Safety Detectives: Please share your company background, how you got started, and your mission.
IPification: We founded Benefit Vantage Limited in 2014, and then IPification in 2017. To this day, I credit the founding of the company with one cybersecurity incident one of my friends experienced some eight years ago.
I was having dinner with one of my friends in a restaurant in Hong Kong, when he told me he had just had his mobile banking app hacked, and his money stolen. At the time, I was serving on Kaspersky’s Board of Directors which is why he wanted to hear my thoughts.
While I had known of the increasing mobile threat landscape, there wasn’t a solution I could offer him except some tips on the best mobile security practices. However, just a few years later, I found myself thinking of this situation as I was working on a mobile authentication solution I was certain could revolutionize the ways of mobile authentication.
Fast forward to today, and IPification has coverage of 1.5+ billion mobile subscribers globally and our solutions are present in over 20 markets. And this is just the beginning!
SD: What is the main service your company offers?
IPification: IPification is the only global provider of mobile IP address-based mobile identity solutions, including phone verification, mobile user authentication, SIM swap detection, device change detection, and eKYC solutions.
After the IPification GMID box is integrated on a mobile operator’s network (a process just a few days long), our patented technology verifies users based on their unique Mobile ID key which consists of their device, SIM, and phone number data.
Any app developer can integrate IPification as part of their app, allowing their users to register and log in within milliseconds and with only one tap. Furthermore, our fraud prevention solutions can run in the background without interrupting the users.
In short, IPification enables great security and data privacy, while also providing a frictionless user experience, helping app developers increase user adoption, retention, and engagement, and helping mobile network operators reestablish themselves as the leaders in the mobile ID space, and open new revenue streams.
SD: What is something unique that helps you stay ahead of your competition?
IPification: The trifecta of security, data privacy, and user experience is what makes IPification stand out among the competition. If you look at other mobile authentication solutions, you’ll see that SMS 2FA has significant security issues, authenticator app-based 2FA seriously hinders the user experience, biometric authentication comes with privacy concerns, and so on.
With IPification, we have decided in the design phase that we wouldn’t sacrifice any of these factors for the sake of the others, not when users can have them all.
We’re super happy to see that mobile network operators and app developers across the globe realize the value that this brings to them, especially from the perspective of end-users, and we’re looking forward to expanding our services further.
SD: What do you think are the worst cyberthreats today?
IPification: The cyberthreat landscape has been continuously increasing in the last decade. Take Asia-Pacific for example: as one of the most technologically advanced regions of the world, Asia Pacific is experiencing a 168% increase year on year in cyberattacks.
Why is this the case? Well, the opportunities for cyberattacks have significantly expanded with the pandemic and remote working trends. In the last year, digital adoption has grown 5 to 10 times the projected rate, and we’ve seen a huge increase in remote working, and in turn an increase in BYOD policies.
It’s important to remember that the most widely used authentication options today, namely passwords and SMS 2FA are the main drivers of most successful cyberattacks today. That’s why it’s important to move on to better, passwordless solutions, and ensure the most frequent strategies such SIM swapping, credential stuffing, phishing, SMS rerouting, and intercepting are kept to a minimum.
Interview with Founder & President of IPification – Harry Cheung.