Professor Daqing Hou, the Director of the Software Engineering program at Clarkson University has been awarded a grant from the Innovation Corps program (I-Corps) of the National Science Foundation. The award supports his team to perform customer discovery and investigate the potential product market fit for their proposed software products that aim to prevent and detect fraudulent eCommerce activities using behavioral biometrics. The team consists of Blaine Ayotte (Entrepreneurship Lead, ECE Ph.D. student), Ahmed Wahab (co-Entrepreneurship Lead, ECE PhD student), Eddie Ma (Industrial Mentor, VP of Engineering at Lacuna Technologies), and Daqing Hou (Technical Lead and PI of the project).
A unique advantage of behavioral biometrics is its promise to offer frictionless and continuous user authentication based on a user's interaction with a computing device, such as how they type on a keyboard or move the mouse. The I-Corps project would empower eCommerce owners, digital bankers, and healthcare service providers alike with a behavioral biometrics-based solution and service to more effectively prevent and detect fraudulent activities after account takeovers. The proposed software products would package state-of-the-art authentication algorithms that existing business applications can access via Application Programming Interface (API) calls. Additionally, the end-user is provided with full control over their own biometric data for privacy protection.
"The NSF I-Corps program allowed us to get a fresh perspective on the behavioral biometrics research we conduct. By conducting over 100 customer discovery interviews we learned what the relevant cybersecurity threats are to businesses. We initially thought adding security would be our most useful feature, but throughout the program, we learned that people actually need frictionless security that does not slow down the speed of business." said Blaine Ayotte.
"I learned how to transfer research from the lab into the market. I learned entrepreneurial skills while conducting customer discovery interviews in the banking, e-commerce, and healthcare sectors," said Ahmed Wahab.
"I recommend the I-Corps program to all of my colleagues! The training has been a truly novel experience through which I discovered the needs of the market and learned to prioritize my research program to be more socially relevant. I am pleased to see our research can help solve a pressing societal problem and its exciting potential to help battle such major data breaches at Yahoo and Equifax. I-Corps has helped me form a plan to move our research to the market." said Dr. Hou.