It came up in conversation over at Twin3 that holding passwords in an Excel spreadsheet was likely something deemed as insecure. It was decided we should probably begin searching for a secure place to hold our passwords and other sensitive data but everywhere we looked we saw high prices and security holes, so we decided to begin a new in-house project; Fortify.
What We Needed
There were a few important factors we wanted to ensure we included during the development of Fortify:
- We required something that could easily hold any string value that we deemed as sensitive, this could be anything from a giant auto-generated hash key to a 4 digit pin code
- Security needed to be integrated and taken into consideration with each and every addition and feature we included
- It needed to be cheap, something that wouldn't cost a fortune to run and certainly not something that penalised larger firms for being successful by charging rediculous fees for large users
- We needed it to be simple and easy to use, something we could design to hold content in the way we want the data to be organised, rather than having the layout decided for us.
- We needed the ability to share our values between team members and give them the ability to edit or add additional values
"What is secure" is a question we asked ourselves over and over again during the process of creating Fortify, coming up with rediculous situations just to test our methodology. We had the level that other password storing companies had deemed adequate, but we wanted to go further seeing some of these levels as not secure enough - browser extensions being an example of one of these! What we ended with is a system which over hashed, encrypted and encoded the values into a state where should the worst happen and we somehow got hacked (because you need to prepare for the worst case scenario!) the data would be in a state that no one could do anything with it - it would essentially be useless to them.
We had a rediculously secure system but needed to keep in mind the possible size of the data being transferred back and forth, so we began developing the system to be capable of coping with not only hundreds of records but thousands. We wanted the system to be able to seamlessly keep records up-to-date and not freeze up when a folder containing 1000 records suddenly appeared. Using some clever updating methods and some great UI tricks we soon had a UI that could work under some immense stress.
We had completed Fortify but we needed to decide on a cost to charge users, this was something we had made clear for the get-go that we would have prefered to have completely side-stepped however the technologies used and the storage we had implemented wasn't free and deciding on a free model would have had us bankrupt and fortify taken down in no time at all! So we did the costs and landed at £0.99 per user. This cost was cheaper than each and every competitor offering similar services.
Fortify can be downloaded now from both the iPhone and Android stores with Windows and Mac desktop applications coming soon. See the links below if you wish to download Fortify! If you wish to speak to us about any enterprise costs please don't hesitate to get in contact using the form on the Contact Us page.
Below are a few of the many skills that we used to develop this project...