Thought Leaders – Stina Ehrensvard

Category: Thought Leaders

Name: Stina Ehrensvard

Title: CEO and Founder

Company: Yubico

Why nominated: For guiding the company she founded in 2007 to the forefront of the authentication market and developing the concept of an authenticator that works across any number of services with no shared secrets.

Profile: Stina Ehrensvard has spent her time at Yubico helping keep the internet open and safe for all through the use of a simple, low-cost authentication system developed by her company.

With this open-source tool FIDO U2F (Universal 2nd Factor) that Yubico has helped develop, she encourages individuals and organizations to own and control their own online credentials, including encryption secrets and the personal data tied to their online identity. Ehrensvard preaches that authentication and identity must be kept separate, something she says FIDO U2F allows for and lets users create a real identity tied to legal documents like a driver's license and another identity that allows a person to be secure yet maintain a more anonymous standing. The latter tool could be used by people like whistleblowers.

Her work has resulted in a wall full of awards including:

  • Awarded the 2016 KTH Royal Institute of Technology Great Prize
  • Winner of EIC 2016 “Best Innovation in eGovernment/eCitizen” for GOV.UK Verify
  • Awarded SC Magazine Five-Star Review and Best Buy for Authentication
  • Winner of Anders Wall Entrepreneur of the Year Award

What colleagues say: “Stina is a fearless IT security entrepreneur and innovator who has accomplished the almost impossible: To help create a new global authentication standard, and align the world's largest Internet companies to make support in platforms, browsers and devices. In 2007 she founded her company Yubico with the mission of making secure login easy and available for everyone, and the vision of having one simple key to any number of services. To make this happen she built a strong technical team, focused on contributing to open standards.”

-  Muddu Sudhakar, Serial cyber security entrepreneur, board member and strategic adviser

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