Closing the Fraud Gap with Behavioral Biometrics

By Soudamini Modak, director of fraud and identity strategy, LexisNexis® Risk Solutions

Smart digital identity and device intelligence solutions are popular among companies looking for efficient fraud prevention tools, enabling businesses to recognize good users via trusted devices, locations and their digital footprint, while identifying multiple patterns that could indicate fraud.

Although these technologies are highly effective, fraudsters continue to search for ways to break through even the most complex and sophisticated fraud prevention solutions – utilizing social engineering scams, for example, where the end customer is manipulated into authorizing a transaction for the fraudster. For this reason and others, behavioral biometrics is becoming increasingly popular as it adds an additional layer of security against these threats, without adding complexity to the customer journey.

Behavioral biometrics analyzes the way a user interacts with a device or online application, assessing data points such as phone movement, touchscreen behavior, typing rhythm, length of time on a page and other interactive gestures. It can help organizations identify genuine customers based on patterns and criteria, including keystroke rhythm, how long the user holds down a key before releasing, swipes, mouse movements and how hard a user presses on the screen.

This sophisticated technology uses this information to develop a deeper understanding of the human behind the action and their typical behavior to identify deviations that might be indicative of fraudulent activity.

Forming an accurate template for behavior takes only a few interactions. Once the technology establishes what normal behavior is for a device, behavioral biometrics becomes a very effective tool to identify changes in behavior or to detect whether the customer is acting under duress. Cutting-edge behavioral biometrics technologies can verify unique individuals based on these behavior patterns to help differentiate between a legitimate customer, a bot or a fraudster.

Many traditional identity verification and authentication strategies lack the capacity to address the nuances of digital environments and the complex nature of today’s threats. Even digitally driven authentication tools, such as pins, captchas and one-time passwords can introduce additional barriers to the customer experience or fraudsters can intercept and corrupt them.

Delivering personalized, fast and secure customer experiences while minimizing fraud is the end goal for successful digital interactions. Businesses need a more dynamic view of customer identities and the risks associated with a transaction encompassing multi-dimensional digital, physical and behavioral context.

Balancing the risk-to-friction challenge is where behavioral biometrics technology becomes a game changer. Digital customers expect a fast, convenient experience. Unnecessary friction in the journey can cause disruption, leading to abandonment or transaction failure. At the same time, customers need to feel protected from fraud throughout the journey.

The ability to passively verify trusted customers while maintaining a risk-appropriate level of friction for specific touchpoints or higher-risk events helps keep digital transactions in efficient motion. The ability to expand user insights into how individual consumers interact with devices and applications can play an integral role in facilitating passive authentication.

Behavioral biometrics is a powerful option for companies seeking a more comprehensive risk assessment and passive customer verification capabilities. In the end, behavioral biometrics can lower fraud while improving the overall customer experience.

Soudamini Modak, director, fraud & identity at LexisNexis Risk Solutions, supports the digital assessment strategy as a part of the fraud and identity market strategy team. She focuses on commercial strategy for digital identity and behavioral biometrics solutions. Soudamini has more than 13 years of experience across consulting, strategy and product development. Her expertise includes strategic planning, understanding market needs and helping build digital solutions for financial institutions, ecommerce organizations and other commercial markets. She holds a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering and a Master of Science degree in information systems.

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