A new security startup is building a new authentication model with what it describes as a "human" approach that doesn't use biometrics, passwords or passcodes.
Identify Security Software Inc. -- which will emerge from stealth mode on Monday -- plans to roll out an authentication product in the next nine months or so that uses a camera that recognizes users by their physical presence, physical attributes, thermal image, facial expressions, and authorized activity, in lieu of traditional passwords and other authentication methods. The system verifies that the user is who he or she says he is via the camera and the known information and attributes of the user, and does so multiple times per second.
The identifyME product currently under development is basically a dynamic access control system that watches the user in action and ensures he or she executes only authorized tasks and access. Identify Security Software describes the approach as "person, place and purpose."
"Our aim is human recognition by application," says Andre Limarenko, president and chief operating officer of the Boca Raton, Fla.-based startup. The system works with all types of client machines, including mobile devices, he says.
Unlike biometric technology that still requires software, identifyME relies on the camera's recognition of the user on the other end of the endpoint. The company plans to offer its own highly secure camera for sensitive environments, such as utilities or hospitals, but users can employ their machines' existing cameras as well, which also communicate with the product, for less sensitive operations.
So when an end user sits in front of his machine or grabs his smartphone, the camera records his physical attributes and location. "The moment you walk away, the system sees you're gone, so it shuts" down the session, he says.
If a user falls for a targeted phishing attack or malware hits his machine, the application won't allow activity that doesn't fit with the user's authorized duties, location and other attributes. "We don't stop malware from getting in, but we do stop anyone from entering [from outside] to get" data out of the network, he says.
Limarenko says the camera basically determines the level of security a user has access to. "If you have mission-critical applications for designs, you won't be looking at it on your iPhone. If you want access to it, you go to a secure location where your PC is," he says.
The user data and authorization is handled on a server in the network or in the cloud that stores the facial recognition, thermal sensing, and GPS data on users. "The secret sauce that we bring is the 'glue' that links all those elements together plus a change on the user information repository being in more of a dictionary, less of a database, which doesn't offer backdoors to hackers," according to a description on the company's website.
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