Is Your Mobile Security Strategy Behind the Times?

Cybersecurity awareness is gaining a lot of traction these days, as business leaders are becoming increasingly attuned to the digital risks they face. One recent study, for instance, shows that 82 percent of company boards are now concerned about cybersecurity.

Despite this growing awareness, however, many businesses are still failing to protect one critical area of the enterprise: their mobile devices. They’re relying on mobile devices more than ever, yet they’re employing outdated, or in some cases virtually nonexistent, mobile security strategies.

Does this reflect what’s occurring in your organization? The truth is that if you’re not actively researching, assessing and planning security strategies with the vulnerability of your mobile devices in mind, then your network is vulnerable to intruders.

Take a moment and consider whether any of the below are characteristic of your current situation:

  • IT lacks a strong mobile management policy: Mobile devices are currently proliferating in your organization, and the traditional model of securing the “perimeter” of the business has been blurred, posing a challenge to your IT department. Your tech workers are struggling to apply a stagnant set of security controls to various makes and models of mobile devices, and control over them all is slipping. It may also be that IT is trying too hard, leading employees to frustration and a search for workarounds.
  • There is no mobile visibility: Does your IT department even know how many mobile devices are accessing your network on a daily basis? Your employees may or may not use their various devices for work each day, and some might be used more than others. You know that endpoint security solutions are critical to maintaining a secure network, but keeping tabs on every relevant device is becoming next to impossible.
  • Your company is still relying on passwords: Passwords are fast becoming an outdated method of protection because they present an easy target for hackers. Most of your employees are likely using the same password for multiple accounts, or passwords that are easy to crack. Usernames, which often accompany passwords, are just as troublesome. Often it takes only one username/password combination to access multiple accounts shared on one computer.

If any of these situations apply to your business, it’s time for a mobile security update. Enter voice biometrics, a simple, convenient and secure choice for protecting sensitive data. By measuring the pitch, tone, and rhythm of a person’s speech, identity is verified, providing unparalleled—and effortless—protection against mobile cyber attacks. A digital voiceprint is unique to every person, and cannot easily be taken away, lost, counterfeited, or forgotten.

If mobile security is becoming an obstacle to productivity in your organization, VoiceVault can help. Be proactive and meet today’s challenges head-on. Find out if voice biometric identify verification software is right for you.

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Avoid This Critical Digital Security Mistake in Your Enterprise

Think back to your first day at your current job, when you were given a computer and/or mobile device. Did you have to sign a safe usage or digital security policy? Did your IT department even make clear what is allowed on company-owned equipment? The answer is most likely no. You simply logged on and got to work without any briefing from your IT manager, who trusted that, as a professional, you would know how to conduct yourself online.

This sort of oversight—and it is an oversight—represents a common paradox occurring in many enterprises today in regard to cybersecurity policies. That is, IT managers assume that employees are engaging in safe usage policies online, and workers think IT is working overtime to keep their devices protected. Research, for instance, shows that 87 percent of workers believe that it’s the IT department’s job to keep them protected.

As a result of this disconnect, many enterprises are much less safe than workers or IT managers may think.

It’s time, therefore, to take initiative and clamp down on security gaps in your enterprise. A great place to start is by making sure that your business has a robust mobile identity verification strategy in place. Establish a policy that employees must use strong authentication to protect their mobile devices by using the built-in security features like passwords and PINs or, if available, voice biometrics.

Then, go a step further and integrate a voice biometrics engine directly into the framework of your business’s mobile application. This way, all corporate assets stored or accessed on employee mobile devices will be protected by unique end-user voiceprints.

VoiceVault can work with your team of developers to help you build a secure voice biometrics solution. Click here for more information.

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Renew Your Vow to Improve Mobile Security in Your Enterprise

It’s time we had a little talk about your business’s mobile security plan.

Earlier this year, after a series of high profile data breaches exposed troves of sensitive information from Anthem, CVS and the IRS, you panicked and vowed to take advanced measures to thwart a cyberattack in your own company. Your plan was to start by implementing a robust mobile authentication policy.

Now it’s December and nothing has changed in regard to your strategy. Your end users are still utilizing archaic password systems to protect their mobile accounts.

Why is this a problem? It’s because data is a hot commodity due to its tremendous value. Research shows that stolen individual health credentials go for about $10 each on the black market. A PayPal or eBay account will fetch $27. And a fresh credit card can sell for as much as $45.

What should be becoming clearer to you, then, is that hackers are after your private information. If you give them enough time—and fail to take the proper security precautions—your organization will eventually be breached.

So, how do you begin to protect your data?

One easy way you can overhaul mobile security in your enterprise is by implementing first-class voice biometric identity verification. By using an application like ViGo from VoiceVault, you can obtain secure and affordable voice-activated protection with little to no hassle. ViGo can be easily added onto your mobile application’s login screen so that end users must speak a phrase or series of digits into their microphone to gain entry into their accounts. ViGo can also be supplemented with multifactor security for advanced protection beyond voice biometrics.

Want to get a better sense of how ViGo works? Why not try it out for yourself?

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Digital Consumers Are Growing Weary of Passwords

Consumer trust in usernames and passwords for digital identity verification purposes finally appears to be eroding, a study from Accenture shows. 77 percent of digital consumers, in fact, claimed in the Accenture report that they would be interested in alternative online identity verification solutions.

Why are digital consumers tiring of passwords? Sixty percent of respondents surveyed claimed that usernames and passwords are cumbersome to use. We’ve all experienced the pangs of typing in the wrong credentials, for instance, and getting locked out of our accounts. It’s a frustrating and time-consuming process.

Further, consumers are also worried about issues related to identity—and device—theft and, therefore, want access to a more robust form of identity verification. Usernames and passwords have proven to be highly susceptible to unauthorized third-party break-ins.

One viable alternative to usernames and passwords is biometric identity verification, that is, using a unique, personal identifying characteristic to gain entry into a mobile device. As the report shows, 58 percent of consumers plan to use a form of biometrics—such as a voice, finger or retina scan—within the next year.

It should be noted that out of all of the digital biometric identity verification solutions available for mobile devices and applications, voice biometrics is the most secure. In fact, it’s just about impossible to spoof a voiceprint based on the fact that it measures a wide range of physical and behavioral end-user characteristics.

Further, voiceprints are very convenient; an end user simply has to speak a phrase or series of digits into the microphone of a device in order to use it. A mobile voice biometric identity verification solution like ViGo by VoiceVault can work on any device, regardless of make or model.

Click here to learn more about ViGo.

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What Does Your App’s Identity Verification System Say About Your Company?

You just created a highly advanced next-generation application that is almost perfectly designed. It’s fast, reliable and it looks sleek, too. There’s only one catch: While your application mirrors the type of efficiency one would expect to see in an application in 2015, it’s still using the same type of outdated identity verification technology that companies have been using to authenticate end users for several decades: usernames and passwords.

Rest assured, however, you’re not the only developer employing this retro approach to security. Many still fail to see the disconnect between their advanced, modern applications and their inefficient login systems, which are not only inconvenient for end users but also highly susceptible to hacking.

Recently, Tech in Asia touched on this very problem in an article by Meghna Rao.

“In a world where I can have groceries, laundry and transportation delivered to my doorstep with the swipe of a finger, the one thing stopping me from living a life out of ‘The Jetsons’ is the fact that all of these conveniences require that I go through an antiquated payment process,” said Rao.

The author went on to explain how one company, VoiceVault partner SayPay Technologies—a mobile payment solutions provider— was able to correct this problem by using voice biometric identity verification.

As the article described, SayPay uses voice biometric identity verification technology to scan an end user’s voiceprint for its unique pattern, sound and rhythm. The great part about SayPay’s voice-activated payment solution is that any smartphone can utilize it. It doesn’t require an advanced Touch ID sensor—as fingerprint scanners do—or even a camera. The only tool that is needed is a microphone—a tool that comes with every phone.

Look to SayPay Technologies as an example of how voice biometrics can improve your own application. Will you continue to rely on outdated security methods or turn to a more secure—and user-friendly—solution like voice biometrics?

Click here to learn why you should take the latter approach to mobile application security.

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Worried About Speaking Your Passcode Aloud in Public? Don’t Be!

As you can imagine, the concept of speaking a passcode aloud in public (especially in highly trafficked areas such as work environments, shopping centers and train stations) can be a bit nerve-wracking for people who are afraid of being overheard and having their identities stolen.

The truth, however, is that there is no reason to be afraid of speaking your passcode aloud in public. In fact, you could walk up to strangers on the street and tell them your passcode—and they still wouldn’t be able to crack into your account.

Here’s why:

With VoiceVault’s mobile solution, ViGo, all of our customers select passcodes from a list predetermined by our client!

That’s because when using ViGo, it’s not the actual phrase that matters, it’s how you say the phrase. ViGo is designed to measure the unique identifying traits that shape your voice, like the size of your nasal tract, the tone and inflection of your voice and your accent. It also takes into account how fast you speak, including the average amount of time between your words.

So, while the act of randomly speaking full sentences or digits into your mobile device may take some getting used to—it can be awkward at first—rest assured that nobody could lift your credentials in passing if they tried. In fact, you could make the argument that it’s actually safer to let others around you know that you are using voice biometrics as it could deter would-be thieves from trying to steal your device (since they couldn’t gain entry).

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What Financial Executives Are Asking About Voice Biometrics

Right now there is widespread mistrust among consumers about using mobile devices to access financial services like banking and payment applications. In fact, according to the Consumers and Mobile Financial Services 2015 report from the US Federal Reserve, 62 percent of users claimed that security concerns prevented them from using mobile banking. And 59 percent of users claimed that security concerns prevented them from engaging in mobile payments.

Many companies are therefore considering voice biometric identity verification as a way to enforce tighter security during customer logins. Here are some common questions that customers in the financial services industry have been asking us recently about voice biometrics:

Is voice biometric authentication more secure than passwords? The short answer… yes. While just about any password can be hacked, voiceprints are much more difficult to replicate. That’s because voice biometrics assess a combination of unique identifying factors like the size and shape of a person’s nasal tract and the tone of his or her voice. Voice biometrics can also be fortified with multifactor authentication solutions like swipe patterns and security questions for added protection.

How will my customers react? A major benefit to a cloud-based voice biometric identity verification solution, like ViGo from VoiceVault, is that it can be integrated slowly and scaled up if desired. VoiceVault, in fact, offers a 45-day trial period where you can download ViGo and decide if it’s right for your organization. It’s a pressure-free way to try voice biometrics in your organization.  

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How To Convince Your Boss To Invest In Mobile Voice Biometrics

At this point in the purchasing process, you’re already convinced that voice biometric identity verification would be a great fit for your organization. Now comes the challenging part: Convincing your boss to say yes to mobile voice biometrics and make the investment.

What’s the best way to go about this?

A natural place to start the conversation would be to talk about the volatile Internet landscape. Chances are more than likely that your boss is already concerned about cybersecurity, and is well-aware about the risks facing the enterprise. After all, cybersecurity is now as much of a problem for the C-suite as it is for the IT department. You can mention how cyber crime is responsible for the net loss of about 200,000 jobs alone in the U.S. every year, and costs businesses between $365 and $575 billion annually.

You can also mention how all it takes is one attack to compromise the digital security of the entire organization. As we saw in the case of Target, whose credit card machines were hacked in 2013, the aftermath of an attack can be devastating. When all was said and done, Target’s data breach cost the company $162 million.

After you set the stage by talking about the current threats facing your organization, talk about the need to invest in not just any product on the market, but one that can provide a cost-effective and secure solution. Voice biometrics is the ideal package in that it can be built directly into your business’s application, thus sparing you a large capital expenditure; you won’t, in other words, have to go out and buy new mobile devices with built-in fingerprint scanners. A voice biometrics solution can be built directly into your mobile application and used in conjunction with device microphones.

If your boss is still not swayed about the benefits of voice biometrics, you can mention how VoiceVault is offering a risk-free, 45-day trial package for developers that will allow you to test the solution in your enterprise without pressure. For more information about how this process works, click here.

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Security: Still A Major Barrier In Mobile Banking

In a recent post, we discussed the issue that many businesses are facing in regards to convincing consumers to embrace mobile payment services. For mobile banking to enjoy widespread adoption, consumers have to overcome their worry about security and privacy and the right technology can help consumers sidestep these concerns.

That being said, if the majority of consumers are still untrustworthy of making payments via smartphones, it should come as no surprise to learn that trust in mobile banking has come to a standstill as well.

Recent research shows that 52 percent of smartphone owners who own a bank account made at least one mobile banking transaction in 2014. And nearly two-thirds of consumers who did not use mobile banking claimed that security concerns (i.e. hacking, or theft) was a major contributing factor.

With this in mind, financial institutions need to embrace a next-generation approach to mobile identity verification if they hope to increase interest in mobile banking among consumers. It’s clear that antiquated authentication methods like passwords and PINs are not just unsafe, but they are also being viewed as unsecure by the general public.

Voice biometric identity verification, by comparison, is an easy and reliable way that consumers can access mobile bank accounts. By simply reciting a short phrase into the microphone of a smartphone, consumers can safeguard against unauthorized user entry in a way that is quick and easy. While passwords are difficult to enter, not conducive to on-the-go access and also prone to locking end users out after repeated incorrect entries, voice biometrics are highly accurate and simple to use.

Click here to learn more about how voice-based mobile identity verification can help financial institutions make their mobile payment options more appealing to consumers.

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Five Tips for a Successful Voice Biometrics Deployment

When it comes time to implement a new voice biometric identity verification solution in your enterprise, you don’t want to rush the process by investing in the wrong solution. End-user authentication is a process that you want to take seriously, as your security solution will be responsible for safeguarding all of your organization’s sensitive mobile data.

Here are five voice biometrics deployment tips to guide you across the enterprise:

  • Shop around: Not all voice biometrics solutions are created equal, as some are difficult to integrate into your system. Find a provider that you know will outfit your company with a reliable and flexible solution.
  • Educate your end users: Once you find a voice biometrics provider that you would like to work with, spend some time educating your end users about the new authentication changes that will be taking place. Have a meeting about the issue with your staff, and let your end users know that it’s time to start taking mobile security seriously. Let them know how voice biometrics will help.
  • Plan ahead: Assess your organization’s needs so that you have an idea of what investments to make and deploy across the enterprise. Come up with a firm number for how many end users the solution must support and how many devices each user brings into play. Once you know these figures, you will have a better idea of the type of solution that will be right for your business.
  • Test your solution: The last thing you want to do is enter into a binding contract with a security vendor only to find out afterward that it’s not a great fit. Find a vendor that will allow you to thoroughly vet your solution, such as with a free trial.
  • Encourage multifactor use: Let your employees know that voice biometrics can be used in conjunction with other multifactor security options like passwords and PINs. If you need to demonstrate the necessity of multifactor security, look no further than the recent data heist at the IRS for an example. Experts believe that if multifactor security had been deployed on IRS employee mobile devices, hackers would have been less able to break in and obtain access to hundreds of thousands of taxpayer accounts.

Download the Mobile Voice Biometrics White Paper

Or download the ViGo, Mobile Voice Biometrics, Demo App
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