Behavioural Biometrics Challenges Passwords

As a Content Writer who has researched and written on biometric technology, particularly biometric attendance systems, I have repeated week-after-week that passwords have become outdated. Passwords mean the danger of misuse. This is because passwords can get into wrong hands. Passwords also mean the fear of forgetting. (We all have forgotten passwords sometime or the other in our lives, and learned the hard way, no?) So can passwords and firewalls continue to form the base of IT security in the modern-day age?

A cyber criminal doesn’t have to be too bright even, to hack your password, access your private data, and sooner or later, steal your money. While the information technology world looks for alternatives, biometrics, particularly behavioural biometrics, which at its heart has user behaviour, seems to top the list. A lot of my readers would know that banks and other financial services-providing firms have already started implementing biometric technology.

Behavioural biometrics forms an additional layer of security and provides the advantage of continuous user authentication. It measures behavioural patterns, such as, the way in which one types on a smartphone touchscreen, or the speed of typing on a keyboard. (Part of ‘Keystroke Analysis’) Created behavioural algorithms establish a user profile, which is matched to a user’s behaviour to verify his identity. Depending upon the user pattern, the technology would allow or block the user into/ from the account.

As mentioned, this authentication is ‘continuous’ – the user patterns are constantly monitored and analysed, in the background. Seamlessly, account protection is provided, and security is not compromised.

Now, let us compare traditional password-based user authentication with biometric security through behavioural biometrics. The latter is impossible to imitate. After all, stealing or accessing a password is easy. But can an individual’s behaviour be stolen? The commonly made errors on the keyboard, the exact position on a screen as you sign using a stylus, are next to impossible to be replicated by someone else. Besides, there are a number of such characteristics used, not just one.

An advantage of using this technology is that these patterns cannot be compromised or stolen, in the event of a data breach. While static biometrics are very secure, they can still be stole. Behavioural on the other hand, can’t be.

Are passwords going to be completely replaced by other methods of authentication? Well, I have my doubts reserved on that one. But if not completely replaced, passwords are going to be supplemented with other security techniques/ technologies, such as this one.