At its most fundamental level, biometrics is the measurement of the human body and so, biometric authentication is a method of verifying an identity based on your unique, individual characteristics. Keystroke dynamics is a form of biometric authentication.
However, biometric authentication has two key approaches: physiological biometrics and behavioral biometrics. Physiological biometrics uses your biological qualities – your fingerprint, iris details or face shape (as demonstrated in Apple’s new iPhone X) to authenticate an identity and are a secure way of proving that you, are you. On the other hand, behavioral biometrics relate to your personal habits and unique movements, and so by nature, are not as secure as biological measurements. However, they provide an increased level of security on the traditional pin and password identification technique.
It is in the behavioral biometrics category that keystroke dynamics falls.
So how does it work?
Keystroke dynamics refers to the method of verifying a users’ identity based on the nature and rhythm of their keystrokes. Everyone has a unique method of typing on a keyboard. This can range from how much pressure is asserted on the keys, to common mistakes, how fast you type and which set of number keys you use. There are many ways an error can be detected, too. For instance, if there are disparities between how long a key is held down or the timing between finishing a word and pressing the space bar. These errors can help distinguish between two people and therefore be more firmly attached to an identity.
However, whilst keystroke dynamics does not take external mitigating factors into consideration, such as tiredness, mood or injury, it does continue to track user habits over time. This means that if the nature of your typing was to change, it has the flexibility to recognise that it is still you typing.
Having this method of biometric authentication can help protect you from fraud and identity theft. To explain, keystroke monitoring is a feature of some malware which records every stroke you type on a keyboard. It analyses this information and sends it to a hacker who can decipher your online passwords and login details. Acting as an additional layer of security, keystroke dynamics can help fight against these types of malicious programs and keep your information safe.
Would you feel safer with the support of keystroke dynamics identity security? Leave a comment below.