Token Snags Former OneSpan Chief Revenue Officer John Gunn as New CEO

Biometrics, Identity and Access Management, Security Operations

Gunn to Prepare Token Wearable Authentication Ring for Large-Scale Production

Michael Novinson (MichaelNovinson) •
June 30, 2022

Token’s new CEO John Gunn (Image: Token)

Wearable biometric authentication startup says Former OneSpan CRO John Gunn is the new chief executive it needs to prepare for large-scale production of its ring-mounted embedded fingerprint sensor.

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Token, based in Rochester, NY, has commissioned Gunn to source the critical components needed to manufacture its combined fashion accessory and second factor authentication hardware and build a customer base. paying. The company announced Gunn’s appointment as CEO alongside the closing of a $13 million Series B funding round led by private investment firm Grand Oaks Capital.

“I really appreciate the small environment, the excitement, the urgency and the agility of a startup,” Gunn told Information Security Media Group. “It’s great to have the resources of a large company like OneSpan, but there are also advantages to being able to scale very quickly in a startup.”

Token plans to release a beta version of its new ring in the coming months, a version that features a brighter LED light and improved waterproofing compared to the original model. Although Gunn’s appointment was only announced this week, he actually started as CEO of Token in late March and has already grown the company from 12 to 20 employees by expanding the research and development team. (see : Real-time detection: reversing the trend of fraud).

Overcome component shortage

According to Gunn, about 80% of breaches are caused by an authentication breach, and that has remained stable over the past five years despite rising economy-wide spending on security and identity. The stakes of being compromised are higher than ever, especially during this wave of ransomware attacks. The majority of small businesses that experience a ransomware attack end up shutting down.

“We saw a great opportunity to come up with a solution that will make a difference,” Gunn said. “It overlaps with what the other solutions do.”

Finding the components needed to build hardware-based technology has become much more difficult over the past two years, and Gunn says he spent much of his first three months identifying alternate or substitute parts. that can be used in assembly. Gunn says he needs to make sure replacement materials have the same physical and electrical characteristics as the components they replace.

Assembling the authentication ring is no easy task and must be done with precision to ensure the business maintains high output, which Gunn says is vital to profitability. Token plans to sell the rings as a two-year subscription for between $15 and $25 per device per month. Gunn says they will appeal most to senior executives in areas dealing with sensitive data, such as finance, human resources and IT.

“It’s a nice mix of the highest level of security with the highest level of convenience,” says Gunn. “We deliver both.”

Engineers and salespeople in demand

From a staff perspective, Gunn says he would like to grow Token from 20 employees today to over 50 in a year, primarily by hiring more engineers and sales staff. On the engineering side, Gunn says Token is looking for firmware engineers, hardware engineers with experience working with small circuits, and software developers who can make the product FIDO compatible.

Token is intended to be layered over existing identity offerings such as Okta, Ping Identity or OneSpan, and Gunn says the company needs software developers familiar with existing identity and access management technology. He says the product can be self-provisioned without the help of an IT help desk, which means revenue should grow rapidly once it’s been manufactured.

On the go-to-market side, Token is looking to hire sales managers, account managers, sales engineers and sales development representatives who can generate demand and educate the target market on the technology of the company. For now, the company relies primarily on agencies and freelancers to meet Token’s marketing needs, which means most full-time positions are on the sales side, Gunn says.

Token focuses on sectors most targeted by adversaries, such as retail and wholesale, financial services, healthcare, and energy. The product can help protect businesses of all sizes, but Gunn says it’s designed for businesses that have already deployed identity and access management offerings since Token only solves a small piece of the identity puzzle. much bigger.

“It’s for the high end of the market,” says Gunn. “It’s not for everyone. You wouldn’t use it to protect your Twitter account or your TikTok. But if your CFO has the ability to send six- or seven-figure sums, then it’s essential It makes a real difference in protecting the body.”

Sallie R. Loera