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Blockchain Technology: It’s A Start

At the recent Money20/20 conference in Las Vegas, it was hard to walk two feet in any direction without hearing the word “blockchain.” Blockchain architecture is being hailed as a revolutionary technology and a major disruptor across just about every industry — particularly in finance.

But what is it, and why is it receiving so much attention right now?

A blockchain is a never-ending, distributed transaction ledger. Blockchains are managed autonomously, without the need for a central authority. They can be either public, or private. Many companies are turning to blockchains to streamline transactions, and to reduce costs and complexities.

Blockchains are also more secure than centralized databases, because they cannot be easily modified. The distributed architecture of a blockchain eliminates the threat of someone exploiting the database from a single point of entry.

If your business is considering implementing blockchain architecture, that’s a great start in safeguarding your data. But it won’t solve your user authentication problems. For example, while a blockchain setup can protect your business from unauthorized data tampering, it won’t protect your business from users making fraudulent transactions.

To nip the problem in the bud, you’ll want to couple your blockchain with a strong mobile voice biometric authentication solution.

Why use voice biometric authentication to secure your mobile accounts? A voice biometric engine will analyze a user’s voiceprint at the time of login and scan for a variety of determining factors before granting him or her entry.

With a voice biometric authentication solution in place, you can rest assured that all transactions within your blockchain are placed intentionally.

Are you to new to voice biometrics? Try a demo for yourself, and you will see just how easy and secure it is. To get started, click here.

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Signatures Should Never Slow Down Transactions

Up until this point, your business has been requiring customers to submit “wet,” or ink-based signatures for certain transactions.

This is a highly inefficient process, for the following reasons:

It delays the transaction: Wet signatures must often be sent through the mail, received and processed before they can be finalized. In some cases, it can take several days or weeks to receive a wet signature and finalize a transaction. Aside from delaying closings, this process can also give customers the chance to reconsider their commitments.

It’s inconvenient for the customer: Transactions should also be painless. If at all possible, customers should not have to be physically present when authorizing transactions. There’s nothing worse than having to travel long distances to close deals.

It’s risky: Paper documents can be lost, stolen, destroyed or manipulated.

So, what can you do to abandon wet signatures?

You should look into voice biometric identity verification.

VoiceVault’s e-signature technology can be used to enforce legally binding transactions. It’s recognized as legally binding under the E-Sign Act. It’s also compliant with HIPAA/ CMS, DOI, FDA 21CFR Part II and the EU Directive 1993/93/EC.

How does it work? It’s simple: All a customer has to do is speak a short phrase into the microphone of his or her device. VoiceVault’s voice biometric identity verification engine will then scan the customer’s voiceprint and asses a variety of different factors to determine if it is authentic.

Using VoiceVault’s e-signature solution, your business can expedite sales and improve the customer experience.

Want to learn more information? For more information, click here. You can also request a demo today!
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Voice Biometrics and Omnichannel Shopping: They Go Hand in Hand

Voice Biometrics and Omnichannel Shopping: They Go Hand in Hand

Your company has omnichannel fever. Sales, engineering and marketing are working together to create a seamless shopping experience across all channels—from your main website to your mobile applications. And in doing so, the team is leaving no stone unturned.

Now, it’s time to consider how your identity verification setup aligns with your omnichannel strategy.

Login, after all, is a big part of the shopping experience for customers. Customers must verify their identities every time they switch devices or attempt to access secure areas. So the type of login that you choose can either help or hinder the omnichannel process.

A traditional login experience – meaning one that uses usernames and passwords – will act as a barrier for customers. It may even deter some customers from using certain channels. For example, if a customer has a complicated password and lengthy username, he or she may have to write down their login credentials. And that customer may be less inclined to use your mobile channels while they are on-the-go.

One user-friendly alternative you should consider is voice biometric identity verification.

A voice-based authentication system will work across all of your channels—providing a simple, safe and consistent login experience for your customers. Instead of having to manually type in a password and username at every checkpoint, all your customers will have to do is recite a short phrase into his or her phone. A cloud-based voice biometric engine will then scan the customer’s voiceprint and grant login if the credentials are a perfect match.

Voice-based authentication is the ideal identity verification solution for shoppers, as it’s non-invasive and extremely convenient. The process only takes a few seconds.

Want to see how easy the process is? Click here to try a free demo.

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Worried How Your Customers Will React if you Abandon Passwords?

You and your stakeholders want to move forward with mobile voice biometric identity verification. There is just one thing holding your business back. That is, fear about how your customers – who have long been using passwords – will react.

We understand this challenge. Your customers, are all familiar with passwords. And they may be reluctant to abandon them in favor of a new technology.

You can sway their opinions by communicating the following points:

It’s similar to using a traditional password: The voice authentication process still involves entering a code to gain access to an account. It’s just a different method of doing so. Instead of typing in numbers and letters, the user speaks a short phrase.

Customers can still use traditional passwords: Voice biometric authentication does not have to fully replace passwords. They can be used together for additional security. This is called multifactor authentication.

It’s much faster: Voice biometric authentication takes just a few seconds.  Plus, it completely eliminates time-consuming problems like forgetting credentials and getting locked out.

The process is safer: A traditional password can easily be stolen or spoofed by a hacker. A voiceprint, however, cannot be stolen or spoofed. It is too complex.

Traditional passwords are being phased out: Businesses everywhere are moving on from passwords. In fact, 66 percent of enterprises are currently phasing out passwords and even usernames.

Keep in mind that change and innovation is always met with a bit of resistance at first. By implementing voice biometric identity verification, your company will greatly enhance its mobile security strategy. And customers will soon see how much easier and user-friendly the process is.

 

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Encourage Digital Identity Cleanup Day in Your Enterprise

Keeping employees physically healthy is an important part of office life. But how healthy is the digital health of your employees? With much of our business—and lives—conducted online today, keeping employees and their digital identity safe and secure on the Internet is now turning into a big challenge for IT managers across the globe.

So, why not make it an HR issue, too? Here are a few ways that your HR team can get involved to promote safe Internet use both in the office and for remote workers:

Hold regular identity awareness meetings: With so much conflicting advice on the Internet, it’s important to have scheduled group get-togethers  to discuss issues such as the latest strands of malware and industry-wide security threats, as well as to offer ways of combating them. Encourage employees to discuss best practices to help make identity awareness a major part of routine maintenance in your company.

Encourage consolidation: Try offering an identity consolidation solution for your employees such as single sign on or a federated identity. This type of identity consolidation can allow employees to sign into different sites, or different departments of your enterprise, using a single identity. An example of this would be signing into your Gmail or Yahoo accounts—or many other sides—using a Facebook password. This helps prevent employees from losing track of accounts and identities as they spread their image across the Web.

Focus on end-points: Make sure employees are aware that if they are using a mobile device to connect to a company application or database, they are in fact accessing an end point and could pose a legitimate security risk. Recommend using voice biometric identity verification in conjunction with fingerprint scanners, passwords and security questions to prevent unauthorized parties from gaining access.

We want to know: What does your enterprise do to protect the digital identity of its employees? Tweet us your suggestions! #digitalidentity

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This is What a Poor Login Experience Looks Like

Your business is striving to create optimal experiences across all customer touchpoints. And there is one area that needs some attention: your mobile login process.

What’s the problem with your current login setup? It’s based on username and password type entries. It’s an outdated, clunky and frustrating process, which also happens to be insecure.

Here is a common chain of events which can occur when a customer tries to login into his or her account:

  1. Forgets username/password: The average customer has many different online accounts. Most have varying username and password combinations which are difficult to remember.
  2. Fails security questions: What happens when a customer can’t remember a username or password? The customer must request help via email. Yet in order to receive assistance, the customer has to answer security questions correctly. This can create further complications.
  3. Tries random combinations: If a customer can’t get past the security questions segment, he or she will most likely attempt to enter random username and password combinations hoping to strike the right one. This is usually a last ditch effort.
  4. Gets locked out: Finally, the inevitable happens: The customer exceeds the allowed number of login failures, and gets locked out of the account. The customer must then call customer service. This adds even more time to the login process. In some cases, the customer must wait until the following business day to speak with customer support, or wait 24 hours to try again.

As you can see, this type of login system does little to promote a positive customer experience.

Conversely, a voice biometric-based login is much simpler. All the customer has to do is speak a short phrase into a mobile microphone.

That’s all it takes. If the voiceprint is an exact match, the customer will be allowed into his or her account.

So let’s bring your mobile identity verification strategy into the 21st century. Click here to learn more about how VoiceVault, a global leader in voice biometrics, can help.

 

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Better Biometrics: Why Voice Comes Out Ahead

Are you having a difficult time trying to decide between voice biometric identity verification and competing biometrics?

If so, consider this:

A new study from Forrester Research shows that voice biometrics has the most potential among all biometric options.  Here’s why:

  • Voiceprints are almost impossible to spoof. You’ve heard about the hacker who recreated fingerprints from a high-definition photograph. How about the biometrics specialist who printed the iris data of a German chancellor onto a contact lens? There’s also a method to defeat 3D facial recognition using a papier mache mask.

Unlike a fingerprint, which is basically just an image that can be duplicated, a voiceprint contains many different identifying factors like pitch, tone and the average amount of time between words. All of these elements make a voiceprint exceptionally difficult to reverse engineer.

  • Voice biometrics are highly secure. Other biometric data can easily be stolen and used against you. This became clear in 2015, when the Chinese took possession of 6 million fingerprints belonging to U.S. government workers. And the FBI has a face-recognition database containing as many as 411.9 million images. All of this data could potentially put people’s identities at risk.

It’s impossible to steal a voiceprint. There is nothing to take. Even if a hacker were to illegally access a voiceprint in a computer file, the data would appear as a meaningless string of numbers.

  • Voice biometrics can be reset if necessary. The biggest consumer fear about biometrics in general is that if someone obtains a biometric sample they can use it to launch continuous attacks against you in the future.

Voice biometric identity verification eliminates this risk. You can’t reset a fingerprint, but you can reset a voiceprint. If a breach occurs, users can re-register with a new passphrase and voice sample. Your original voiceprint would be useless to thieves. That’s simply not possible with any other type of biometrics.

If you want a security solution that customers can feel good about, contact VoiceVault today.

 

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Understanding How Voice Biometrics Fits Into the Contact Center

Is your call center still using knowledge-based authentication to screen callers? If so, you’re exposing your contact center—and your customers—to an unnecessary amount of risk.

Contact centers are under significant attack from fraudsters these days. The amount of money being lost to fraud is higher than ever before. The productivity of call center agents is being largely swallowed up by customer identification processes. And customer satisfaction is dwindling as well, with too many challenge questions getting in the way of the process.

Fortunately, there is a solution in voice biometric identity verification.

Voice authentication is appealing for a number of reasons. First and foremost, the identification process is easy and natural. Simply speaking a phrase into the phone is enough to get the job done. In fact, a recent Forrester report named voice biometrics a key component of a 2016 trend to reduce friction in the customer experience. It also saves agents from the burden of having to determine whether or not a caller is genuine.

VoiceVault in particular is able to detect 99.98 percent of voice recordings submitted to our voice biometric engine. No matter what level of distortion a fraudster applies, the detection rate remains the same. This level of accuracy, especially as part of a multi-factor authentication solution, is all the security you need to combat call center fraud.

Voice biometrics is poised to become the standard for identity verification in contact centers across all industries. Banks are leading the charge, but other industries are following suit, including government agencies and healthcare organizations.

Find out more about voice biometrics and how it works here.

 

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Leaked Passwords Are the Root Cause of Most Data Breaches

Right now every organization across the globe is vulnerable to data breaches. Consider the fact that in 2015 alone, there were 64,199 security incidents spread across 82 countries.

What’s interesting is that there is a striking similarity throughout the majority of confirmed breaches: 63 percent of confirmed attacks in 2015 involved weak or stolen passwords. Even Mark Zuckerberg was recently hacked due to a weak password.

So, what can be done to fix the problem of data breaches? It’s not just a matter of improving password strength. New types of malware, after all, are capable of breaking even sophisticated passwords. Businesses must therefore think beyond passwords, and embrace next-generation technologies to fortify their accounts.

Voice biometric identity verification is one such technology. An increasing number of organizations are now using voice biometrics to bolster their password system—or get rid of it altogether.

With a voice-based login system, your company can authenticate users through natural voice patterns. The unique characteristics of people’s voices make it extraordinarily difficult—if not impossible—to hack. With just a few seconds of speech, authentication is confirmed, and business proceeds as usual.

Best of all, there’s nothing for employees or customers to remember, and no extra equipment is needed.

So take steps now to address the weakest link in your information security measures. VoiceVault can work with you to build a better solution. Click here for more information.

 

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The End of SMS-Based Two-Factor Authentication Is Near—Are You Ready?

If your business is using out-of-band SMS messaging in addition to passwords to secure customer transactions, you’ve officially been warned: SMS two-factor authentication is risky.

Companies have been using SMS to distribute one-time “secret” passcodes for many years. In fact, it’s the most popular anti-fraud method used by businesses today.

That’s all about to change.

Recently the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) issued its latest draft of the Digital Authentication Guideline. The document warns that SMS-based authentication messages are insecure, saying that it is too easy for hackers to intercept or redirect messages. There is also no way to verify that the intended recipient is in possession of the phone.

According to NIST, “OOB [out of band verification] using SMS is deprecated, and will no longer be allowed in future releases of this guidance.”

One suggested alternative is voice biometric identity verification.

People typically think of fingerprints when they hear biometrics, but voice biometrics is a better solution. Fingerprints are more easily compromised by thieves. In contrast, voiceprints must meet a number of specific vocal requirements, including the pitch and tone of a person’s voice. In other words—a voiceprint is extremely difficult to reverse engineer.

Voice biometrics is also easier to administer, requiring only a few seconds of speech into a mobile phone.

VoiceVault’s voice biometric out-of-band authentication solution is the safest alternative available. It uses an out-of-band call to a user-registered phone number, or an Android/iOS smartphone-based app. Only the genuine account holder can complete the transaction by authenticating it with his or her voice. If the rightful owner is not in possession of the phone, the fraudulent transaction will be stopped before it starts.

Switch to voice biometrics now and send a strong message to your customers: Your protection is our priority. To find out more about VoiceVault’s out-of-band authentication solution, click here.

 

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