In today’s technologically driven world, we share a large amount of personal data online. Passwords are the standard protection method, but to help better combat identity fraud, new solutions continue to be developed. One popular solution on the rise is behavioral biometric authentication.

What is Behavioral Biometrics?

Most popular biometrics recognize people by their face, voice or fingerprint, but alternative and less invasive biometrics have recently emerged.

Behavioral biometric authentication identifies a person based on unique patterns exhibited when they interact with a device such as a tablet, smartphone or computer (including mouse and keyboard). The factors considered include everything from finger pressure on the keypad to the angle at which you hold your phone. With behavioral biometrics, it’s about how the person is using the device — the speed of their typing, how they use their mouse and more — instead of whether their password was entered correctly. These patterns allow for a true frictionless authentication that is passive, or less invasive, for the user. It is further simplified by using existing hardware capabilities which avoids additional sensor costs.

Behavioral biometrics first came about in the 1860s because of telegraph operators. People started to notice that each operator sent signals in a particular way, so they were recognized by the way they sent their messages. Today, the practice is much more sophisticated, analyzing everything from finger pressure to hand-eye coordination. The idea is that these more advanced practices will make for better security and accuracy.

Today, companies use behavioral biometrics for payments, online banking, e-commerce and other high-security authentication markets.

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Types of Behavioral Patterns

  • The way people walk, known as gait recognition
  • The way people hold and interact with a phone/tablet
  • The way people use their mouse, known as mouse biometrics
  • The way people type on their keyboards, known as typing biometrics or keystroke dynamics

What is Simultaneous Authentication?

Once multi-factor authentication (MFA) options were added to a single-sign-on (SSO) solution, the race was on to create a better user experience. 

Typing biometric authentication is a less invasive form of MFA we call simultaneous authentication, because it uses something people are already doing. The passive nature of the authentication takes the burden off the user creating a frictionless and simultaneous access method. 

Optimal IdM uses simultaneous authentication to provide increased security and improve the MFA experience for users.

 

What Are the Benefits of Using Behavioral Biometrics?

There are many benefits to using behavioral biometrics as a form of cybersecurity, such as:

  • Better user experience: Registration and authentication is passive, avoiding an unpleasant user experience.
  • Fast and inexpensive deployment: The easy-to-use API allows developers to integrate the service very quickly into existing hardware thus eliminating the need for costly additional hardware equipment.
  • Flexibility: Many behavioral biometrics features can be analyzed, so you can find an option specific to your needs.
  • Increased security: Some biometrics are easy to spoof, like a fingerprint or a facial scan. What spoofing can’t do, though, is perfectly emulate the way someone types. We all have a unique way of typing and utilizing a keyboard, just as we all interact with our smartphones in a slightly different way. Therefore, typing biometrics can help prevent identity theft and minimize the risk of online fraud. Overall, with behavioral biometrics, you’ll be able to tell if the user is a human or bot.
  • Specificity: In addition to being able to tell if a user is actually human, you’ll also be able to tell if they complete or apply for things multiple times. You can even measure the user’s level of engagement by identifying the movement of the mouse.
  • Compliant with regulations: Compliant with 2FA requirements such as EBA/PSD2, NIST, PCI DSS.

 

Overall, using behavioral biometrics is nonintrusive to the user’s experience while providing precise information to determine identity, making it an especially secure form of authentication.

Who Uses Behavioral Biometrics?

Many companies are beginning to use behavioral biometrics, but it has been most popular in the finance and banking industries, as their customer information is extremely sensitive and confidential. While companies don’t always share the ways in which they use behavioral biometrics, some notable companies like Mastercard, Experian and Deutshe Bank have discussed their implementations of behavioral biometrics.

Although it’s mostly used for security purposes, behavioral biometrics also has the potential to be used to improve customer service. Companies can use behavioral data to better know and understand customers, anticipating what they may need. As behavioral biometrics continues to develop, this customer service application will likely continue to grow in popularity.

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At Optimal IdM, we offer security and identity management for companies and businesses across sectors and industries. Contact us today to learn more about how our services can benefit your business. We can customize solutions for you with speed and precision, and we’ll take care of everything for you from start to finish. Our skilled team is committed to providing you with high-quality services and 100% satisfaction.

Resources

Behavioral Biometrics Explained

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Whitepaper: Typing Biometrics & Other MFA Methods

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