With the heat increasing on the gaping holes in cybersecurity passwords, we are all getting a little sick of hearing how easy it is to access your personal details.
Any kind of external information is very susceptible to being stolen, whether it’s your password, your kid's birthday, drivers license, social security number - damn you Equifax!
Take a deep breath, even though there may be some justice in the swift and recent dismissal of many of the Equifax crew, we must at some level accept, we are waking up to the same predicament, regardless of any recent measures being taken.
Say a big 'howdy and hello' to one of our currently available answers to the Identification crisis in its' sporadically increasing forms, Biometrics. Biometrics is the measurement and analysis of physical or behavioral characteristics as a means of verifying a person’s identity.
Anyone with an iPhone 7 or beyond has already used the fingerprint mechanism to open their cells and this same electronic thumb is being used in several industries around the world. This includes passports, employee logins and even payment systems.
For example, Zwipe is developing a new fingerprint authenticated payment card that allows you to turn it off and on with your finger, switch between accounts, and even deactivate remotely with your app. It's pretty neat.
Then of course, there is the new iPhone X that will be utilizing face detection software to create a unique 3D mask of your face.
So, we have 3D I.D. of your fingers, toes and beautiful face and that’s all good, yet it doesn’t end there with the biometrics crew, they can and have taken it a few steps further.
Under the biometrics tree, the newest emerging branch, behavioral biometrics allows companies to track your behavior and authenticate your identity. This type of biometrics measures unique identifiers in the patterns of human behavior.
This could include keystroke dynamics, voice ID, signature analysis, mouse use characteristics and cognitive biometrics. It is currently being used in Financial institutions, government facilities and retail.
For example, several banks are developing software that captures keystrokes to tell how fast you type and which keys you have been using. Then they use that to match your login and to see if your activity on their sites is normal. It's up to 95% accurate and growing.
Biometrics can be used in different ways as well, for example, to catch plagiarism on a term paper. A startup in Melbourne has developed anti-plagiarism software that captures the user’s keystrokes and keyboard behavior and prevents another person from writing a paper for them.
The keystroke dynamics market, as it’s called sometimes, is said to reach nearly $800 million by 2020, that’s how huge this area of biometrics is.
If a hacker is trying to use your account and behaves completely differently to you, so to speak, then the banks will be able to tell and quickly close down that session.
You can't get away from it, Biometrics are impressive and Behavioral Biometrics, even more so. Think about it, capturing your behavior on the keyboard can become another layer of security for your device. If someone steals your laptop and even manages to hack your password, steal your fingerprint, use a picture of your face, they would still get locked out because they just can't quite figure out what makes you tick, or click.
The devil is in the cognitive details and it's all pretty subconscious, so you won't even know you are doing it. However, this cool little investigation of our brains does not come without issues.
Recently, another Snowden was leaked about NSA’s classified weapons. One such weapon that the NSA is using is called GROK and it’s a Keylogger Trojan. This thing is brilliant. It infects your system and captures all of your keystrokes, every single key that you’ve pressed on your keyboard.
Using this behavior biometric it can steal virtually any password, birthday, learn about your hobbies, stalk you when you go out to lunch, now the hack takes identification theft to another level as hackers would know how you think, not only who you are.
The public won't appreciate this, and reactions to behavioral based marketing on social media have been viewed with a super critical eye. Yet, the market is widening which gives more space for futuristic developments into a more secure identification procedure.