Behavioral biometrics: a miracle solution against cyber attacks?

The last few decades have not been kind in terms of information security. With the advent of the internet in the 90s, all sorts of new threats have popped up. Indeed, cyber insecurity is raging. And people can no longer go on the internet without exposing themselves to all sorts of dangers: hacking of banking and/or personal data, identity theft, privacy breaches, etc.


Toward an increase in verification procedures

By contrast, verification systems are dime a dozen: electronic signatures, confidential codes, passwords, biometrics, fingerprints, dynamic cryptograms and many others…

But they all have one thing in common: they’re not universally accepted. While some of them are popular, others are neglected because they’re obsolete. Indeed, in this arena, technology never stops innovating and continuously bringing new processes to the forefront, which are supposed make the ones before seem obsolete.

However, all these systems designed for guaranteeing security make online shopping, accessing sites and browsing more complex.

Behavioral biometrics: a mix of IA and a profiler

This term simply refers to the recognition, not of a fingerprint or an iris, but of a behavior. It means from now on, your behavior on a website or application is valid as a signature.

If this new system sounds strange, it’s already been tested by insurers, banks and e-commerce sites. The latter two use this system, not to identify scammers, but more so to verify that it’s the owner of the mobile phone who initiated the purchase, and, as such, to avoid fraud and refund claims in the event of a legitimate purchase.

The actions that betray you

Companies specializing in artificial intelligence, such as Biocatch, have succeeded in developing algorithms capable of identifying and recognizing the behavior of each person on a particular site. Biocatch uses 2,000 different parameters to draw up a user’s “behavioral composite portrait”. It’s all a question of probability, and the human hand is effective at creating systems capable of performing these calculations at a high rate of speed.

These algorithms analyze overall browsing behavior: from typing speed on the keyboard to your use of the mouse. The shortcut keys you use, your likelihood of using copy-paste…everythign is carefully studied and indexed as being characteristic traits unique to you. You are no longer a human being, but rather a perpetual repetition of movements. You become…a probability.

Even which hand you use is monitored! The way your phone is held can be indicative of malicious use. For example, if the scammer uses a cell phone in his right hand, and you are left-handed (or vice versa).



All in all, the web has done a 180.  This resource, which is supposed to assemble information in one place and share it more easily now offers too much free access to information. Designed as the panacea for networking and information sharing, the internet has become not only a place for the overexposure of data but also an absence of data control. These days, the only security required in cyberspace is caution.


 To read: 3D Secure: the end of the line