Multifactor Security

Software from BioPassword, Issaquah, Wash., employs keystroke dynamics analysis to authenticate users and login credentials by dissecting individuals' typing patterns, adding another layer to user verification to make applications more secure.

BioPassword Enterprise Edition and Internet Edition, which both hit the market earlier this year and are sold through the channel, work by creating a benchmark typing pattern for users through several logins that become a standard against which the typist's keystrokes are measured. Each individual will have his or her own typing rhythm, which biometrics software then can analyze to authenticate the user.

The Internet Edition is being touted as a solution to help financial institutions meet the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) guidelines requiring them to implement multifactor authentication solutions by the end of 2006, and BioPassword is teaming up with solution providers in that space, such as Allied Solutions, Carmel, Ind.

"The best way to really penetrate the financial services arena in short order is to partner with a behemoth like Allied," said Dan Bravos, BioPassword's vice president, channel. The company has about 70 partners in 25 countries so far and has sold more than 400,000 licenses.

Sponsored post

"We partnered with [VARs] so that we could quickly penetrate this vertical, [which] has a time-sensitive mandate from the federal government enforcing that they have multifactor authentication by the end of 2006. Username and password is not enough anymore," Bravos said.

"We're really the ideal solution for the online banking folks simply because we're non-intrusive and can create profiles of users behind the scenes in silent mode," said BioPassword CTO Greg Wood.

Denise Lynch, senior vice president of retail products at Allied Solutions, said that her company has decided to resell the software to its financial services customers. "With the new requirements that our clients have to meet by year end, it's a very important product for us to be able to offer to our clients right now," she said. "It's really easy to understand. It's certainly easy to use. We've been happy with [the] partnership, product and the service that we've received."

The Parda Federal Credit Union in Auburn Hills, Mich., purchased the BioPassword Internet Edition from Allied Solutions to provide multifactor authentication for its customers who use the credit union's Web site, and the solution is expected to go live next month.

Credit union employees now are testing the product so that they have an understanding of how it works before it's unleashed on the institution's customer base.

"We have about 17,000 members, and they're all over the country. Basically, we needed some way for them to get logged in securely to our online banking environment without having to give them some sort of key fob. We were looking for a true authentication product, and not just 'give us your mother's maiden name,' " said Parda CIO Melissa Auchter.

About one-third of the credit union's 17,000 customers are online users, she said. "We selected the BioPassword solutions because there was minimal impact to our membership. Basically, all we have to do is create a new ID and password," Auchter said. "The system monitors their keystrokes with no actions by [by the user], and it determines whether it's them or not based on biometrics."

BioPassword's Wood said that the software vendor is targeting the financial services market as those companies try to meet impending deadlines, but that both the Enterprise Edition and Internet Edition are vertical-market neutral.

"The beauty of this is that there is a relatively large market in the authentication space, and the partner-adoption is pretty incredible. They understand the business proposition. They can build a whole new incremental revenue stream based on this technology," he said.

"The software is based on keystroke dynamics, but it doesn't require any unique hardware. We get to bridge this gap of security usability and cost. You get a full biometric without requiring us to ship any new hardware other than the standard keyboard that you already have," Wood said.