Capy is a novel alternative to the traditional CAPTCHA, and requires users to solve a puzzle to verify they’re human. The Japanese startup is taking online security to a new level
CAPTCHA is annoying, and in desperate need of an update. Those strings of letters and numbers require careful deciphering, and more often than not, multiple attempts. The worst part is that most CAPTCHAs aren’t even any good at detecting the spam bots they were designed to stop. Capy, a Tokyo based online security startup, could be the much needed update we’ve been waiting for.
Instead of requiring users to input characters, Capy’s solution is an image-based puzzle CAPTCHA. To verify that you are, in fact, human all you’d have to do is drag the missing puzzle piece to the correct spot. This can be done easily with a mouse or swipe of a finger, making it the ideal security solution for browsing on mobile devices.
The CAPTCHA relies on things like touch, motion and the placement of the puzzle piece for verification. Capy’s solution is designed to be easy, hassle-free and highly intuitive for humans. It’s almost impossible for a spam bot to crack, however.
Taking online security to the next level
In addition to this puzzle CAPTCHA, Capy has introduced a risk-based authentication system. This helps the CAPTCHA detect hackers and other malicious behavior. It does this using an algorithm which takes into account a user’s previous login behaviour. Once it detects suspicious activity it will alert the website administrator who could decide to use SMS for verification or block the user’s account for a while.
Another security product Capy has introduced to ensure a website’s safety is Capy Real-Time Blacklist. This is a database of malicious IP addresses which Capy gather in real-time from their CAPTCHA as well as other online sources. Using this database, Capy can alert website administrators to potential hackers before they even use the CAPTCHA.
A welcome solution
“We think online security tools should be easy for anybody to use, however nowadays the majority of security solutions are very hard, both for developers and end users, to use. By providing extremely user-friendly and intuitive security solutions for everyone on the web, we believe we can improve the level of online security as a whole,” Masa Morishita, Capy Marketing Manager, told Geektime.
Capy could prove to be a welcome solution for users and developers alike. The solution takes less than 30 minutes to implement and requires no maintenance. Developers also have complete control over the CAPTCHA, with the option to customize the puzzle image and shape.
Becoming the standard CAPTCHA service in Japan
The online security solution is already being used by leading Japanese telecom and gaming companies. The startup’s focus is on becoming the standard CAPTCHA service in the Japanese market, and then to expand to international markets. Interestingly, Capy is already being used on over 20 websites around the world, and powers about 10 million CAPTCHAs monthly. They hope to expand their focus to include individual site owners and enterprise clients.
The startup currently charges customers on a per impression basis, but have plans to introduce a freemium model which will enable advertisers to feature their ads as the CAPTCHA image. The startup estimates that it will be profitable by end of the year.
The founding of Capy
Capy started out as an academic project in 2010 when Mitusa Okada, Capy CEO and Founder, started researching how digital watermarking technology could be used to increase the usability of online security tools. The company was officially founded in 2012 by Okada and Koki Shimada, Capy Co-founder and CTO. Towards the end of 2012, the startup raised $55,000 from William H. Saito, an angel investor and serial entrepreneur. They have since raised an additional $1,000,000 from JAFCO, one of the largest venture capital firms in Japan.
What impact will this have?
Capy solution is reminiscent of Google’s recently introduced NoCAPTCHA reCAPTCHA which only requires a user to check a ‘I am not a robot’ checkbox. It’s when it comes to user experience that Capy wins. In addition to being fully customizable, Capy provides customers detailed analytics including the number of logins and bot attacks.There are also no other solutions on the market which use the same imaging technology. It seems Capy may be onto something.