EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

October 22, 2013

Plaistow startup targets tech security

Company offers solution to forgotten passwords, security, more

By Alex Lippa

---- — PLAISTOW — Forgetting a computer password. Losing a set of house keys. Leaving the credit card at home.

They are all things that happen fairly often, but Hampstead resident Andrew Hebert has come up with a solution when it does.

Hebert is the owner of AuthEntry, a new company which makes technology to lock and unlock a computer and much more.

“The device stores your passwords and account information so you don’t have to remember your information for every account,” Hebert said. “It’s one master password that’s encrypted at a military-grade level.”

The information is stored on devices such as a USB drive, which users can just insert into their computer and enter one passcode to gain access to all accounts.

Hebert said he came up with the idea to prevent his kids from using his computer.

“I would come home from work and they’d be on my computer and get all sorts of viruses,” Hebert said. “So I was determined to find a key to really lock them out of my computer.”

Hebert has been in security technology sales for more than 20 years.

“The hardware piece is new to me, but this is what I’ve been doing pretty much my entire life,” he said.

A patent on the device is pending, he said.

Hebert signed a lease at 166 Plaistow Road earlier this year for offices for him and his three employees.

“I was driving up Route 125 looking for space and this just happened to stick out to me,” he said. “It’s a central location and it was a good price.”

Sven Amirian, president of the Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce, said he was pleased to see AuthEntry locate in Plaistow.

"I think it’s a great addition to Plaistow and the whole region," he said. "Data security is a bigger issue every day as more things become cloud based."

For those worried about losing a small USB drive, there are other variations of the device. It also is available as a silicone bracelet, a keychain or a tag to put on back of a cell phone. The devices can be identified by a USB reader, which can be hooked up to a computer.

The USB drives are available for $50, while the USB reader is $40.

What originally started as just a way to protect a computer has turned into a whole lot more. The device can also be used to enter a building or to make payments at locations with AuthEntry software installed.

“It’s all about convenience,” Hebert said. “At a college, for instance, a student could use this to enter their dorm rooms and classrooms, log onto their computers and buy their meals from the cafeteria. It’s a lot easier and it’s a lot safer.”

The devices are currently being sold on the company website, but Hebert has had discussions for the products to be sold by SkyMall or Brookstone in the future.

“It’s still in the very early stages,” he said. “But we hope we have some bigger things ahead.”

Hebert said the products could be used by a wide variety of people.

“It can be used from the college-aged kids all the way up to an older crowd,” Hebert said. “For people who are having trouble remembering things and are just writing passwords down on sticky notepads, this is perfect for them.”

The key to Hebert is the convenience.

“Door locks have been around for years, passwords have been around for years and credit cards have been around for years,” he said. “But never have they been available in just one device.”