Change had to come

You might attend one of the large cyber security trade shows or a national conference on defeating hackers and keeping your company's data safe, and emerge thinking "hackers don't have a chance of getting in". And then you see yet another headline on yet another big data breach, and reality kicks in. We're far from winning you think. But wait, there's a new technology in town, which has the ability to start levelling the playing field.

Our story

The Shayype of things to come

If a set of technologies clearly don’t work well, should you blindly keep on using them? That’s the question we asked ourselves several years ago when looking at today’s inadequate authentication systems and products. We could see that all of them suffered from major flaws. Perhaps the biggest is that they all require users to give up something valuable - like a mobile number or fingerprint (to name just two) - which can ALL be stolen.That’s worth repeating. Virtually all current authentication systems depend on user secrets or objects which can be stolen, rendering them weak and vulnerable. So we set out a number of years ago (around 2005) to create something where the user’s all-important  “secret” could not be stolen, is never exposed, only resides in the user’s head, and does not depend on users having to carry extra bits of plastic (including phones) to prove who they are. Shayype technology we believe is the first real advance in cyber security for decades. Now users can enjoy the convenience of passwords, with the strength of 2FA - without the clutter and cost of having to use extra devices. Not even phones! Shayype displays a different code (a one-time passcode or OTP) on the user’s screen, meaning it’s far more secure than say vulnerable “two-step” authentication systems where users are sent codes by text. These can so easily be diverted to hackers’ own phones simply by taking over a user’s mobile account. We also hope to save the world from the burden of having to use longer and “stronger” passwords, which just get harder to remember – so end up being written down or stored en masse. All that’s now inthe past. The future now looks more secure for all of us, as at last cyber security can (pardon the pun) Shayype up.

Meet our team.

Jackson is a CTO with 18 years’ experience in software and app development. He has successfully completed projects that saved companies £800k annually and contributed to the sale of a business for £3.5 million supported by technology he helped create.

Jackson Howell

Chief Technology Officer

John has long been a pioneer in FinTech and the Digital Trust model for internet transactions, having helped to found Barclays’ original Information security management team, and in 2000 helping to set up IdenTrust - a global bank joint venture. He is now heavily involved in the development of distributed ledger technology in fintech.

John Bullard

DIRECTOR

Jonathan is the founder of Shayype having pioneered pattern-based authentication in Europe as long ago as 2005. His background is in communications, media (both as print and broadcast journalist), public relations and conference organisation. In 2008 a company he set up to begin exploring the potential of device-less OTP authentication was awarded “Cool Vendor”status by Gartner, and in 2009 the same company won UKTI’s Franco-British Award for Innovation. Now as part of the Shayype team he hopes to save the world from the burden of passwords, replacing them with what is arguably the first new knowledge-based “factor” for use in human authentication in decades.

Jonathan Craymer

president & Founder

Ready to implement password-free seamless authentication?

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Frequently Asked Questions

What if someone is filming me, or has put screen-scraping and key-logging software on my device?

If there’s a risk of you being overlooked or recorded, there are two additional versions of Shayype (‘Evade’ and ‘Swipe’) designed to defeat such threats. Talk to us directly about those.

Is a secret pattern or shape as easy to remember as a password?

We’d say it’s far easier to remember a pattern. Our brains are hard-wired to recognise shapes like faces - far more so than horrendous hard-to-recall sets of characters. One of the brilliant things about Shayype is that it allows users to set up something extremely complex – a secret that’s really hard to guess – extremely easily!

Is it possible to use Shayype on other IAM packages or existing/legacy systems?

Certainly. We will be able to offer an SDK (software developers’ kit) and our existing API library will adapt to any system.

Why is Shayype better than passwords and password ‘upgrades’ like two factor?

Shayype is an entirely hardware-less system designed to provide users of online or remote systems with different login codes every time they need to be authenticated or prove their ‘right’ to perform an action, neatly combining the convenience of passwords with the strength of key-fobs’ one-time codes. There’s no additional hardware required and no complicated password to remember - just a memorable pattern. So, it’s as simple and portable as passwords, but with the strength of two factor.

Is this the same as the ‘Android swipe’ screen-lock I’ve seen on Android devices?

No – it’s very different – for several reasons. Shayype allows users to extract or ‘generate’ one-time codes (passcodes) which can either be input or used for other purposes (securely reading a one-time login code over the phone, or giving a credit/debit card one-time ‘PIN’ to a carer or shop-assistant being two examples. Also the Android swipe can be shoulder-surfed, isn’t very variable, and may even leave a greasy mark (with Shayype the user never touches the screen).

How exactly are Shayype user’s patterns stored that’s so secure?

The patterns are used to create database keys in conjunction with an exclusive secret-sharing algorithm, offering many more levels of difficulty to hackers.

How does Shayype’s 'entropy' (resistance to lucky guesses) compare to key-fobs? And will it save enterprises used to traditional 2FA money?

Shayype’s entropy is mathematically superior to standard 6-character key-fob tokens, and as it is hardware-less, software-driven, and works on any device with a display (as well as in hard-copy form) it also promises massive cost-savings.

How many possible patterns are there? Surely there can’t be that many on a simple 5x7 matrix?

There are over 33bn on a 5x7 – which is our ‘everyday’ or default size matrix. Increase the size of the matrix, and security goes up exponentially.

Will IAM with Shayype allow facilities such as single sign-on (SSO)?

Absolutely. Users of Shayype combined with most of the state-of-the-art IAM packages on the market allow users to authenticate just once rather than having to do it again each time they want to use individual applications. This means that your applications don't have to deal with login forms, authenticating users, and storing users – which hugely raises security (as there are no longer multiple places where possibly ‘shared’ passwords are stored). Once logged-in to an IAM via Shayype, users won't have to log in again to access a different application.

If I forget my pattern, what do I do?

You’ll be able to re-set your pattern securely. (Talk to us directly to find out how user security is maintained.)