Business Rx: A Washington area computer security business looks for more customers close to home

This week, a computer security firm looks for more customers in the greater Washington metropolitan area. –Dan Beyers

The entrepreneur

After earning his master’s degree and PhD in electrical engineering in 2008, Siddharth Potbhare joined his first start-up, CoolCAD Electronics, founded by his University of Maryland advisor and a fellow graduate student. That company does a lot of government research and development work in new semiconductor technologies and electronic design.

In 2011, CoolCAD also was experimenting with then-emerging Bluetooth low-energy technology. They created a technology and device they dubbed Gatekeeper, a security hardware product for logging onto computers. The idea was people could carry a small key chain token with them and it allows you access to your computer quickly and then effortlessly locks the computer behind you when you walk away. The team launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the project in 2014 and in 2015 spun the technology off into a new company, Untethered Labs.

The pitch

Siddharth Potbhare, co-founder and chief executive, Untethered Labs

“We are an enterprise product that small and large business can use to manage the first-level physical access security of their computer systems. We are at the intersection of convenience and security. Everybody wants security, but many look for shortcuts if security is not convenient. It’s not convenient to have extremely long passwords that you are required to type into your computer every time you step away then step back to your desk.

“Users carry the Gatekeeper key fob with them and it allows them to walk up to a computer, type in a four-digit pin and get logged in. Then when they walk away from the computer, it automatically locks the computer. If you lose the Gatekeeper fob, an administrator can disable that one and quickly reassign a new one.


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