News, Insights and Stories from the Australian and New Zealand tech ecosystem.

Melbourne cybersecurity startup Forticode raises $1.3 million from new R&D partner Pronto Software

Business management software provider Pronto Software has invested $1.3 million into Melbourne cybersecurity startup Forticode, and signed on to partner with the startup on the further development of its smartphone authentication system.

Founded in 2013, Forticode’s flagship product is cyber security software Cipherise, which allows users to securely validate their identity online through their smartphone without sharing their details.

The partnership will see Pronto Software’s research and development team work with Forticode on integrating Cipherise into its cloud-based customer solutions.

Chad Gates, managing director of Pronto Software, said the partnership “exemplifies” the company’s commitment to providing simple and secure Australian-made software to help businesses solve complex challenges.

“Cipherise helps achieve the seemingly impossible feat of bringing both simplicity and enhanced security to the authentication we offer our customers. This is crucial because a user-friendly yet secure authentication method encourages higher adoption rates – cutting-off risky cyber security practices,” he said.

“Moreover, the decentralised approach of Cipherise removes the large honeypot of usernames and passwords businesses typically hold. This makes the organisation less attractive to hackers.”

Forticode CEO Tony Smales said that with the risk of a data breach always ranking as a key concern for cloud-based businesses, Cipherise meets a market need as Australian businesses become increasingly fearful of hackers.

“Without a cohesive cyber security system, organisations will continue to rely on antiquated methods and platforms that require costly management and upgrades, while also opening up the company to potentially catastrophic security breach risks,” he said.

The partnership follows the implementation of the Notifiable Data Breach Scheme (NDB), which came into effect on February 22. 

The legislation imposes changes to the existing Privacy Act to ensure businesses and organisations are obliged to notify all affected persons and the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) if an eligible data breach has occurred.

According to the OAIC an ‘eligible data breach’, which triggers notification obligations, is a data breach that is likely to result in serious harm to any of the individuals to whom the information relates.

This usually occurs when personal information held by an organisation is lost or subjected to unauthorised access or disclosure; examples of a data breach can include a database containing personal information being hacked, a customer’s personal information being mistakenly provided to the wrong person, or when a device containing customers’ personal information is lost or stolen.

Also raising funding today is AgriDigital, which raised $5.5 million in a round led by Square Peg Capital to help push its expansion into North America

A platform developed by Sydney startup Full Profile, AgriDigital leverages blockchain technology and smart contracts to help get growers paid in real-time, provide a flexible supply chain for buyers and financiers, and give consumers greater transparency around the source of goods.

Image: Chad Gates of Pronto Software and Tony Smales of Forticode. Source: Supplied.

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