What are Behavioral Biometrics?
Humans are creatures of habit. The way we walk, the way we type, how we move our cursors around on a website’s login or checkout page, or even how we interact with a smartphone’s touch screen—these are deeply ingrained rituals that, while we don’t necessarily realize it consciously, are unique to us. As much as we can be identified by the physical details of our various body parts, we are also defined by how we perform our daily tasks. This is the world of behavioral biometrics, where who you are is verified by how you act.
Behavioral biometrics are a relatively new modality in the biometrics landscape, with clear applications in enterprise security, online banking, and mobile commerce. Generally, a behavioral biometrics system matches a user’s behavior against a profile built from hundreds of physiological, cognitive, and contextual traits. The result is two-fold: a user can be passively and continuously authenticated simply by behaving normally online; and service providers implementing behavioral systems can detect malware and other cyber-threats designed to mimic human behavior.
Where can I find Behavioral Biometrics?
As mentioned above, behavioral biometrics work in the background, so ideally they are so frictionless you can’t find them. But in another sense, the modality is increasing in popularity: an Allied Market Research forecast issued in 2019 predicted that the behavioral biometrics market will reach a whopping $3.922 billion by the year 2025.
So far, financial applications have been the most active area for the behavior modality. Banks around the world have been trialing behavioral platforms for anti-fraud purposes, as is the case with HSBC, which embraced behavioral biometrics technology to help detect fraudulent transactions online. But even the US Army has been exploring how behavioral biometrics can add an extra layer of security to its internal identity verification systems.
How are Behavioral Biometrics making a difference?
Even though behavioral biometrics are relatively new on the scene, they are already in use and making a difference. This technology is increasingly valued for its ability to passively detect potential fraud and other digital threats, without any special input from end users – a key capability as business seek to reduce friction in the user experience. And technological advancements have helped cutting-edge behavioral biometrics systems to detect more complex forms of fraud.
What’s more behavioral authentication solutions are software-based, and therefore highly scalable, easy to deploy, and accessible. Pay attention to this exciting biometric modality in the coming months as it continues to find adoption in an increasingly multimodal market.