Researchers are always coming up with new ways to thwart cyber criminals. So far, most of the websites make use of user names and passwords as far as security is concerned. Therefore, all a hacker has to do is to get a hold of a person’s username and password to clean their bank account or steal their identity.

To counter this, researchers at IBM have now come up with a new technique. Recently, IBM announced that it has been awarded a patent for such a new program. This new program is a surfing behavior analytical program. In simple terms, it means that it records the way people browse a particular website in terms of their clicking behavior, navigational behavior and swiping behavior.

Let us take the popular website Forbes.com. Does a subscriber click on a certain link when she first enters the website? Does she use arrow keys to navigate? The main purpose of this new program by IBM is to create a profile of the person based on the navigational history. In case that individual deviates from the usual behavior, the software can trigger certain predetermined security questions to ensure that the account is not hacked.

It is true that this particular website may not require such high-level security but it is important for online banking as well as e-commerce websites. The patent also suggests that these techniques can be used to curtail the activities of the spam bots.

Programs like this are not new and ideas similar to this new application have been doing the rounds for the last 15 to 20 years. Many research groups have worked on creating a profile based on the swiping and touching behavior. A paper was published in the year 1995 which outlined the creation of a profile based on the typing patterns of individuals as touch screens were not widely available then.

There is a reason that such security applications have not become widespread as you would have wanted. Such security programs need to maintain a fine balance between security and annoyance. These programs have to be secure enough to keep the hackers away but at the same time they should not be an annoyance to the paying customers.