Sound controls

Cyberus creates the sound of a passwordless future

Passwordless IT security entails a world in which you use your network applications and services seamlessly, with automatic identification, verification, and authorization, and without the need to manage dozens of passwords and multi-factoring. -clicks.

But are these kinds of security checks really passwordless if a user still has to enter something, a code from an email or text message? Or run a biometric scan or use two-factor verification? Technically, it doesn’t use a “word”, but it still requires the user’s input to be authorized to pass into their account.

Cyberus Labs, a startup based in San Francisco and Warsaw, Poland, has some early adopters for its passwordless security solution that is one step closer to the promise of a seamless and seamless computing future. It uses very short beeps of inaudible sound to identify and verify a user.

Sound can be generated by a phone or an Alexa-like device, and there are many electronic devices with a microphone and some kind of speaker that could be used.

“The sound is very short and does not require much processing power, which means that it can be easily integrated into peripheral devices, Internet of Things devices, which have limited processing and memory resources, which makes them easy to hack,” says Jack Wolosewicz, inventor of audio watermarking technology and CEO of Cyberus.

Each audio segment is unique and only valid for a few milliseconds, preventing any prying hackers from compromising system security.

In a home environment, logging into a bank account would involve an inaudible audio beep between the user’s computer and an Alexa or Google speaker listening to it. The exchange would be totally transparent and seamless for the user, who no longer needs to memorize or manage dozens of passwords.

Cerberus can be used in a variety of consumer IT security applications, but there is a greater opportunity to secure billions of future IoT devices. Most are notoriously easy to hack because they have limited computer resources and computer security based on outdated methods.

The latest version of Cyberus audio watermarking technology is clearly aimed at IoT solutions. With hundreds of billions of such devices embedded in our future, security is going to be a huge issue and a huge opportunity.

The IoT security solution should be resource efficient, as edge devices will always be limited by processing power and memory. And that’s what the Cyberus ELIoT platform describes, an end-to-end security platform for IoT smart devices with an ultra-lightweight telemetry component, for example the audio chirp is only 32 bits of encrypted data.

The Cyberus ELIoT system was recently selected by the city of Katowice, Poland’s 11th largest city with a population of over 300,000, to protect its smart sensor networks controlling vital city infrastructure such as water supply and electrical networks.

Protecting the city’s vital infrastructure from hackers is a priority for the Katowice administration with the outbreak of war in neighboring Ukraine and the very serious threat of Russian state-funded hackers targeting Poland in because of its material support for the Ukrainian armed forces.

Defending an attack by Russian hackers would be a great test for Cyberus technology.

A global startup

Cyberus is a great example of a global startup, able to take advantage of opportunities all over the world while applying startup best practices.

The two founders have several decades of experience in Silicon Valley between them as well as knowledge and contacts in European markets.

Wolosewicz is currently based in San Francisco. Its co-founder George Slawek spent two decades in Silicon Valley and New York, but now works from London, while a third co-founder, Marek Ostafil, is based in Warsaw.

A holistic approach means more choice when it comes to financing. And every Silicon Valley veteran knows the importance of retaining equity.

In 2018, Cyberus was selected among many other startups by the European Union to receive significant investment from its Horizon innovation program. Horizon’s budget of nearly $64 billion funded a seven-year mission from 2014 to 2020 to invest in research institutions and startups. Over 150,000 grants have been awarded, resulting in nearly 100,000 research papers and the filing of approximately 2,500 patents and trademarks.

“Horizon’s funding has given us enormous credibility. And the financing is excellent because it does not require us to give up equity. But we had to meet all of their technical deliverables, which we fully completed in 2020,” says George Slawek. , co-founder and head of business development.

With the rise of remote work, startups such as Cyberus will likely become more mainstream as the funding and hiring benefits cannot be ignored.