BlackBerry Persona uses AI, machine learning to prevent security breaches

Paul Barker | Oct 07, 2020 | The News

Blackberry Ltd. this week released the BlackBerry Persona Desktop, a user and entity behaviour analytics (UEBA) offering the company said uses advanced AI and machine learning to deliver continuous authentication to validate user identity in real-time and protect against security breaches.

Built on the BlackBerry Spark platform, it leverages biometric and behaviour-based machine learning models to create a real-time trust score for laptop and desktop users, the company said in a release.

It added that Blackberry Persona addresses the following challenges:

  • Stolen Credentials – Protecting an organization when an employee's credentials have been compromised. Persona is able to analyze a user's interaction with their device and determine security risk. If the user exceeds the risk threshold, alerts are sent to the cloud and automated mitigation actions, such as prompting for second factor authentication, are taken.
  • Insider Threats – Protecting an organization from rogue employees by continuously analyzing their behaviour and determining if their actions seem malicious. If an employee's usage patterns deviate from their usual behaviour, Persona will identify and flag the risk. Alerts and proactive actions will be taken, based on administrator-defined policy.
  • Physical Compromises – Protecting employees and organizations against attacks where the device has been physically compromised and/or stolen. If unauthorized users gain access to the endpoint, its biometric capabilities (e.g. keystroke, mouse) can sense a different user and send alerts or lock the device. These actions happen automatically at the endpoint and do not require network connection or interaction with the cloud.

“For organizations that are adopting a Zero Trust model, BlackBerry Persona removes the friction of unnecessary re-authentication by continuously verifying a user's identity after log-in,” said Frank Cotter, senior vice president of product management at BlackBerry.

“With continuous authentication, it uses behaviour analysis to recognize software usage patterns and determine what behavior is high or low risk in real time.

Meanwhile, Frank Dickson, program vice president of cybersecurity products at IDC, said “it has long been a puzzle why we place sophisticated endpoint security platforms on devices but allowed a simple username and password to easily bypass that protection.

“We have long advocated for embedded user authentication while not impacting user experience, applying modern technology to continually validate a user. Building authentication into the endpoint places a strong cybersecurity control at a critical control point; it's a no brainer!”

BlackBerry Persona Desktop is available as part of BlackBerry Cyber Suite, a new package that contains endpoint protection (EPP), mobile threat defense (MTD), endpoint detection and response (EDR), and user and entity behaviour analytics (UEBA) products in a single suite.

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