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mSignia is one of 53 companies chosen by VentureBeat to launch at the DEMO Spring 2011 event taking place this week in Palm Desert, Calif. After our selection, the companies pay a fee to present. Our coverage of them remains objective.
Mobile phones are highly personal devices. They have sensitive information on them, but nobody wants to enter passwords for every task they want to perform on a phone. So mSignia has come up with a way to let you log into a cloud service without entering lots of passwords.
At the DEMO Spring 2011 conference, mSignia is announcing its Dynamic Device Identity for Android devices. The service identifies you as a user and your device so that you don’t have to enter those pesky passwords. It gives users an extra level of security for their mobile devices, which is increasingly important as phones become the center of our lives and malware attackers begin to center their efforts on phones because of that.
mSignia tracks your device and the services you log into on it. If you replace your phone, mSignia can migrate all of the services from your old phone to your new phone, once you register the new device with mSignia. The mSignia service would also terminate the online banking service credential and other credentials on the old device so it can’t be used to access your banking data. And mSignia can alert any other mSignia-protected services that a new devices is now in use.
The mSignia platform can uniquely identify a device you are using by pinpointing all of the hardware, firmware and software elements found on the phone. It anticipates changes to the device caused by updates and usage. mSignia can sign you into services automatically, unless the service requires you to enter a PIN number. If it needs to authenticate you, it can ask you to re-enter a PIN number.
That’s a pretty good service in an age when it’s easy to lose a phone and it’s also very likely that you have some really important stuff on your phone. The company says its security is hard to beat because of the way it authenticates users and it says it doesn’t get false negatives, where it improperly denies you permission to do something.
mSignia can encrypt service data stored on the device. The company has applied for a patent on its Dynamic Device Identification technology. With this kind of protection, users don’t have to worry so much about using an online banking app on their mobile phones. The mSignia technology works with iPhones, Android phones, BlackBerry, Windows Phone 7 and Symbian.
Just about any high-security service provide — banks, healthcare companies, or corporations — will care about the technology, since it will encourage users to use mobile apps that they otherwise may have been afraid to use. The company was founded last year and it has five employees. mSignia has no direct competitors at the moment, but it expects PC-focused security firms — iOvation, Threatmetrix, Equifax and RSA — to enter the mobile device market. mSignia considers those companies to be potential partners.
mSignia is privately funded, but it hopes raise money. The company was founded by Paul Miller, chief executive, and George Tuvell, chief technology officer. They’re both veterans of software and security startups with experience in mobile markets.
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