Cognitive Fingerprinting for Authentication

I recently read a blurb in Wired magazine about “Cognitive Fingerprint”. They stated that it is “the pattern of human-computer interactions unique to every user. Darpa plans to secure military networks by replacing passwords with cognitive fingerprinting, which will be established by monitoring behavioral traits and typing habits”…. How cool is that!?! Here is another blog post discussing the capability

I truly think this capability is amazing. I of course question it’s reliability, specifically in situations where the user is “disabled”. Now disabled can mean many things to many people. Not only can it be the loss of a finger, arm, etc but disabled in the sense of a sickness like the flu. Do I not react a lot slower because of a flu or other illness that I might have? When I am mentally and physically lethargic, would not this not have an impact on the way I work/type?

I love the idea of using capabilities outside of passwords because if you are not in that field or understand their need, I just think that people do not take it seriously. There are tools that can create strong passwords and store your passwords… but people still use the basic tools (writing them down or making them too easy). It drives me crazy but it is what it is and if we can protect individuals through this amazing technology, I am all for it. I am all for people finally realizing that security is not a hinderance but inherent in all we do. I think the one amazing aspect that should be used more is a step up authentication capability. For instance, if you are sick and typing slowly, the system can then follow up with questions/fingerprints/iris scans that you have already registered. RSA, the Security Division of EMC, has this amazing technology already. It was implemented when I used my new MBA to log into my banking website. It was a new system and it asked me questions to verify that it was me. The technology can get there over time and I look forward to seeing it all implemented. What a cool technology world we live in!

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