On the heels of exiting stealth with $30 million in Series A funding from marquee investors and introducing a revolutionary, passwordless identity management solution, Beyond Identity announced the formation of an all-star technical advisory board comprising the “Father of SSL,” the co-inventor of public-key cryptography (PKC), and CISOs from two of America’s most successful companies, Koch Industries and Aflac.
Dr. Taher Elgamal, Professor Dr. Martin Hellman, Jarrod Benson, and Timothy L. Callahan, respectively, have teamed to provide technical oversight to the newly launched passwordless identity management pioneer and offer strategic guidance on product and technology development.
Founded by Silicon Valley icons Jim Clark and Tom (TJ) Jermoluk, Beyond Identity is backed by Koch Disruptive Technologies, LLC (KDT) and New Enterprise Associates (NEA), both of which are also early customers. The company’s innovative solution leverages and extends inventions from Dr. Hellman and Dr. Elgamal to eliminate passwords.
Beyond Identity replaces passwords with trusted certificates, originally defined in PKC and ubiquitously deployed within TLS (formerly SSL). This proven, secure, and scalable approach enables Beyond Identity to eliminate passwords, reduce risk for organizations, remove friction for end users, and offer consumers a much more secure alternative to password managers.
“Passwords are the bane of everyone’s existence – from consumers to the largest enterprises,” said Jermoluk, Co-Founder and CEO of Beyond Identity.
“And with a global virtual workforce more distributed than ever before, security and identity management have never been more critical. We are grateful for the invaluable contributions of an unprecedented team of advisers and look forward to further collaboration as we continue to evolve Beyond Identity.”
The Beyond Identity technical advisory board
Dr. Taher Elgamal (CTO of Security at Salesforce) – An internationally respected information security leader and cryptographer, Dr. Elgamal and Paul Kocher were awarded the 2019 Marconi Prize for “their development of SSL/TLS and other contributions to the security of communications.”
He served in top engineering posts at Netscape and RSA, among others, and invented several industry and government standards, including the DSS government standard for digital signatures. He is recognized as the “Father of SSL.”
Professor Dr. Martin Hellman (Professor Emeritus at Stanford University) – A cryptography pioneer, Dr. Hellman is best known for his invention of PKC in cooperation with Whitfield Diffie and Ralph Merkle.
Dr. Hellman has received numerous awards and honors; notably, he and Diffie are the co-recipients of the 2015 Turing Award, considered the most prestigious award in the field of computer science, and the 2000 Marconi Prize.
Jarrod Benson (Global CISO at Koch Industries) – Benson is responsible for information security strategy, operations, and cyber-risk at Koch Industries – one of the largest private companies in America – and its subsidiaries.
Additionally, he serves as the CIO of Koch Business Solutions, LP (KBS), where he provides leadership, planning, and strategy for Koch’s global shared services organization.
Timothy L. Callahan (Senior Vice President of Global Security and CISO at Aflac) – Callahan has more than 30 years of experience in information and physical security, business resiliency, and risk management.
He is responsible for directing Aflac’s global security strategy and leading the information security, business continuity, and disaster recovery functions across the company to prioritize security initiatives and allocate resources based on appropriate risk assessments.
Unlike other authentication methods and general security products, Beyond Identity increases both usability and security simultaneously. The company’s cloud-native platform provides a secure method of authenticating users and devices without passwords by using the same secure and scalable approach – X.509 certificates – that is already universally deployed with TLS and underpins trillions of dollars in online transactions annually.
The solution creates a Chain of Trust that includes user and device identity and a real-time snapshot of a device’s security posture, all in an immutable package that is signed by a provably secure certificate.
Beyond Identity for Workforces provides “snap-in” integration with single sign-on solutions, while Beyond Identity for Customers can be integrated (via SDK/API) with web-based and native apps.
“Compromised passwords are one of the top causes for data breaches in the digital world today – by far. Beyond Identity’s novel idea of the self-signed certificate – users get to decide which devices they own, and they control their keys, identities, and data – is kind of awesome.” – Dr. Taher Elgamal
“PKC is the basis for all secure communications on the Internet. And leveraging it as the foundation for advancing authentication is both gratifying and vital to the future of online security.” – Professor Dr. Martin Hellman
“What really stood out to me on Beyond Identity was their strong technical team and their purpose-built architecture born in the cloud. I see the company changing the identity and security landscape by truly eliminating passwords.
“They are enabling businesses large and small to adopt a security posture that’s frictionless for users, which allows for quick adoption and a better security footprint.” – Jarrod Benson
“Since its inception, Aflac has put the customer first. Today, more than 50 million people trust us to assist them in being prepared for whatever life may bring. I see similarities in Beyond Identity’s Chain of Trust innovation.
“Designed to improve both user convenience and security, there are no passwords to create, remember, and change; onboarding and login are effortless; and device recovery and migration are user-driven. Beyond Identity’s elegance is in the simplicity – and security – of the personal certificate authority.” – Timothy L. Callahan