A lot of times when the team is out there talking to prospective customers, this is one of the first questions we hear. They see what sezame does and compare it to stuff they already use (and probably like). That’s a good starting point! So let me try to explain why and where things are a little different if you start using sezame.
There are many apps out there in today’s app stores making use of fingerprint and other biometric authentications like face or iris scan: your banking app may be one of them, and cloud storage providers (like Dropbox or OneDrive and many others), email clients or financial transaction apps in general on the other hand (like your credit card company’s app or PayPal).
They all make use of the great opportunity and the high user acceptance already built into mostly all modern smartphones by using your biometric identifiers for safely accessing services they provide. Without the constant hassle of entering PINs or passwords whenever you open them up or want to use them. This works great and is a big step towards a world where we no longer need passwords.
We leverage these sensors as well, but our concept has a different approach. Let me try to explain it with a picture: keys and doors. The apps you are using today allow you to access a service (open a door) in a 1:1 ratio. You want to access your cloud storage: open the app and access it – storage door opens with storage key. Access your bank account: same story, open app, open account. You get the picture. So for every one of the services you want to use, you need the app for that service.
Sezame is designed to work like a master key: with one single key (app) you can access all of your services (doors) – admittedly not today, but more and more doors accepting your master key are added every month.
On top of this, to stay within the picture, with your single purpose keys, you will, like on your existing key ring and all respective doors, have all levels of security. Knob locks and lever handle locks, furniture locks, cylinder locks, deadbolts etc. Why? The way more than 90% (probably more like all of them) of today’s apps use the fingerprint for convenience only – typically the app allows you to set a PIN and then you can enable the biometric sensor (really like a convenience override) so you don’t have to enter the PIN every time you open the app. However, what happens under the surface (the app accessing the online service with the credentials stored in the app) typically is the good old username/password combination sent to the service you are accessing. Remember furniture locks? Some implementations combine this with additional security measures, e.g. a cell phone serial number or a number generated by the app and so combine the device and your credentials. Like a twin lock, highly improved security, unfortunately rarely implemented like this as it requires a lot of service side changes to accept the additional ‘key’. By adding the local fingerprint lock on the phone the user already feels safe anyway, so why go the extra mile …
With sezame, we not only enable services to allow secure access for their users, we also give them the tools to quickly and – depending on IT knowledge level – surprisingly easily implement the solution into their IT infrastructure. Once installed, we always require multi-factor authentication (MFA) on the service side. Going back to our door lock picture, we always make sure you brought all 3 keys required for one door – on every door you want to open with your master key.