Finalist: BRYK:ID and facial authentication based cybersecurity
Article by Rachael Bolton
Online security is a comfortable illusion we each choose to believe so that we can continue with the essential activities of our modern lives. So says David Brykman, founder and chief executive of software development and consulting firm Bryk Group.
And Mr Brykman should know. He has been trying to keep people and enterprises safe in the browser since the early 2000s.
“At the beginning, when the internet came in, what people did is they took the normal structured computer science discipline, and they threw it out the window,” Mr Brykman says. “They created applications that had user interface, business, logic data, everything else, all thrown in together: a bunch of spaghetti.
“From the beginning, we said: that’s why it’s failing.”
He offers the example of loan applications. Back in the 2000s, if you knew how to look at a page’s source code, you could often see the code for the business logic that would determine a particular decision and outcome. You could literally read what the website wanted you to say in order to get a loan approved.
In addition to these kinds of exposures, all kinds of data has often been intermingled and stored in the same place. Once you jumped over the garden fence, so to speak, you’d find that the house had no doors and no windows: free access to any and all information on a company’s entire system.
Mr Brykman says breeches like that are not only bad for business, divulging commercial secrets and exposing customer data, it has eroded public trust in institutions over time.
“When we get to the biometric security there are many solutions out there that, quite frankly, make you think they’re doing something when they’re not,” he says.
He claims that most biometric security measures like traditional facial and fingerprint scans, passwords, all of these, can be spoofed and in some cases – like providing copies of official documentation – can actually expose the customer to additional risk.
“We have two problems that we want to solve,” Mr Brykman says. “But they are in conflict. One is, we want to be ultra-secure. The other is, we want to have good customer experience.”
BRYK is a finalist for the InnovationAus Awards for Excellence 2021 in the cybersecurity category for a next-level proof of identity software they call BRYK.ID.
It creates a three-dimensional map of the face and compares it against known government records to positively identify the user in seconds without the need for passwords or other “authenticating” data.
While traditional facial recognition software can accurately determine identity with a reliability of about 50 to one, BRYK.ID has an accuracy of 13,000 to one.
It is also the only product in class that can accurately determine liveness. This means that you can’t fool it with a video or a photo or even a deepfake of the real person you’re trying to imitate. More disturbingly – but I think we’d all agree very importantly – you also can’t fool the system by presenting it with the corpse of the authorised person.
The software employs machine learning to constantly improve its algorithm so every time a hacker tries to get around it, they are actually teaching the software to provide even better protection.
BRYK.ID customers are currently mainly focused in the financial and government sectors, but the technology has potential applications for any service where confirming live identity is a priority.