Cyber Security

Advancing cyber security through continuous authentication

12th March 2024
Sheryl Miles

We are living in an era where digital security breaches are becoming more frequent, and the need for robust cyber security solutions is more critical than ever.

This is where Manchester-based company, Zally, is making significant strides under the leadership of its Chairman, David Webb.

Webb, known for his prior success in co-founding 6point6 and leading it to acquisition by Accenture, is now guiding Zally in the development of innovative cyber security technologies.

Central to Zally's focus is the concept of continuous user authentication. This approach, aimed at reducing dependence on traditional passwords – a method deemed vulnerable as 90% of passwords can be cracked within an hour – represents a significant change in how we view cyber security and a shift towards enhancing online security measures.

Here, Webb shares his thoughts on the evolution of cyber security and how Zally is leading the charge.

Innovation is key to growth

Webb’s leadership ethos centres on the belief that innovation, while potentially risky, is essential for advancement in cyber security.

Reflecting on the industry's hesitancy towards innovation, Webb attributes it to a culture of caution. Yet, he posits, "It takes leadership to go against the grain and put your faith in the power of innovation."

This philosophy is what Webb and his team at Zally embody as they work towards transforming the cyber security landscape.

The evolution of cyber security with Zally

Password authentication relies on passwords being remembered, long enough to be ‘unbreakable’ but clear enough to be remembered, which characters, symbols, and different case sizes. Zally offers a solution that could render this traditional method as obsolete.

Its technology utilises biometrical behaviour, a cutting-edge method that promises a more secure, smoother, and accessible digital experience.

"Traditional passwords present significant challenges ... This creates a huge opportunity in what comes next to replace this outdated method of online authentication." This sentiment underscores the urgency and necessity for innovative solutions like those Zally provides.

Behavioural biometrics

The core of Zally's approach lies in behavioural biometrics, an advanced technique that analyses the unique patterns of human interaction.

“By analysing behavioural biometrics from human interactions, our powerful artificial intelligence (AI) models the unique micro-patterns in human activity and can produce continually evolving profiles for users which are entirely unique to them. This is a major step forward and could help companies meet the ever-evolving demands placed upon them by regulatory bodies. Right now, the AI can reach 99% confidence in less than 15 minutes of use of our intuitive mobile application, all while people continue to operate and use their devices as normal.”

This method not only surpasses traditional authentication techniques in security but also aligns with regulatory requirements such as the upcoming PSD3, mandating Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) for businesses.

Transformative impact on digital interactions

Moving away from static, one-time logins, Zally's technology ensures ongoing authentication, thereby enhancing both security and user experience by eliminating the need for remembering multiple passwords.

Webb envisions this transformation extending its benefits to all users, particularly the elderly and vulnerable, who often find themselves excluded from the digital realm due to complex security measures.

"Continuous authentication offers a more accessible way to approach the process," says Webb, highlighting its potential to democratise digital participation.

A secure digital future

Despite the current challenges, including rampant poor online security practices and the illusion of security proffered by many modern authentication solutions, Webb remains optimistic about the future of cyber security.

His experience at 6point6 and now at Zally has shown him the pitfalls of ineffective security measures and the potential for innovative solutions to make a big difference.

"I am convinced about the power of Zally to fundamentally improve online authentication experiences across the digital domain.”

This conviction underscores his belief in Zally's ability to not only navigate the complexities of the cyber security field but to redefine it entirely.

As digital threats become more and more sophisticated, the response from the cyber security community needs to exceed these challenges through innovation and foresight.

Zally's work in continuous authentication and behavioural biometrics represents a marked leap forward in this endeavour, promising a future where digital security is a facilitator of seamless and inclusive digital experiences.

Under Webb's leadership, Zally is setting the agenda for a safer, more connected digital world.

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