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  • Writer's pictureKeyXentic

「Hardware key + biometric recognition」 is even more secure, and the cybersecurity startup KeyXentic has successfully secured the most challenging bank and military clients.

Updated: Jun 28

Meet Startup Editor 羅思涵

2024-06-12

In order to prevent hackers from stealing data, systems often recommend users to set strong passwords, including at least 8 characters with a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special symbols, and even require changing the password every three months.


Very annoying for users.


Facing the need to remember hundreds of passwords, some people choose to use one password for everything, while others choose to record their passwords in obvious places, which ironically increases cybersecurity risks.


How to find a solution that balances convenience and safety?


KeyXentic, a cybersecurity expert with many years of experience, believes that combining biometric authentication with physical keys is the most secure method. KeyXentic has collaborated with numerous banks, government agencies, and enterprises in Taiwan, including the Taipei City Government and Chunghwa Telecom. He is also actively expanding into the international market, having partnered with banks in Malaysia and the German military.

The KeyXentic team, with many years of experience in cybersecurity, has been searching for solutions that balance convenience and security based on past experiences. They have created various physical smart keys that not only enhance login convenience but also effectively reduce potential cybersecurity vulnerabilities, providing strong security protection for enterprises' digital transformation. Image source: 侯俊偉 Photography.


Achieving 「zero trust」 in cybersecurity is not enough! What is the 「non-deniability」emphasized by KeyXentic?


KeyXentic, CEO of 洪伯岳 (pictured on the right), pointed out that in the past business environment, cybersecurity has always been seen as an optional aspect. However, with the increasing trend of digital transformation, the key to successful digitization is the establishment of cybersecurity awareness. It is gradually shifting from being 「nice to have" to "must have.」


In fact, information security involves multiple aspects, including environmental protection for general enterprise servers, chips, and other hardware devices to prevent them from being affected by natural disasters or human errors, as well as software penetration testing to confirm whether there are any vulnerabilities in the enterprise's cybersecurity protection.


「Penetration testing is like a drill, while environmental protection, strengthening encryption, etc., are like building fortresses. We provide the latter.」 said 洪伯岳.


KeyXentic's 「key protection」 technology focuses on application protection, locking files using keys to prevent hackers from stealing important system information. This concept is not only widely used in the enterprise sector, but can also be seen everywhere in daily life, such as OTP verification in online banking and the use of personal digital certificates before filing taxes.


Although existing key protection methods can achieve identity verification, they also leave many operational loopholes. Taiwan startup KeyXentic, founded in 2017, has developed a smart key that combines software and hardware recognition. After years of research and development, users can now use fingerprint scanning as a biometric identification for user identity.


The intelligent key developed by KeyXentic can be mainly used in two ways:


1. Identity Verification: The Intelligent Key of Biometric Recognition


When an enterprise applies for reimbursement, CRM, ERP, and other system permissions for its employees, most of them only provide individual account passwords for protection. At this time, the personal exclusive physical key provided by KeyXentic is considered as the second line of defense for account protection.


Although these systems were not originally linked to physical keys, in the keys provided by KeyXentic, activation is only possible after personal fingerprint recognition.


Fingerprint smart token launched by KeyXentic.


2. Cloud Encryption: Project cross-border team cloud files


The process of digital transformation has led to an increase in remote teams. Employees uploading and downloading data on the cloud easily creates cybersecurity vulnerabilities. In response to this scenario, KeyXentic has developed the "XenBox File Encryption Protection System" to be used in conjunction with physical keys.


Combining physical keys, KeyXentic developed a "XenBox file encryption protection system." When employees upload data, as long as they plug in the smart token released by KeyXentic on the computer, the team's XenBox system will automatically activate. Each uploaded file will be encrypted automatically, and only those with the smart token issued by the company can open it.


For example, when an employee needs to upload data to the company's internal cloud folder, they just need to plug in the smart token into the computer, go through the employee's identity verification process, and the XenBox system will automatically start. During the file upload process, the files will be encrypted automatically, and only those with the smart token issued by the company can access them.


The approach of 「one product satisfies all needs」 is not feasible.


What reason led KeyXentic to make the decision to focus on the integration of hardware and software equipment, and to write a different direction of effort from existing cybersecurity companies? 洪伯岳 shared, 「Everything is related to previous work experience.」


洪伯岳 was previously responsible for projects related to the digitization of government and electronic passports. He assisted in the development of backend systems for issuing chip electronic passports on health insurance cards and personal identification certificates. Drawing on his past experiences, he started his first business in 2010 and, during the process of market development, he met 陳政敏 (pictured on the left), who had achieved success in the field of fingerprint recognition.


When the two of them discussed the combination of chips and biometric recognition, they both believed that this would bring a new direction to the cybersecurity industry. In full agreement, they brought together friends who shared the same passion and officially founded KeyXenic in 2017.


Although the two have been deeply involved in the field of cybersecurity for many years, their first product launch and engagement with enterprises did not go as smoothly as they had imagined. Vice President of KeyXentic, 陳政敏, shared, 「Initially, we designed the product from an engineer's perspective, but we found that it did not meet market demands.」


Initially, the product designed by KeyXentic attempted to cover various usage scenarios, integrating functions such as chip scanning and biometric recognition. Although it attracted the attention of many engineers at the exhibition, it was politely rejected by the target customer group of enterprises.


After conducting market research, KeyXentic found that the strategy of 「dominating the market with one product」 was not successful, as the product size and demand did not match, becoming two major factors of failure.


Fingerprint smart card reader launched by KeyXentic.


陳政敏 said, 「We realized that we should focus on the functions that consumers need the most, and later decided to separate the product functions, allowing each product to focus on excelling in one function.」


After the painful lesson learned from the market, KeyXentic revitalized and focused on product research and development, maximizing their own knowledge base, and eventually successfully entered both domestic and international markets.


Proving that 「the moon is not always fullest abroad」,KeyXentic successfully entered both domestic and international markets.


When talking about how KeyXentic successfully entered the domestic financial market, 洪伯岳 admitted that it was very difficult to make enterprises change their old mindset of「cooperating with foreign companies」 However, with the rising trend of 「using domestic products」 KeyXentic seized the opportunity to collaborate with system integrators (SI) and gradually entered the market.


With the intelligent key that combines hardware and software, KeyXentic proves to the enterprise end that foreign products are not necessarily the best. The team has created a series of products that meet different needs, allowing enterprises to freely mix and match to find the cooperation model that best suits their needs.


Since its establishment in 2017, KeyXentic has regarded itself as the original manufacturer of the product. Through system integration (SI), it has opened up the market to more enterprises, collaborating with industries such as finance, state-owned enterprises, and the military. At the same time, the company has also set its sights on the international market. In addition to the Taiwanese market, the team has also collaborated with companies from countries such as Malaysia and Germany.


Currently, KeyXentic mainly has two types of charging methods. One is project-based, responsible for the establishment, authorization, and future maintenance fees of the key system. The other is subscription-based service, where charges are based on the number of physical keys applied for by the enterprise.


After gradually establishing a foothold in the domestic market, KeyXentic was also selected by Chunghwa Telecom as a key partner. The KeyXentic team looks forward to seizing this hard-won opportunity and continuing to expand into the international market.


Start-up Quick Q&A


Q: What resources does the team currently lack in order to achieve the next goal?

A: Currently, the company is in a growth phase and requires market partners as well as new capital investment to expand its revenue scale. Due to the expansion, the company's management and governance need new partners to join.


Q: What have you learned from starting a business? Please share some insights and thoughts you have gained from your entrepreneurial journey so far.

A: There are many unknowns in the process of starting a business. Many people will offer different experiences, but they may not necessarily be suitable for your own company. Along the way, there will be ups and downs, but slowly moving forward. While learning from experiences, one must also understand how to discern whether it is suitable at this point in time, and how to steadily move forward without being too hasty.


Q: What are the top three things you have done best since starting your business?

A:

1. Obtaining orders from large domestic banks is generally challenging because domestic banks prioritize stability and typically only use foreign cybersecurity products. However, KeyXentic has successfully entered several large domestic banks.

2. Obtain the German order.

3. Obtain中華投資and achieve strategic cooperation.


Team Information


Company Name: KeyXentic Inc.

Establishment Date: 2017



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