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The challenge of assuring identity is becoming more and more difficult. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), there were almost 1.4 million reports of identity theft in 2021.
In an era where identity theft is so common and passwords are openly sold on the dark web, biometric authentication is becoming critical for verifying user’s identities.
Biometric authentication providers like IronVest, which today announced it has closed a $23 million seed funding round led by Accomplice, are turning to biometric authentication and artificial intelligence (AI) to verify the identity of users online.
IronVest’s solution provides enterprises with a biometric password manager, and uses AI to continuously verify employee identities post-login to ensure security. The approach provides enterprises with a definitive response to account takeovers, credential theft and social engineering attempts.
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Stopping identity theft with AI
With upwards of 15 billion passwords exposed on the dark web per year, it’s becoming increasingly clear that traditional login credentials aren’t effective at keeping out unauthorized users.
“Consumers and employees increasingly face sophisticated cyberattacks such as SimSwap, business email compromise, personal info theft/identity theft, and malware, all designed to enable fraudsters to take over their accounts,” said Avi Turgeman, cofounder and CEO of IronVest.
Turgeman added that, “Enterprise approaches to security focus on protecting the infrastructure and network, but not the employee. Password managers are designed for convenience, not as a security solution — they can be easily bypassed. As a result, the number one reason for data breaches is compromised account credentials.”
IronVest aims to address these challenges by eliminating critical vulnerabilities in enterprise defenses, by decreasing reliance on passwords in favor of biometric authentication factors, which can’t be harvested by threat actors. The vendor’s biometric authentication is based on a proprietary technology called AuthenticAction.
AuthenticAction uses decentralized biometric AI and other capture techniques to guarantee the authenticity of users’ digitally performed actions, and monitors user activity post-login for signs of malicious activity. This means it can detect if an attacker starts to act maliciously, like by harvesting sensitive data.
Evaluating the biometric authentication market
Biometric authentication is emerging as an increasingly popular solution for addressing the rise in identity theft, with researchers anticipating the biometric system market will grow from $42.9 billion in 2022 to $82.9 billion by 2027.
Even traditional password management providers like LastPass have started to experiment with biometric authentication, enabling enterprises to combine two-factor authentication against extra biometric authentication steps.
Elliott Management’s private equity firm and Franceso Partners spun out LastPass after taking its parent company, LogMeIn private for $4.3 billion in December 2021.
Another competitor setting its sights on biometric authentication is identity access management (IAM) provider Okta, which offers integration with HYPR to provide passwordless authentication. The company recently announced raising $383 million in revenue in the fourth fiscal quarter of 2022.
Despite the competitive landscape, Turgeman believes that IronVest’s proprietary biometrics AI differentiates it from other password management providers on the market, as it is not just able to secure online accounts — but also a user’s digital identity.
“We believe tools that manage passwords are not sufficient to truly protect employees from fraudulent account access,” Turgeman said. “IronVest is focused on protecting the individual and on being more secure than the accounts it protects.”