With the recent expansion in the use of wearable technology, a large number of users access personal data with these smart devices. The consumer market of wearables includes smartwatches, health and fitness bands, and gesture control armbands. These smart devices enable users to communicate with each other, control other devices, relax and work out more effectively. As part of their functionality, these devices store, transmit, and/or process sensitive user personal data, perhaps biological and location data, making them an abundant source of confidential user information. Thus, prevention of unauthorized access to wearables is necessary. In fact, it is important to effectively authenticate users to prevent intentional misuse or alteration of individual data. Current authentication methods for the legitimate users of smart wearable devices utilize passcodes, and graphical pattern based locks. These methods have the following problems: (1) passcodes can be stolen or copied, (2) they depend on conscious user inputs, which can be undesirable to a user, (3) they authenticate the user only at the beginning of the usage session, and (4) they do not consider user behavior or they do not adapt to evolving user behavior.
In this thesis, an approach is presented for developing software for continuous authentication of the legitimate user of a smart wearable device. With this approach, the legitimate user of a smart wearable device can be authenticated based on the user's behavioral biometrics in the form of motion gestures extracted from the embedded sensors of the smart wearable device. The continuous authentication of this approach is accomplished by adapting the authentication to user's gesture pattern changes. This approach is demonstrated by using two comprehensive datasets generated by two research groups, and it is shown that this approach achieves better performance than existing methods.