Reinventing Identity and Access Management Based on Mathematical Principles from the Stars with Jonathan Nystrom

Jonathan Nystrom is the CEO of Intensity Analytics, and this week’s guest. He joins Vince Walden to talk about his company’s program, TickStream, which uses astronomical principles to protect virtual identity. Identity is the bedrock on which virtually everything in our world operates, Jonathan says. It affects every facet of a company, and while the IT department plays a big role, it is management’s job to establish it. How we protect identity today is a conglomeration of rules that our adversaries will learn to break if we continue to do things the same way.

There are 300 billion passwords currently in use and most of them have no protection in terms of multi-factor authentication. More than 80% of breaches occur as a result of stolen credentials. Intensity Analytics has developed a solution that enables systems to recognize you based on your unique password typing frequency. It is an added layer of authentication security that proves your identity rather than proving you possess access to your account. The algorithms were developed using insights from astronomy, and are now patented as a part of a core of the technology. It doesn’t even need to know your password, Jonathan says, just how you type it. Attempting to use other principles left it prey to a mathematical limitation called the Curse of Dimensionality, which comes up when comparing an infinite number of items to determine similarities.

This technology falls under the category of movement biometrics, which are more reliable than standard biometrics. Movement is being captured at a microscopic level, preventing the possibility of anyone else successfully impersonating you.


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