Intensity Analytics was founded with a very clear objective. Our goal was to be able to authenticate someone’s identity in the digital world with certainty. In looking at the market, we determined any solution we created also had to check a number of additional boxes if it was going to fundamentally improve upon current solutions.
- It had to be affordable
- It needed to be easily-distributed
- It must be easily-integrated to existing platforms and work processes
- It cannot require new hardware or devices
- It called for something that is changeable or revocable
- It was necessary to fully respect the privacy of individuals
This work turned out to be much harder than we anticipated although we were aware that we were charting a new and uncertain path. We remained firm in our assertions that identity was based upon trust. It was core to our research and development. Could we create a solution that would adequately establish trust in identity without compromising privacy and without negatively impacting the user experience? We were a small but talented team of developers, mathematicians and innovators – and we were on a mission.
As we worked towards our goal, we were steadfast in our assertion that establishing identity is not based solely on something you know, like a password. Since our early days, passwords have become a massive challenge to overcome. This is the result of many issues over the past decade. First, wayward NIST guidance towards the use of complex passwords, combined with the requirement to have unique passwords for each digital asset and to frequently change them all, combined with rapid growth of digital assets has created password fatigue and reuse. This contributed to our second challenge – that of massive data breaches, exposing millions of username/password combinations to potential for fraudulent and criminal activity. On its own, something we know, a password, is no longer sufficient to protect our digital identities.
Additionally, we believe digital identity should not be based on something you have, like a smartphone, token or smartcard. These solutions authenticate possession. They do not confirm identity. They add cost and complexity. They require hardware. They create new attack vectors.
Finally, committed to be fully respectful of your privacy, we believe digital identity should not be based on something you are – biometrics. Your fingerprints are a great identifier of an individual but they are also irrevocable. By that we mean, you cannot change them. The same concerns apply to iris, facial, and voice recognition solutions. If the pattern was stolen and able to be reproduced, your identity would be forever compromised. Technology is advancing in capture and reproduction of these biometrics. In 2018, GDPR enforcement put strict onus on companies to respect privacy and protect their customers and employees, further making biometric solutions more costly and difficult to implement.
We focused on your behavior – something you do – as a means to identify unique individuals. We developed new algorithms and built a machine learning engine using artificial intelligence to measure the effort you make on a device. We discovered and developed a means to recognize unique individuals through their everyday interaction with common digital interfaces like a keyboard or smartphone.
At the core, we created breakthrough mathematics that answered challenges related to the curse of dimensionality (inherent in comparing uneven samples of interactions with everyday computing devices). We combined this with a range of multidimensional, geospatial constructs applied to an individual’s unique behavior, including barycentricity, 2D & 3D constructs, Mahalanobis distance, Bhattacharyya distance, and Random Sample Consensus.
All of this work led to the establishment of a substantial proprietary capability, including many trade secrets and a growing portfolio of intellectual property centered around our original patent (#9,430,626). Our solutions play a key role in authenticating someone’s identity in the digital world with certainty. We also checked all the other boxes we set out at the start. The result is frictionless next-generation authentication technology that will help deliver certainty in an ever more uncertain digital world.