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In the Pandemic Era, Proof Digital Identity with Continuous Authentication & Behavioral Biometrics

  • Shane Shook, PhD
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This past November at the 2020 ISMG Virtual Cybersecurity & Fraud Summit in Washington D.C., I presented on how organizations can make digital identity both user-friendly and near-impenetrable. My session, Proofing Digital Identity with Continuous Authentication & Behavioral Biometrics considered how behavioral biometrics offers a better balancing-act between security, privacy, compliance, and user experience.

Throughout my 20 years conducting cybercrime investigations, I have reviewed and responded to some of the world’s most notorious breaches that have succeeded by exploiting new technologies and business change. As we enter 2021, the COVID-19 pandemic has opened a large window into both for bad actors – we’re witnessing the largest digital transformation to date due to a global, dramatically increased need for remote access to commerce, healthcare services, and work collaboration that underpins our fragile social-economic fabric.

But are we really under more attack now than in 2019? The resounding answer is “Yes.” And data collected across 2020 illustrates this starkly. According to the September 2020 Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) Benchmark Report, Fraud in the Wake of COVID-19, 77% of respondents observed an increase in overall fraud, with over 30% perceiving a significant jump. The report revealed that this dramatic increase in both attacks and perception was already underway between May and August 2020 with increases at 68% and 25% respectively. The ACFE findings also shared that a full 92% of respondents expect to see even more increases over the next year.

In response to protect business bottom lines, customers and employees, enterprise digital transformation projects are prioritizing machine-scale, frictionless authentication for both employees and customers to reduce fraud through better digital identity protection and user experiences.  But they are trying to figure out how to make this a reality within the current business environment.

If you missed the ISMG Summit and would like to hear a bit more about why behavioral biometrics may offer the solution, and how it differs from static biometric technologies like fingerprints and facial recognition that add friction and don’t do enough to close vulnerabilities, take a few minutes to watch my session.

It was great to be a part of the ISMG virtual summit and have the chance to share some insights on how to best adapt and balance productivity, accessibility and security. I believe behavioral monitoring with biometric telemetry offers practitioners a new toolset to authenticate with high confidence by using dynamic attributes that are more user and compliance-friendly, and much more difficult for adversaries to compromise.