Thursday, December 15, 2016

How banks are using behavioral fingerprinting to help prevent fraud

Photo of woman using a tablet mobile device

Behavioral biometric “fingerprinting” software watches and learns a user’s typical behavior and then raises a flag when it sees use that doesn’t align with previous behavior patterns. Behavioral analytic software is catching on in banking, worldwide.

Behavioral biometric software is embedded in a bank's apps and online banking website. As an example, with a mobile app, the analytic software can capture the angle at which a user holds their phone, the amount of pressure used on the keypad, the speed of the typing and the typographical errors the user tends to make. A unique biometric profile is built for the user. If it looks like another user is trying to access the account, the software sends an alert to the bank which may bar access to the account. Even when a new user is setting up an account, the software will compare the user to a fraudulent behavior profile.

One key benefit of behavioral biometric software is that it can catch fraud as it is taking place, stopping it before it succeeds. Another advantage is that the protection is seamless; it takes place without any effort required from the customer. The software is also very effective at stopping automated fraud – automated behavior is very different from and easy to detect compared to human behavior.

A main concern of behavioral biometric software is false positives. Companies interviewed for the article below said that most of the alerts they receive genuinely turn out to be fraud, and with the success rate of fraud prevention, the software has more than proven its worth. However, if a person has an injury to their hand or wrist, or tries to access a banking account while inebriated, they may very well have trouble accessing their account.

Next-Gen Biometrics: Using the Force of Habit

Penny Crosman for American Banker, November 17, 2016

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Scientists have found a way to “fingerprint” the human brain

Tractographic reconstruction of neural connections via DTI
Thomas Schultz, Wikipedia

With advances in technology, scientists from Carnegie Mellon University have found a way to map the patterns of the brain in the finest detail, going beyond the mapping of larger region-to-region connections to mapping the patterns of point-to-point connections.

The non-invasive technology used is diffusion MRI. It’s used to track the movement of water molecules in the brain’s white matter pathways, called local connectome. No two brains have the exact same pattern, not even twins. In the study, scientists were able to determine if two imaged patterns were from the same person, or two different people, 100% of the time.

Also fascinating is that the brain's patterns shift and change over time, about 13% every 100 days. This supports current brain theory that beyond disease and genetics, one’s brain is changed by one’s environment, and by one’s life experiences.

This breakthrough is sure have great implications in other fields of study, but the first and most urgent application will be in the field of medicine. The changes in the brain’s connectivity patterns can be studied for markers for mental disorders and psychiatric illnesses. It’s possible that we’ll eventually be able to stop diseases before they have a chance to develop in the brain. Exciting prospects, indeed.

It’s Now Possible To Fingerprint Our Brain 

Staff Writer, The Wall Street Pit, November 27, 2016

Scientists Fingerprint the Brain

By Ben Andrew Henry | The Scientist, November 17, 2016