IBM's MobileFirst Platform Foundation users are gaining a new level of security: Biometric authentication. On Wednesday, the company announced a partnership with SecuredTouch, a behavioral biometrics provider, to add the technology as a primary authentication option for the platform.
The MobileFirst Platform Foundation allows enterprises to develop, test, connect, run, and manage mobile applications either on premises or in the cloud.
SecuredTouch uses a device's touch screen, gyroscope, accelerometer, and other existing sensors to analyze more than 100 behavioral factors—such as finger pressure, swipe speed, device movement, gesture boundaries, and typing patterns—to create a unique digital signature for each user, according to the company's website.
"SecuredTouch technology provides a strong, risk-based, user-centric security check that keeps customers engaged, automatically delivering complete security and privacy while remaining completely transparent to the user, eliminating hassle, registration, and education," according to a press release. "The integration allows IBM customers to implement behavioral biometrics directly into their apps without any additional steps."
Potential use cases include second factor authentication in financial applications, or adding another layer of enterprise security for corporate apps. The goal is to enhance the user's digital experience and reduce the friction caused by using passwords and tokens. It can also enable more transactions via mobile and reduce false positives, the press release stated.
The technology can also detect cyber threats such as brute force attacks, account takeover, malware, and other targeted attacks, as they do not resemble human behavioral characteristics, according to the press release.
"SecuredTouch gives IBM MobileFirst users a competitive advantage, allowing them to reduce the friction caused by passwords and other security checks without compromising security," says Yair Finzi, CEO of SecuredTouch, in a press release. "Both the company and end user benefit."
The partnership is another sign of the growing popularity of biometric authentication. Mobile payments via biometrics such as fingerprint, iris scan, and selfie are expected to rise to nearly $2 billion in 2017, up from 600 million in 2016, according to a recent report from Juniper Research. Meanwhile, the market for biometric vehicle access systems is expected to double by 2021, according to a report from Markets and Markets.
The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers
1. On Wednesday, IBM and SecuredTouch announced a partnership to add biometric security technology to IBM's MobileFirst Platform, which allows enterprises to develop and run apps.
2. SecuredTouch analyzes more than 100 behavioral factors, such as finger pressure, swipe speed, device movement, gesture boundaries, and typing patterns, to create a unique digital signature for each user.
3. Biometric authentication is growing in popularity, with mobile payments via biometrics and biometric vehicle access systems on the rise.
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- UK to invest $2.3B in cybersecurity, calls for stronger authentication (TechRepublic)
- US military agency DARPA: We want biometric tech to ID individual hackers (ZDNet)
- Mobile app development policy (Tech Pro Research)
Alison DeNisco Rayome is a Staff Writer for TechRepublic. She covers CXO, cybersecurity, and the convergence of tech and the workplace.