Australia’s RMIT University, CA Labs to develop continuous user authentication

CA Technologies’ research arm, CA Labs, has partnered with Victoria’s RMIT University for a joint project in which they will develop new techniques for user authentication based on continuously evaluating security risk profiles and measuring the behavioural consistency of a user against previously observed behaviour.

The Australian Research Council (ARC)-funded research project, which began in May, focuses on aligning risk adaptation and continuous authentication.

The risk adaptation research will identify the assets within an organization that require the greatest protection, along with which users should be granted access to these assets.

In terms of continuous authentication, the research will identify high risk user behaviour patterns.

Monitoring a user’s normal system interactions can instill a higher level of confidence as to who the user is, without disrupting the user.

If a user is acting outside their typical behaviour and access patterns, the system will send a security alert and possibly trigger a higher factor authentication.

CA Labs are working with RMIT professors Serdar Boztas, Asha Rao and Kathy Horadam, along with PhD and research fellow Lewi Stone, which comprise the core members of the Information Security and Network Science Research Group based at the School of Mathematical and Geospatial Sciences.

These RMIT researchers typically work on problems ranging from pseudorandom sequence design to big data, biometrics and cryptography, supported by multiple government, ARC and philanthropic grants.

Through its research, CA Labs is hoping to develop new techniques and proofs-of-concepts, which it can then integrate into its product suites in support of the company’s development and innovation efforts.

The project will work on improving the CA Risk Authentication product via different types of risk assessment and continuous authentication.

Any prototypes, algorithms and research papers that are developed as a result of this project will be shared with CA’s global research and development teams.

“Only about 25 to 35 per cent of applications for ARC grants are successful, but this is CA’s third out of three successful linkage grant application with RMIT — a tidy 100% success rate,” said Steve Versteeg, VP of research at CA Labs. “This is testament to our focus on projects that are strategically important to Australia and information security in general, our commitment to the programs recommended, the quality of our proposal and of course, this team’s proven ability to deliver.”

Additionally, the participating RMIT professors will develop the research to be published in international journals and papers.

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