This US military-funded security company can tell who you are just from the way you touch your phone
Passwords could soon be going the way of the dodo as digital security gets more sophisticated. One company that could help kill the password is BehavioSec.
The company provides a layer of so-called biometric security that lets banks tell who you are just from the way you type, move your mouse or touch your phone screen.
BehavioSec tracks these movements and maps them against past interactions to see if they match up. If they don't — if you're typing much faster than normal or pressing a phone screen harder — the company will let the bank know it thinks someone else is trying to get into your bank account.
The company claims its accuracy is close to 99%, particularly for more complicated processes with more inputs, such as mobile bank transfers.
CEO Neil Costigan told Business Insider: "You're quite consistent in reflex stuff. If you think of all the input, there's quite a lot going on, particularly when you get to mobile. That's where we get out secret sauce from."
BehavioSec's tech plugs directly into banks apps and websites, so even if you've never downloaded it you may have used it.
The Stockholm-based company also looks at things like your location, adding another piece to the picture. Costigan says it's "very similar to a credit card. You're off at your local Tesco and then all of a sudden you're in the Philippines and trying to buy a Rolls-Royce. It just looks a bit dodgy."
The eight year old Swedish company grew out of a piece of university research and was initially funded by DARPA, the US defence programme that funds technology with potential military use. BehavioSec is now used by "pretty much all" the banks in the Nordics, according to Costigan, with millions of customers using it.
The company is now taking on the UK. BehavioSec recently raised €5 million (£3.65 million/$5.5 million) from investors including UK fund Octopus Ventures and has just opened a London office. It has also signed a deal with a "High Street bank", although Costigan won't say who.
While it is focusing on the finance sector for now, BehavioSec is hoping its smart tech will be adopted in other industries eventually. Costigan says it would help with things like paywalling and software licensing as people wouldn't be able to share passwords.
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