Online security: Romanian startup TypingDNA uses typing habits for user identification
At a time when almost everything can be done on the Internet, keeping the online data safe is of the utmost importance. Some use long and complicated passwords while others use face or fingerprint recognition. Local startup TypingDNA developed a new security solution that uses typing habits for the online users’ identification.
Launched in 2016, TypingDNA offers an artificial intelligence-based solution that recognizes people by the way they type on their keyboards. The local company has continued to grow and expand since then, attracting investors and constantly increasing the number of users. TypingDNA co-founders Raul Popa and Cristian Tamas and the startup’s first angel investor Adrian Gheara talked to Romania-insider.com about their typing biometrics technology and future plans.
Please tell us what TypingDNA is and how it works. How is TypingDNA different from other digital security solutions?
TypingDNA is a behavioral biometrics company, protecting online users based on how they type on their keyboards. Specifically, each individual has a different typing pattern and our technology can authenticate users after analyzing the way they interact with existing keyboards on devices, on desktop and mobile alike.
A differentiator on the behavioral biometrics market is the technology that expands the limited biometric authentication options, not requiring specialized sensors or advanced hardware. TypingDNA’s typing biometrics authentication solution stands out by offering 99% accuracy rates and working with just two previous enrollment samples.
Please tell us a bit about your background and how this project was born. Why did you choose this niche?
Raul Popa, the mastermind behind the TypingDNA project, has always been passionate about sociology, human traits, and tech development.
Initially, only a vehicle to experiment with psychological characteristics in human behavior, Raul realized the technology he developed could be used to identify typing patterns and authenticate online users. This was when his co-founder, Cristian Tamas, joined him on the quest to innovating authentication and took over all marketing-related activities. Attracting early adopters into using TypingDNA’s prodigious technology was among their first challenges.
When did you launch your product? What were the biggest challenges you encountered in the process?
The TypingDNA Authentication API was launched in 2016, but since then, a lot has changed. We have continuously improved our proprietary technology along with the algorithms.
What were the initial development costs, and how did you finance them?
Back in the early days, we traveled through a more delicate period and tried to self sustain the business until the first angel investors came to aid.
Early this year you got a USD 1.5 million financing. What did you invest the money in and what are your plans for the future?
We focused on creating core teams across all departments in our company. The headcount increased while adding experienced and valuable members centered around development, marketing, sales, and operational. We also created a sales hub in North America to be able to serve US clients faster while building strong partnerships in the region.
How many users do you have and how many do you target to reach?
We serve clients from all over the world, and millions of users currently use TypingDNA’s proprietary technology.
How do you define/measure the success of your business?
We are innovating the field of authentication and more and more clients from across the globe use our technology. While this is great and a major milestone for any company, we aim to create specific resources so our technology can be integrated into any software, industry and use case agnostic. We know for sure that communication is changing and humans will continue to shift from spoken to written communication more and more. We want to better this interaction, ensure security and facilitate a seamless experience for as many users.
How soon do you expect this new way of authentication to become the new norm in terms of digital security?
The future is now. Since typing is part of our day-to-day device interaction, typing biometrics is ready to be implemented as we speak. More and more companies are seeking to integrate behavioral biometrics into their authentication solutions. We enable a smooth and rapid deployment and expect this technology to grow along with the latest Strong Customer Authentication norms approved by the European Banking Authority. Although the banking sector might be the opening number for typing biometrics authentication, soon, the technology will be used in many scenarios, not only digital security. So, in about five years, we estimate exponential growth ranging from governmental institutions to the health care industry.
What are the most frequent mistakes Internet users make when choosing their passwords? What should they do to stay safe?
We strongly recommend adopting 2-factor authentication whenever possible. Not only companies can opt for such a method, but also individuals using various services like email or other internet-based applications.
TypingDNA is one of the winners of the 2019 Romania Insider Awards. The company received the Best Start-up award powered by Banca Transilvania at the gala organized in October. The full list of winners is available here.
(Photo source: TypingDNA)
(Photo source: TypingDNA)