World Online Industries

Who needs behavioral biometrics the most?

Who needs behavioral biometrics the most?

In past posts, we’ve looked at the many reasons why organizations should implement the use of behavioral biometrics.

That post may have had some scratching their heads and wondering: Do I need behavioral biometrics?

The short answer is, yes, of course! If you’re an e-commerce company doing a large volume of transactions, we’d even say “definitely”. For the rest, it really does depend on the type of business you have and what type of risk your company is exposed to. There are certain sectors and industries where behavioral biometrics are particularly important. Let’s take a look.


Online shopping is growing exponentially, and we all know what that means – it’s an increasing vector for fraud. The parasitical nature of fraud is that it feeds on a healthy host.

While brick-and-mortar stores face their own problems, there is one major, sore-thumb difference with e-commerce that adds a whole new layer of difficulty – you can’t see who is on the other side of the online shopping cart. Verifying that your customer is a human, and a human acting with good intentions can be very difficult in the e-commerce space.

Without using behavioral biometrics and user verification, it’s very difficult to truly know if the “consumer” who is purchasing item-upon-item on your site is a hacker in some tiny, far-flung region, a real customer, or perhaps they aren’t even a real person at all. It could be an auto-scripted bot orchestrated by a bad actor. And, if this faux-consumer is using a legitimate user’s account, that account holder isn’t going to be very happy when they discover hundreds of dollars, or even thousands of dollars, in purchases made in their name without their knowledge. As an e-commerce organization, you shouldn’t be happy either, because, as yAs you well know, your customers are your lifeblood. Consumer trust cannot be under-estimated – and customer insult can have far-reaching, long-lasting consequences.

Behavioral biometrics provide e-commerce organizations with the ability to verify (in real-time) whether or not the user is really the right and good human user, even if they have the right creditentials. In doing so, it helps predict and detect fraud – while also protecting the customer experience.

Banking and financial services

The concept of going to the local bank to deposit money, cash a cheque, or make a withdrawal has become almost an archaic practice. With so many people on-the-go, mobile and online banking is simply how most folks bank these days. In fact, in a recent study by Kaspersky Lab, it was found that only 36% of consumers don’t use mobile banking. Customers are using their mobile devices to transfer money from one account to another, pay bills online, and do more regular banking, far more frequently now than ever before. When you are entrusted to hold onto someone’s savings, security is not an option but an absolute requirement.

Being able to conduct so much banking business at the touch of a finger is a huge advantage, but it’s also yet another juicy target for fraud. Just as a brick-and-mortar bank might have security guards on-premises, so to do most mobile apps and websites. And that’s the security you can (and want to) see. These days, many banks are using behavioral biometrics behind the scenes to verify instantaneously that the individual accessing that bank account from a mobile device, or any device, is truly who they say they are based on their behavior. BB gives banks an advantage with online account fraud because behavior can be tracked over a long period of time and used to build a very accurate profile of the real user. When something out of the ordinary happens, banks can quickly flag it for further investigation.


Every day, another travel-based company seems to be popping up, offering the best bargains on flights or promising to get you the best deal on a vacation rental. Think AirBnB, HipMunk, Expedia, etc. Hotels are offering easy booking online. Airline companies are rolling out new rewards programs in an effort to stay competitive. The list goes on.

Don’t think fraudsters haven’t caught on to this. Of course, they have. Just imagine the luxurious vacation some fraudster could have at your expense if proper security measures aren’t taken. Or worse.

For travel companies, the concern isn’t limited to payment information and the other, more typical, forms of personally identifiable information that our industry tends to focus on. What about those loyalty rewards your customers have spent a lot of time, energy and money collecting? If you want to maintain that loyalty, you better make sure their accounts are protected. Want to read more about fraud in the travel space? Read this.


Don’t get played! The online gaming industry has a unique set of security challenges that other e-businesses don’t have to worry about. Unlike e-commerce businesses – which are based on the sale of goods – online gaming, whether it’s pay-for-play card games or traditional betting, is by nature more erratic in terms of the flow of money. This makes it a tempting target for fraud.

Fraudsters can circumvent traditional detection, so despite the gaming industry’s best efforts we see online account-based fraud in the form of fraudulent deposits, cheating and collusion, chargebacks and money laundering. Cheating at cards has a long and infamous history. Is it any wonder that we see it happen in the virtual world, too?

The bottom line

Financial services, e-commerce, travel and online gaming are by no means the only industries that can benefit from the use of behavioral biometrics. These are just a few examples of how this solution can be implemented and used.

Want to find out more about how NuData Security leverages behavioral biometrics and machine learning to help organizations authenticate good customers? Watch this presentation from NuData’s own Robert Capps and Ryan Wilk.

Want to read more posts like this? See our full blog here.