I find myself watching crypto charts more than movies these days. Also a keen blockchain developer.
Contrary to popular belief, traditional passwords are not the best way to protect sensitive information on our digital devices. Founders of a tech startup, Cotter, explain why and advocate for their flagship, passwordless authentication tool.
As the numbers of users, devices and programs in the modern enterprise continue to grow, we are seeing massive new waves of sensitive and confidential data flooding into cyberspace. Consequently, the importance of cybersecurity is also on the rise. Heads of state around the world put the topic of cybersecurity among their top priorities.
The consequences of cyber-attacks can have a devastating impact on individuals, businesses and even nations – ranging from depression and suicide, to activity disruption and regulatory fines. Shortly after moving into the White House, President Joe Biden decided to take substantial measures against cyber-attacks and released an Executive Order directing several agencies to develop new security requirements for software vendors selling to the U.S. government. The world, and the United States in particular, take the topic of cybersecurity very seriously.
Contrary to popular views, the same passwords that are meant to protect our devices and prevent unwanted agents from stealing our most sensitive data are actually contributing to the decrease of security in our mobiles, laptops, and other electronic equipment. Passwords were introduced as a method of computer protection in the ‘60s and are currently the most widely used method of authentication.
However, with the growing range and sophistication of cyber attackers as well as the resourcefulness of new attack techniques, passwords have shifted from being a protective measure to a severe weakness. There are several reasons for this shift. Common user mistakes include reusing the same password for different services, not changing the default password immediately, recklessly writing passwords down and sharing them with others.
On the other end, hackers are now equipped with highly sophisticated tools for password-cracking and intercepting through insecure networks. Passwords are also easily stolen through social engineering, such as convincing emails or spoofed websites where people are asked to share their login details. Almost all of the above situations are related to human error and can be eliminated by applying passwordless authentication.
The founders of Cotter are truly excited about their product – a no-code, passwordless authentication app designed to save the day in a world full of cyber threats. Kevin Chandra and his colleagues were a young group of tech enthusiasts when the concept of Cotter emerged.
From the beginning, the team consisted of Albert Putra Purnama (Co-Founder and Software Developer), Michelle Marcelline (Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer), Putri Karunia (Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer) and Anthony Christian (Co-Founder and Software Engineer).
These extraordinary technological talents graduated from the best universities on the West Coast and have another qualification in common: they all completed the Y-Combinator program – a prestigious accelerator program that provided them with business knowledge and substantial funding.
The Cotter founding team
Cotter’s founders identified the problem and decided to jump right in with the solution: developing an authentication tool that does not use passwords, but instead uses a private key stored deep inside the device.
Like most successful business ideas, Cotter was based on real experiences. The team was driven by their own struggles with the shortage of good quality security measures in Indonesia and this motivated Kevin and his friends to further develop their business plan in order to make a significant change.
“We initially got inspired to create passwordless authentication because we had to build our own login and authentication flow that fits in[to] a developing country.
We realized no such solution was available before, which made us pioneers of passwordless authentication in the region and helped us [to] spread the product further into the world.” - they explain.
Currently, Cotter authenticates over 2 million requests every month and the app is successfully used by roughly 3000 web developers, designers, and no-code builders. The team made its mark in the security market not only due to the fact that their app is well-scaled, user-friendly, and innovative; their other asset was a deep understanding of users’ needs and their realistic approach to cybersecurity.
They concluded that even the fanciest and most effective password-based security tool is flawed, because people refuse to adhere to inconvenient rules and will eventually make a mistake in regards to their password, which gives malware agents an opportunity to access the information.
Cotter patches these vulnerabilities on both ends. Firstly, their authentication method is seamless and based on biometric access, which doesn’t require remembering passwords or tedious confirmations with one-time password messages. Secondly, thanks to its no-code nature, it doesn’t leave footprints for hackers to follow.
Cotter’s authentication tool can be used to secure devices carrying all types of data, from personal information to highly sensitive government documents. Additionally, it can also secure crypto wallets and other up-to-date fund storage methods. This topic has been very trendy recently, so undoubtedly, many cryptocurrency fans will be delighted to hear about improved options for security.
Judging from the team’s dedication and drive to reach the top, Cotter will definitely expand rapidly. They have already proven their ability to understand their customers’ needs and to solve problems with the least amount of technology. What is more, they are good friends and have a lot of fun in the process.
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