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Contxto – It’s always worth paying close attention to what a startup’s acquisition is, as it usually hints at priorities and future projects.
On that note, cybersecurity startup Auth0 made its first purchase of US-based Apility.io. The acquisition took place in October of last year but made the announcement last month. The parties did not disclose the value of the transaction.
Apility.io is an API-developer that’s been integrated into the startup’s “Auth0 Signals” product (more on that later).
This is an interesting development because it further evidences the growing complexity of cybercrime. Consequently, it also highlights the importance and value businesses place on authentication solutions.
Auth0 Signals and cybersecurity
In broad terms, this Signals solution consists of data feeds that let Auth0’s authentication system generate user confidence scores. Or simply put, it’s data that helps the system rate how phishy or reliable a user who’s trying to complete a task on a system is.
So for example, let’s say there’s a Russian hacker who wants to access a bank account for a person from Brazil. If the bank’s system has Auth0’s Signals API, then its anomaly detection engine has more data to pick up on inconsistencies from the requester (the hacker).
Bits of data that act as red flags for the engine include location detection, IP behavior, IP reputation, among others. By analyzing this information, the system generates a user confidence score.
Afterwards, in this case, the system will go all Gandalf “you shall not pass” on the hacker and block the account.
Cybercrime grows in complexity
Contrary to what our favorite movies and shows display, hackers aren’t necessarily connected and commanding a virus to attack a system. Rather they create and program their bugs, bots, and other forms of malware to assault users who are less security-conscious.
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This includes people whose passwords are excessively simple (e.g. “password,” “hello1234,” “love”). As well as those who repeat passwords across multiple accounts.
But hackers are stepping up their game. They profit not only from stealing financial information but personal data as well and then reselling it on the dark web.
Why it’s a big deal: Unsurprisingly, larger corporations have more spending power to bulk up their security teams and systems. Meanwhile, smaller companies such as individually-owned e-commerce businesses and startups have a tighter budget. Thus can’t go on security shopping sprees.
But contrary to popular belief, it’s the little guys that constitute hackers’ primary targets because they’re easier prey. As a result, it’s them that should be more security-conscious.
Why there’s hope: Startups like Auth0 are aware of this problem and are offering free security APIs that can be integrated into software systems. Likewise, as more security options arise, the price tag on this tech should shrink.
In the meantime: Don’t use the same password and email for everything. And please don’t have a password that’s “password.”
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