Is behavioural biometrics the future of authentication?

The future of authentication may be in a technique called 'behavioural biometrics'. Basically, the machine learns how you behave while operating it (how you type, swipe, press things, etc.) and uses that data to discover if it's really the owner who's operating the device, or has it been stolen or breached.

The information comes from Nationwide Building Society (NBS), exploring the future of authentication, as the UK population is slowly succumbing under the pressure of countless passwords.

It is developing a prototype in Nationwide’s Innovation Lab in partnership with BehavioSec and Unisys.

“The Society’s Innovation Team is exploring how authentication will continue to evolve and investigating new ways for members to access our services securely yet easily. Behavioural biometrics monitor the patterns and habits that are unique to each mobile banking user – everyone holds and interacts with their mobile device in a different way,” says James Smith, head of Innovation at the Nationwide Building Society.

“The prototype provides an exciting insight into what the future may hold, as we investigate new ways to enhance security while offering an improved mobile banking experience. Exploring the future of authentication is part of our continued commitment to meet the changing needs of our 15 million customers, however they choose to interact with the Society.”

The struggle is real. According to an NBS survey, 70 per cent of Brits struggle to remember their passwords, and have to click the “forgotten password” link, twice a month, on average.

Almost half of those surveyed said there are simply too many passwords to remember, suggesting that a new approach to authentication is badly needed.

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