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Continuous Authentication – The best lesson from the Cybersecurity Awareness month

  • Stefan Jonsson
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In both Europe and in the US, October is recognized as the month for raising awareness of Cyber Security.

In the US, the National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM) “is commemorating its 15th year as an annual initiative to raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity. NCSAM 2018 is a collaborative effort between government and industry to ensure every American has the resources they need to stay safer and more secure online”

October is also the European Cyber Security Month (ECSM), which is “an awareness campaign that promotes cyber security among EU citizens and advocates seeking to change the perception of cyber-threats by promoting education, sharing of good practices and competitions in data and information security”.

At BehavioSec, we applaud initiatives like this that aim to raise public awareness of the area of cyber security.

A wealth of activities and resources are available on these websites, aimed both at regular citizens, as well as scholars and organizations. One example from the ECSM website is a paper detailing ways to practice good online safety habits that has been created in coordination with Get Safe Online (UK) and the DHS (US). The paper goes into detail on how a person should go about to make sure their personal data is being kept safe while being online.

These recommendations can be considered Best Practice but go into sharp contrast with reality. Some key insights from Norton’s 2017 Cyber Security Insights Report show that

  • 36% had a device infected by a virus or other security threat
  • 26% of Millennials use the same password for all accounts
  • 58% of cybercrime victims shared at least one device or account password with others
  • The average cybercrime victim spent nearly 24 hours dealing with the aftermath

So, in the real world, people tend not to practice what they might have been taught. This makes it even more important to design systems that keeps people safe without imposing complicated or friction-based security layers.

As has been detailed before by my colleagues Olov Renberg and Jordan Blake in their earlier blog posts Death of Authentication and What is Continuous Authentication and Why Does it Matter?, the use of Behavioral Biometrics enables continuous authentication. What this means is that a security check is not just done at the entry level, typically by entering username and password, but throughout the full user journey. Continuous Authentication adds a frictionless layer of security that keeps people safe, even when they’re not aware of the latest security recommendations.

One of the four themes of the European Cyber Security Month 2018 is “Emerging Technologies and Privacy – Stay tech wise and safe with the latest emerging technologies”. So if you want to make sure you’re tech wise and up-to-date with the latest emerging technologies, make sure to visit us at any of the upcoming events or request a demo from one of our sales representatives.