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Georgia College Deploys BioPassword Authentication

Berry College in Georgia is adding biometrics to its security strategy--not for building access control or food services, where biometrics can typically be found, but on individual computers. The technology, BioPassword Enterprise Edition, from a company called BioPassword Inc., will be used to provide an additional layer of security to protect school data using nothing more than users' own keystroke rhythms.

BioPassword isn't a traditional biometric technology that uses a combination of hardware (such as fingerprint scanners) and software to control access to devices. Instead, it's a software-only solution that measures "keystroke biometrics," authenticating users based on their "unique typing rhythms," according to the company.

The technology measures the ways in which users type words, including "dwell time" (the amount of time a user depresses a key) and "flight time" (the interval between keystrokes)--rhythms that the company claims can be used effectively to verify users and thwart impostors without forcing users to change their behaviors. BioPassword will be used in conjunction with traditional authentication methods, including passwords and security questions. The college is currently using this technology to protect its databases housing student and faculty records.

"BioPassword's keystroke biometric solution was a perfect fit for our needs for a non-intrusive second factor of authentication," said William Souder, network operations and information security officer at Berry College, in a prepared statement. "We searched for a reliable security solution that elminated the process of multiple signons and token devices, but provided both identity management and secure access. With BioPassword's software-only solution, we are providing a security layer and simplifying the procedure for our faculty, staff, and student workers."

Berry College is an independent liberal arts school in Georgia that serves about 1,900 students.

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About the Author

David Nagel is editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Technology Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal and STEAM Universe. A 25-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art and business publications.

He can be reached at [email protected]. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at or follow him on Twitter at @THEJournalDave (K-12) or @CampusTechDave (higher education).

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