Behavioral biometrics company BehavioSec has announced a partnership between itself, Nationwide, and Unisys. The central focus of the team up, which has been taking place over the past few months, has been the development of a prototype app aimed at making behavioral biometrics a standard feature in digital services.
While the company and its partners admit that their goal in building the prototype app is not to right out replace passwords, they are clearly aiming to reduce the logical access headache that is afflicting users everywhere. According to research accrued by Nationwide, the average adult in the UK has six passwords (which actually seems like a pretty conservative figure) and the company says 70 percent of people issue forgotten password requests twice per month on average. Behavioral biometrics stand to add a level of assurance to the login process that negates the need to add more passwords to the logical access juggling act that is banking, payments, and other online transactions.
By measuring the minutia of a user’s behavior – her touchscreen swipes, how she holds her phone, and the nuance of her keystrokes – BehavioSec’s technology can match her consistent actions against a profile. Because of the sheer number of characteristics and the precise variations therein, it is generally accepted that behavioral biometrics based security is extremely difficult if not currently impossible to spoof as it would require a high level of imitation on behalf of the hacker.
In the prototype app being built by BehavioSec, Unisys, and Nationwide, the user would still need to enter her PIN or passcode, but the security is bolstered by an invisible secondary factor. The behavior of the user must match her profile to a certain degree in order to be granted access, ensuring that even if a password has been compromised, access won’t be granted to an intruder. It’s a unique position to take in a mobile security landscape that many see as on track to ditch passwords in five years, but the app will be able to roll with those changes too, since behavioral biometrics can be used to supplement other biometrics including fingerprint, voice, and face recognition.
April 11, 2016 – by Peter B. Counter