Intensity Analytics: A conversation with co-founder John Rome
Co-founded by husband and wife team, John and Bethann Rome, Intensity Analytics is fresh off a seed round of funding and is looking to shake up the authentication space with its new system of keystroke dynamic authentication.
According to John Rome, the company has been testing and developing its algorithms for the Intensity Analytics system over the last five years and recently opened up to investment.
“We have a reasonable number of sophisticated investors,” Rome said. “We could have had more, but we had to cut it off.”
Rome and his core team are veterans of the software development space and according to the co-founder, that put the team in a good position for a smooth launch and funding round.
“We are an unusual organization – we are a very mature bunch of folks. We have decades of dev experiences each. We’ve worked together well over 20 years and in that time, have developed and built some really core algorithms and technology.”
“We’ve been around the block quite a bit,” Rome said.
“By the time we were looking for funding, we had two distinct advantages: We had completed tech, which we could show to potential investors, and we had a lot of business experience under our belts.”
Keystroke dynamics refers to the identification or verification of users based on their unique typing patterns. Keystroke features are based on time durations between keystrokes, as well as frequency of error or use of backspace, among other calculations.
Rome is a lawyer and mathematician by training, but has been a “computer guy” and “life-long geek” all along. He became known for his work in document processing and built his first computer program in 1958, processing medical patient records.
Rome and his CTO Tom Ketcham – who has been working with Rome for 25 years – wrote all of the code for Intensity’s keystroke dynamics authentication system.
Privacy and convenience are paramount to the Intensity system, Rome says.
“One of our design goals was to have no special hardware, no add-ons, no devices, or anything like. Just a computer, mouse and keyboard.”
Rome also points to the fact that the Intensity system does not keep any content, it uses no personally identifiable identification and is deployed and executed easily.
“The magic sauce,” of the Intensity, as Rome calls it, is the system’s ability to authenticate continuously and also to distinguish between an imposter versus a registered user with a sore hand, or a new keyboard (as examples). According to Rome, Intensity’s algorithms, which are statistical extrapolations of patterns, have a keen ability to make these distinctions.
Out of the gates, the startup is targeting large enterprise clients, and is eyeing vertical markets like publishing, distance learning and broadly speaking, any web-based application with a requirement for user authentication.