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Behaviour recognition to form basis of next-gen cybersecurity

25/08/2015 by Sharon Shahzad


Over the past few years there have been some large cyber-attacks on high-profile firms such as Target, Sony and ‒ more recently ‒ Ashley Madison; meanwhile, the number one concern amongst financial advisors continues to be cybersecurity. Many experts believe it is not about preventing breaches but slowing down the criminals' access and reducing the potential fallout when crimes do occur. This is why behaviour recognition is forming the new basis of next-gen online security methods.

Rather than trying to stop criminals by putting up virtual walls, the latest solutions attempt to identify the hackers instead. BioCatch, a new startup, gained $11.6m (£7.4m) in just three funding rounds. This firm’s tool analyses behavioural patterns in specific applications to create profiles that are then matched to later visits. If, for example, someone visits a website, the solution will capture information about typing speed and cursor pattern. This will then be matched against subsequent visits to determine whether the person logging in is who they say they are.

This new approach works far better than simply creating a virtual wall because it is far harder to break through. In a similar fashion that a bank might call a credit cardholder to check an unusual transaction, the behaviour recognition software can identify suspect log-ins; for example, after someone has used a website or app a number of times, the technology learns that the users taps icons hard, types at an average speed and browses slowly. If a log-in is identified where someone is tapping weakly, typing quickly and browsing at a fast pace, a fraudulent use incident will be raised.

BioCatch is not the only firm focussing on this kind of software, with Bionym, the Toronto-based startup, gaining $14m in a recent series A funding round. With this solution users wear a Nymi wristband that detects ECG data. It uses this to positivity identify someone, before confirming the identify with Wi-Fi for access to online platforms and apps; meanwhile, another firm, Sonavation, is exploring ways to use fingerprint readers to confirm people’s log-in credentials. One of the good things about these solutions is that they don't require any additional effort on behalf of the user, yet it makes it extremely hard for criminals to breach systems ‒ certainly with the technology they are currently utilising.

As online criminal offences continue to occur, the cybersecurity business is likely to continuing booming. With newer behavioural recognition technologies being developed by a variety of firms, such software could soon become part of everyday life.

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