its commitment to fostering innovation in the rapidly evolving blockchain and cryptocurrency industries while ensuring a robust and transparent regulatory environment.
The ongoing uncertainty surrounding cryptocurrency regulations in various countries has prompted Web3 companies to explore alternative jurisdictions with more precise legal frameworks. As the United States grapples with regulatory ambiguity, the United Kingdom can position itself as a hub for Web3 innovation by simplifying and streamlining its cryptocurrency regulations.
Featured Image Credit: Photo by Jonathan Borba; Pexels; Thank you!