From passwords to behavioral biometrics: Evolution of personal data protection methods

“Every fintech company suffers from the risk of customer data theft. The number of such frauds is growing at an alarming rate. According to Kaspersky Lab, more than half of phishing attacks worldwide are aimed at companies from the financial segment. That is why biometric customer protection technology now is more relevant than ever. It has been developing with enormous pace, so the number of frauds toward customer data might significantly reduce in the coming years. However, advances in technology also make internet fraudsters smarter. Therefore, the cornerstone of protection from them is behavioral biometrics. The main question is how quickly it will become widespread.  

Fingerprint scanner at every house

According to researches of analytical company Goode Intelligence, all kinds of smart devices, including tablets, smartphones, and smartwatches, will support biometric protection technology by 2020. This will transform financial services. By that time, the number of mobile banks users will grow up to 1.9 billion people. All these people will have smartphones with fingerprint scanners. This will lower the risk of losing money after data thefts but it will not completely stop cybercrime.

Scammers keep pace with the times

Scammers who steal user passwords also keep pace with the times. Some of them have already managed to trick dactyloscopic sensors and retinal scanners by forgery of fingerprints and appearance. For instance, the biometric protection of Galaxy S7 was hacked after only 4 days since the release of this smartphone. Hackers from Security Research Labs did it to demonstrate the unreliability of modern fingerprint scanners. That is why cybersecurity specialists are forced to combine various methods of data protection. Behavioral biometryis one of the most promising technology.

What our behavior can tell about us

The purpose of behavioral biometry is to identify users by their behavior. Let us take the keyboard typing style as an example. The technology determines the printing speed, pressure on the keys, the duration of a key press, and time intervals between presses. Behavioral biometrics has more than 2000 parameters. Together they allow to accurately identify any user.

Some financial companies have already started to analyze customer behavior when they apply for a loan. The system determines how long it takes to fill each field in the application. Customers usually perfectly remember their names, surnames, dates of birth and registrations, so they need from 7 to 10 seconds to fill these fields.

Do we still need passwords?

According to expert predictions, the vast majority of new smart devices will use biometric data protection instead of passwords. The main question is when they will become widespread.  The first steps in this direction have already been made. The American market offers a passwordless customer authentication and identification system from a startup named UnifyID. It is based on user behavior data. However, such solutions will not become massively used until the 2020s.

Until that happens, users should be more responsible while creating and securing keys from their accounts. According to cybersecurity experts, the main problem is not in the methods of encryption, but in neglecting them. Bloomberg claims that 17% of people suffered from data theft used password “123456” to secure their accounts. No wonder why scammers only need to sort through some of the most common passwords in order to hack accounts. Be careful and your data will never be compromised!