Three sneaky ways hackers break into phones

Three Sneaky Ways Hackers Break Into Phones

Here is a scary fact: According to one recent study, 47 percent of businesses that were surveyed had at least 1,000 sensitive files exposed to every employee while 22 percent of companies had 12,000 or more.

Does this sound a bit like your organization? Chances are likely that your employees have sensitive data floating around on their mobile devices, which could be easily extracted by a sophisticated hacker.

Unfortunately, smartphones are highly vulnerable to hacking. Here are three unexpected ways that a hacker could break into a mobile device and lift information for personal gain:

Number spoofing: What’s the easiest way to break into someone’s phone? As it turns out, you don’t have to breach their device at all. Now, hackers can download a spoofing or caller ID application to mask their telephone number and assume someone else’s. Hackers could use this strategy to trick employees into surrendering sensitive information via SMS.

Motion orientation sensors: Smartphones contain a major security flaw, in that mobile websites and applications do not need special permissions to access motion and orientation sensors.

As explained in Android Authority, hackers are now using device positioning and movement sensors to hack passwords. When a user taps, scrolls or presses on a screen, in other words, each movement will cause the person to hold the device a certain way and it can be easily observed by a snooping third party. This information is very valuable to a hacker. In one study, hackers were able to hack four-digit PINS with 70 percent accuracy the first time around, and 100 percent accuracy the second time.

Masterprints: Here at VoiceVault, we maintain that fingerprint sensors — though effective most of the time — should only be used in conjunction with other authentication solutions like voice biometrics. This is because they can be vulnerable to attacks. Researchers, for instance, recently discovered that smartphone fingerprint sensors could be fooled up to 65 percent of the time by “master prints” which are digitally rendered from common fingerprint readings.

So take our advice: It’s time to fortify your business’s mobile end points before one of your employees’ phones gets hacked.

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Avoid-Sacrificing-Speed-for-Security-with-Voice-Biometrics

Avoid Sacrificing Speed for Security with Voice Biometrics

As a contact center administrator, you’re seeking a voice biometric identity verification solution that will enable a secure, but convenient, phone-based login experience for your customers.

This is very important, as you don’t want to implement security with voice biometrics that customers will have a hard time using. This could result in a low user adoption rate.

As such, you have a tough decision to make: Should you opt for active or passive voice biometrics?

Active voice biometric authentication would require an end user to submit a correct voice sample every time he or she dials into the contact center. This is done by speaking a short phrase into the microphone.

Conversely, a passive system would require a customer to submit a single voiceprint during enrollment. No further samples would need to be given for subsequent logins, as the computer would naturally scan the user’s voice during a normal conversation with an agent. This type of enrollment takes about 45 seconds for the customer.

So, which is the better solution? The short answer is that it depends on your business’s needs. You can make a case for both kinds. But if there’s one thing you don’t want to base your security with voice biometrics decision on, it’s time savings.

Many people, in other words, think that passive authentication systems will lead to higher adoption rates because it saves the user time during the identity verification process. The truth, though, is that the difference between active and passive authentication comes down to just a few seconds. And most customers will dial into the contact center sporadically. It’s not usually an everyday task, and so a few seconds probably won’t be enough to annoy a customer.

To learn more information about VoiceVault’s solutions for contact centers, click here.

 

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Facebook Announces Plan to Retire Passwords

Facebook Announces Plan to Retire Passwords

Facebook made several exciting announcements at its recent F8 developer conference. There was the launch of Facebook Spaces, talk of augmented reality and some exciting new features for Messenger.

Our favorite announcement, though, came when Facebook announced a roadmap to transition users away from passwords.

The plan is not going to happen overnight, but Facebook has already started the process. At F8, the company launched a closed beta version of Delegated Account Recovery, which will provide login assistance for users on affiliated third party websites. This program will allow Facebook to act as a backup security key when users cannot access their accounts. Users who forget their passwords for other sites will be able to use knowledge-based questions (like photo recognition) to recover their accounts.

The goal is to limit the amount of personally-identifiable information that users have to distribute when logging into accounts.

“We want to make sure we can let you use [identifying] information to keep yourself secure, but not have to trade your privacy,” state Facebook security engineer Brad Hill. “Right now you tell your mother’s maiden name to 500 different places and if any one of them gets hacked, then you’re vulnerable everywhere.”

As of right now, developers must apply to use Facebook’s technology, but eventually it will be open-sourced.

Since the program is still in its beta version, that means there is plenty of room for growth and innovation. One way that Facebook can make this service even better is to add a voice biometric identity verification component. Voice authentication is one of the most convenient —and secure — ways to authenticate an end user.

Why not try the technology for yourself? To learn more about VoiceVault’s free trial for developers, click here. A free demo app is available here.

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Use Voice Biometrics To Enhance Smart Home Devices

Use Voice Biometrics To Enhance Smart Home Devices

What does it take to stand out in the saturated consumer IoT market?  It’s no longer good enough to just offer connected smart home devices. You need to go above and beyond in order to differentiate your solutions and win over customers. Otherwise, you’ll risk falling behind the competition – especially as the market continues to grow!

So, where should you focus your attention? There are two areas you should consider improving:

Ease of use: How do consumers interact with your products? Do they have to manually toggle through a built-in interface on a device? Or do they have to use a mobile interface? Both could prove to be burdensome. Think of a customer resting in his or her chair, and wanting to adjust the heat or lighting. The customer should be able to do so without getting up or picking up a phone.

Accessibility: Should everyone have unrestricted access to your products? Customers may not want children or elderly relatives using connected appliances or accessing certain areas of the house. And they should have the ability to protect them.

You can improve ease of use and accessibility by embedding voice biometric identity verification directly into the framework of your connected products. And VoiceVault can help.

VoiceVault offers embedded voice biometric authentication for smart home devices. You can use VoiceVault’s API for the following types of IoT systems:

  • Home entertainment
  • Utility management
  • Kitchen appliances
  • Security systems

To learn more information about how VoiceVault can enhance your products, click here.

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No Need to Be Exclusive About Mobile Identity Verification

No Need to Be Exclusive About Mobile Identity Verification

Imagine a large house, with multiple entrances. A well-balanced structure will have a combination of storm doors, sliding glass doors and wood fixtures all offering strong security as well as convenient access into the home. It’s rare to find a house with just one type of door.

In a mobile application, security checkpoints act like doorways into the software for customers. And just like architects have many different types of doors to choose from, developers have multiple biometric—or biological—options to layer on top of an application for mobile identity verification.

These can include:

Of course, these solutions all offer varying levels of convenience and security. Generally speaking, it’s difficult to say that any one is better or worse than another. For example, voice biometric identity verification is widely regarded as the most secure option of all of these; however, there are some environments where voice biometric authentication can actually be inconvenient for users — like in a noisy environment where it can be difficult for a microphone to pick up a clear voiceprint. In this case, a customer would be more apt to use a fingerprint or iris scanner to log into an account.

So as a developer, it’s best to take a multimodal approach to mobile identity verification. Offer your customers or coworkers a variety of options for logging in securely, and they will be more apt to actually turn them on and use them instead of bypassing them out of convenience. There is no need to be exclusive when it comes to biometric authentication.

To learn more about how voice biometric identity verification can fit into your multimodal authentication strategy, click here.

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bolster your cyberdefenses

Want To Bolster Your Cyberdefenses? Eliminate Complexities

If you have kids, then you know how tough it can be trying to keep your home free of safety hazards. It’s a constant battle making sure doors get locked, appliances get turned off and toys stay off the staircase. The bigger your house is, and the more kids you have, the harder the job can be.

It’s not much different trying to maintain cybersecurity in an enterprise when you have hundreds or thousands of employees to look after — each with private accounts and mobile devices containing sensitive company information.

It takes a great deal of oversight from IT to keep cybercriminals out of the network. Many organizations, however, are struggling to keep up.

In a recent study, for instance, 83 percent of businesses claimed they are at risk due to organizational and IT complexities. Employees, in other words, are choosing to circumvent cyberdefenses like passwords because they hinder productivity. And shadow IT is increasing as employees are choosing to use their own tools in the workplace without receiving consent from IT. In doing so, corporations are losing control over their digital assets.

Has your organization become too technologically complex? If so, it’s time to channel your inner parent and take action before it leads to a data breach.

Voice biometric identity verification can make the login process easier and more secure, as it will allow employees to access their accounts using their own voiceprints.

This will result in:

  • Fewer account lock-outs
  • No more passwords to remember (or to lose!)
  • A less disruptive login process
  • More protection when devices are lost or stolen

Want to see voice biometric identity verification in action? Check out VoiceVault’s free 45-day trial to see if it’s a good fit for your organization!

 

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UK-Banks-Be-Like-Barclays-and-Update-Your-Authentication-Technology

UK Banks: Be Like Barclays and Update Your Authentication Technology

Last year, Barclays sent shockwaves through the financial industry when the company gave customers the ability to use secure voiceprints to authenticate themselves during telephone banking sessions.

Now, countless organizations across the UK are following suit and considering abandoning passwords in favor of cutting-edge voice biometric identity verification solutions. Voice biometric identity verification is very user-friendly (the authentication process only takes a few seconds), and it provides customers with a much more secure solution for protecting their identities.

With a voice-protected account, in other words, a fraudster can have a customer’s full name, password and mailing address; but without the right voiceprint, her or she would not be able to gain access to the customer’s account. The voiceprint would have to be an exact match in order to grant the intruder access.
Unlike other types of biometric security solutions (like fingerprint or iris scanners), voiceprints cannot be easily spoofed. A voice biometric identity verification engine will scan for a variety of determining factors in order to accurately verify a customer’s identity.

So if your financial institution is still using outdated authentication technologies during telephone banking sessions, it’s time to be like Barclays and make the jump to a modern platform that can offer greater protection.

VoiceVault can work with your organization to integrate a customized, cloud-based voice biometric identity verification platform that meets even the most stringent security and compliance requirements. And you can even run a free, 45-day trial before you make a purchase to see if it’s a solid fit for your organization.

So make 2017 the year that you overhaul your authentication strategy and show your customers that you mean business about preventing fraud.

To learn more about how VoiceVault can help, click here.

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Migrating to Voice Biometrics Is Less Complicated Than You May Think

Migrating to Voice Biometrics Is Less Complicated Than You May Think

We already know what you’re thinking about the idea of migrating to voice biometrics as a security solution: How long will this project take?

After all, change at the corporate level can take eons. Meetings will need to take place, and committees will have to be formed before a new project can get underway. Research will need to be completed. Approvals may need to be acquired. And a  project that should take just a few weeks can stretch on forever.

Plus, as a developer you have a laundry list of other action items that require your full attention. So how on earth will you find the time for this project?

We can’t control your schedule, or how your organization operates. But we’ve done everything on our end to make the process of migrating to voice biometrics as easy and pain-free as possible. Our mobile voice biometric identity verification solution, ViGo, is based on ready-made configuration settings for plug-and-play delivery. This means less work for you, the developer. It’s a fast-to-market solution that is designed to streamline delivery so that businesses can get up and running as quickly as possible.

We also offer free 45-day trials for up to 100 users, for businesses that want to sample our solution before making a purchase. Developer licenses (3 months) and production licenses (1 year) are also available.

This means you can start using VoiceVault while your team decides whether voice biometric identity verification is the right choice. It’s a no-pressure solution, with minimal barriers to entry.

So whatever you do, don’t fear the process of migrating to voice biometrics. It’s not as painful as you may think! To learn more information, click here.

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Thwart E-commerce Fraud With Voice Biometric Identity Verification

Thwart E-commerce Fraud With Voice Biometric Identity Verification

Back in September, Experian reported that e-commerce fraud was on pace to surpass the total amount that was registered in 2015. While we’re still waiting on the year-end report to confirm, there’s one thing we know for certain: Online fraud is a major problem. And it shows no sign of slowing down next year.

So, how can your business stay safe against online fraud? Unfortunately, this is no easy task, as fraudsters are becoming increasingly successful in their efforts to obtain private information. In one type of attack, for instance, a fraudster may pose as a customer and attempt to swindle an unsuspecting agent into surrendering private information. In another attempt, a hacker will take aim at a customer or employee’s passwords, or use social engineering to gain access. There are countless techniques that are being used today, and new ones are constantly arising.

Voice biometric identity verification is one highly-effective tool that online businesses can use to eliminate fraud. It’s just one part of the mobile security puzzle, and won’t solve every security-related problem. But it’s a very effective technology for ensuring that only authorized users can access their accounts.

VoiceVault — a leading voice biometrics provider — can equip your business’s mobile application or call center with a solution that will require account holders to speak a short phrase into their device’s microphone when logging in. This technology will scan the user’s voiceprint for a variety of different metrics, in order to determine that the user is in fact authentic.

Your business does not have to be a victim to online fraud! With the help of VoiceVault, you can combat this costly problem and increase security in a way that is secure, and convenient.

To get started, click here.

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Natural Language and IoT Products Go Hand in Hand

Right now there is a “fourth industrial revolution” occurring, as the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to pick up speed. And according to a report from Opus Research, natural language will emerge as the main user interface behind the IoT.

The key takeaway from the report is that virtual assistants like Siri (Apple) and Alexa (Amazon) are conditioning consumers to trust conversational technologies. The concept of using voice-activated controls for authentication and navigation purposes is no longer considered disruptive or radical. Voice recognition is now a mainstream technology. And it’s forcing companies to form new strategies for customer support, branding, marketing, loyalty and e-commerce.

What’s more, the report explains, consumers now desire products that understand them. And consumers are disinclined to use technologies that require them to learn commands and mechanical usage instructions.

For this reason, Opus predicts that natural speech will become the primary method of user authentication for the IoT. This means you can expect to see more products like lights fixtures, stoves, security and entertainment systems that can be controlled with vocal commands.

This may sound intimidating if you have never worked with voice recognition software. Building IP-enabled products is one thing…but how on earth can you make them voice-activated?

The good news is that you don’t have to do any heavy lifting! You can outsource this process to a voice biometric authentication provider like VoiceVault. VoiceVault  offers custom voice biometric identity verification solutions that can be embedded into any device. VoiceVault offers accurate, and secure voice algorithms that run on small, integrated circuits (IC).

To discuss your embedded voice project, email info@voicevault.com.

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