Nationwide Trialing Behavioral Biometrics

Nationwide Trialing Behavioral Biometrics

UK high street bank Nationwide is the latest lender said to be mooting a roll-out of biometric technology designed to authenticate its customers.

Swedish security provider BehavioSec announced today it has been working with Unisys for the past few months on a new app to authenticate Nationwide’s mobile banking users.

It added:

“The prototype is still in its early stages, but trialing behavioral biometrics with the digital services of the UK’s biggest building society means that we’re one step closer to seeing behavioral biometrics as a standard feature.”

“We’re not here to replace the password, but we know that it’s not enough to ask users to create strong passwords, especially when they need to remember at least six of them. Behavioral biometrics is the way forward for banking, payments, and other digital transactions.”

Specifically, the app will detect the unique way each individual interacts with their mobile device to authenticate them. The idea is to use these capabilities in combination with other methods of user authentication.

It’s yet another way to transition from password-only log-ins, which can be easily phished, hacked or cracked by third-party attackers with moderate skill.

Uncited stats used by BehavioSec claim the average UK adult has six passwords to remember, with 70% clicking “forgot password” on average twice a month.

This not only makes for a frustrating user experience, but can also encourage users to write their passwords down on paper, or else create easy-to-guess credentials, putting their accounts at greater risk of a successful attack.

Biometrics are gaining increasing traction in the banking industry.

It emerged earlier this year that HSBC will offer its 15 million customers the chance to log into their accounts via Apple’s Touch ID fingerprint scanning service or voice-activated authentication powered by speech recognition specialist Nuance.

RBS and NatWest already support fingerprint scanning and MasterCard is set to go global with its ‘pay-by-selfie’ tech.

Source: Information Security Magazine