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Flexible and Transparent User Authentication for Mobile Devices
Clarke NL, Karatzouni S, Furnell SM
Proceedings of the 24th IFIP TC 11 International Information Security Conference, Pafos, Cyprus, May 18-20, ISBN: 978-3-642-01243-3, pp1-12, 2009

The mobile device has become a ubiquitous technology that is capable of supporting an increasingly large array of services, applications and information. Given their increasing importance, it is imperative to ensure that such devices are not misused or abused. Unfortunately, a key enabling control to prevent this, user authentication, has not kept up with the advances in device technology. This paper presents the outcomes of a 2 year study that proposes the use of transparent and continuous biometric authentication of the user: providing more comprehensive identity verification; minimizing user inconvenience; and providing security throughout the period of use. A Non-Intrusive and Continuous Authentication (NICA) system is described that maintains a continuous measure of confidence in the identity of the user, removing access to sensitive services and information with low confidence levels and providing automatic access with higher confidence levels. An evaluation of the framework is undertaken from an end-user perspective via a trial involving 27 participants. Whilst the findings raise concerns over education, privacy and intrusiveness, overall 92% of users felt the system offered a more secure environment when compared to existing forms of authentication.

Clarke NL, Karatzouni S, Furnell SM