IBM has patented a new technology that lets websites monitor how users interact with their site and spot anomalies in their behaviour to help fight online fraud.
IBM said the patent would gather data on how each customer uses a site – covering everything from if they use arrow keys to navigate or their mouse use, to the way in which they swipe on a smartphone or tablet – to build up a use profile.
Then, if a criminal attempts to hack into an account using ill-gotten credentials, the system would spot the change in usage patterns and browsing style, and an alert could be triggered.
IBM said cloud-based firms, especially in areas such as banking or online shopping, could benefit from the tool as they face the greatest threat from online fraud.
Keith Walker, IBM master inventor and co-inventor on the patent, said developing the software was a vital step in helping ensure web use remains safe.
“If an individual suddenly changes how they interact with an online bank or store, such as due to a broken hand or using a tablet instead of a desktop computer, I want these websites to detect the change, and then ask for extra identity confirmation before accepting a transaction," Walker said.
“Our experience developing and testing a prototype, which flawlessly confirmed identities, shows that such a change would more likely be due to fraud, and we all want these sites to provide more protection while simultaneously processing our transactions quickly.”'
IBM's tool, if and when it comes to the wider market, could prove a key weapon to online sites as they battle with numerous issues caused by criminals, with hacks stealing customer data on brands such as eBay and Office a major issue.
IBM's patent underlines their efforts in developing new technologies, after Big Blue secured the crown for most patents approved in the US for the twenty-first time in 2014.
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