Pre-loaded Malware Discovered on New Android Devices

So, you’ve just bought a new mobile device and you are ready to get started making calls, sending text messages and watching movies. But before you do anything, STOP! Your device could already be infected with malware.

Sources indicate that certain mobile devices are now coming embedded with malicious malware disguised in applications such as Netflix. There have been multiple phones identified to have pre-installed software disguised as normal applications but that actually serve as portals to cyber criminals located in Russia and China, among other countries. While the sources are generally unknown, it is suspected that these applications are installed along the supply chain and are then shipped out to unsuspecting end users after quality control checks have been performed.

Best practices for mobile safety therefore include checking the device thoroughly and performing routine inspection once you receive it. Even if the device is bought brand new, removing applications and re-installing them could prevent the theft of your sensitive information or money. Be on the lookout for strange applications, and make sure to consult with company officials or user guides before engaging with any unfamiliar application.

Remember: Voice biometric identity verification is a very important step in the mobile security process, but there are a whole other host of factors at work too.  Always keep a watchful eye on your mobile device and make sure to report suspicious or malevolent looking applications.

For more information about how VoiceVault can help keep your device safe from intruders, click here.

 

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Best Practices for Safeguarding Digital Information on Your Mobile Device

Up until recently, IT managers have been advised that mobile devices are much more secure than desktops for a variety of factors such as secure containers and digital certificates. But now, things have changed as malware has gone mobile. Even elements that have traditionally made a mobile device more secure are being tested in the ongoing battle against viruses and worms.

Here are some best practices that your enterprise can promote to end users to ensure that mobile devices stay safe and sound when accessing sensitive company information:

Watch for important system updates: Just recently, Apple made headlines when it announced that its iOS versions 6.1.5 and 7.0.4 as well as its OS X 10.9.0 and 10.9.1 were flawed. As a result, user data was likely exposed to millions of people for up to several weeks or even months. Recently, however, the company released a patch designed to update the system. Make sure to alert your end users of important system updates as they arise so that they are well aware of important changes.

Don’t download questionable apps: Make sure that employees are aware that downloading suspicious or unknown apps could lead to viruses and malware. Just because an app is available for purchase in an official software app store doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily safe.

Protect your physical device: Always remember to install multifactor security elements to beef up protection as well as to prevent unauthorized users from hacking into the network. Mobile identity verification can come in the form of voice recognition software, fingerprint scanners, passwords and security questions.

Remember: your users’ end points are your company’s end points. Make sure to nip the problem in the bud to protect the mobile devices that connect to your enterprise.

 

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Are You Backing Up Your Data with Multi-factor Security?

You take mobile identity verification seriously in your enterprise. For this reason, your company is looking for a cost-effective, easy-to-access security solution when logging into company applications over mobile devices.

For this reason, voice recognition software is great. But here at VoiceVault, we preach to all of our customers just how imperative it is to invest in multi-factor security when using it. Here are some of the reasons why your mobile identity verification solution needs to be backed up by a multi-factor approach:

1. Voice biometrics will sometimes be inappropriate: Face it: not every situation will allow you to use your voice to unlock your phone. This is one of the most common questions that customers ask us about the product. Sometimes, an operation will call for complete silence when logging into your device. Therefore, it’s important to have an override in place such as a security key or password that will allow you access without speaking into your mobile device.

2. Voice biometrics are a bit sensitive: Best practices when setting up your mobile identity verification software call for installing it in the type of environment you will be using it in. That’s because the software will take this into consideration when you use it. For instance, if you are a working in a quiet office you do not want to set up your solution in a construction zone where it is noisy or the system could be tricked when you try to log in. This could cause some minor log in issues and so having a multifactor approach will help allow easy access should you be denied.

3. You need risk management: Have at least three factors in place in case your voice biometric system fails and your second-factor security solution should become compromised. The likelihood of all three steps being broken is unlikely—but one or two could potentially become unlocked. Your data is too sensitive to rely on any one solution.

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Voice Biometric Mobile Security

If there is any lesson to be learned from the recent widespread Target identity theft heist, it is that identities—both corporate and personal—are now at a greater risk than they have ever been. It is no longer possible to sit back and hope that you do not get hit with an attack. Businesses and end users now require advanced voice biometric mobile security solutions for mitigating the risk of identity theft.

Unfortunately, this is often easier said than done. Traditionally, businesses have been slow to adapt to new digital security measurements due to the fact that such actions typically impede business processes and create hassles for end users. A typical end user moving between five or six apps on a mobile device, for instance, currently requires few barriers during the authentication practice. This is where voice biometric mobile security comes in.

Voice biometric identity verification fortifies digital security features for mobile apps. Employees that use this technology can rest easy when accessing proprietary apps and services such as email and databases as the solution works by prompting a user to speak a phrase and will only unlock the device should there be an exact biometric match.

A big boon of voice biometric mobile security is that the technology is both cost-effective and easy to deploy on a mobile device. It is generally designed to be used in multifactor authentication solution that typically also involves the use of other security measures such as PINs, passwords and swiping as a fallback mechanism if the biometric verification fails for whatever reason (too much environmental noise for example).

Do you want to enhance your three factor authentication plan with voice biometric identity verification? Please click here to learn more about how you can secure your company applications and services across every mobile device your employees use.

 

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2014 Resolution: I will Invest in Voice Biometric Solutions for my Company

When the ball drops over Time Square this holiday season and we ring in a brand new year, businesses will join individuals in putting together their New Year’s Resolution lists, hopeful for a better 2014. But when the celebration stops and executives actually get down to business, here is one thing that you will want to make sure to invest in for your company: voice biometric solutions for identity verification.

These days, companies are continually facing threats related to mobile identity security, due to the prevalence of consumer information across the Internet. These threats, which include malevolent activity such as social engineering and phishing attacks, are easy to unleash and capable of wreaking havoc over a network. Should a criminal gain access to someone’s private information, it can be easily used to gain further access to sensitive data in one of the most unlikely places—directly over a mobile phone.

Investing in voice biometric identity verification ensures that each and every customer and client that you do business with will be adequately protected from criminal activity. Users are protected through voice recognition solution, which is designed to pick up on keywords established by an authorized account holder during setup. When the device registers a user’s voice, account access is granted—and within a matter of seconds. Should a user fail to provide a recognized voice, he or she will be denied account access.

When it comes to making resolutions for the new year, your company should not have to cringe about adding this type of technology to the list. That’s because it requires no agent training and does not require you to overhaul your company’s phone system in order to implement. Voice biometrics are an easy-to-install method of protecting each and every one of your customers for the rest of the year.

For more information on how you can follow through with your resolution to incorporate biometric technology into its business practices in the coming year, please click here.

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Top Tips to Avoid Shopper Fraud this Holiday Season

For most, the holiday season is a time for coming together and spreading holiday cheer. Unfortunately, it is also the best time of year for fraudsters—and one of the most widely abused methods of consumer fraud during the holiday season is phone fraud. This happens when callers dial in pretending to be someone else to gain access to personal accounts and sensitive information.

For call centers across the world this holiday season, phone lines will indeed be rampant with individuals attempting to make purchases using stolen personal information. Here are some ways that your call center agents can be well prepared to reduce the likelihood of fraud from happening:

Invest in biometric technology

One of the most important and affordable solutions for your company this holiday season is mobile identity verification, which relies on the use of voice biometric software. When voice biometric software is installed in your company’s phone system, customer accounts can be corroborated with voice recognition devices capable of identifying a fraudulent caller. Much like a finger print scanner translates biometric information into a mathematical algorithm, this type of voice software translates a user’s voice into a personal identification number designed specifically to unlock an account. If someone else’s voice is detected on the line and it is not the caller in question, he or she will be denied account access.

Use multi-factor authentication

In addition to voice recognition software, it is strongly encouraged that companies take a multi-factor approach to customer information protection this holiday season. This means that in addition to taking biometric voice samples, companies should still rely on the use of passwords, security questions and public key interfaces.  In this type of authentication environment, inputting a single security checkpoint is not enough to gain access to an account. Instead, a tiered system is created that grants access one step at a time.

For more information on how your company can best look out for its customers this holiday season, please click here

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Mobile Voice Biometrics: 5 Smart Reasons to Invest

Here is a look at five reasons your organization should invest in mobile voice biometrics to bolster security:

1. Provide a fast, reliable solution

If there is one thing that customers do not like, it is waiting. Customers have little patience for extra safety measures and will not like having to continuously answer invasive security questions —especially when in a rush. Voice biometrics provide quick feedback to agents to ensure that a person is in fact who he or she claims to be, without having to wait for and excessive length of time.

2. Don’t go bankrupt installing software

Companies that invest in voice biometric technology do not have to burn holes in their wallets. Currently, there is a widespread misconception that voice biometrics are costly to install. In reality, voice biometric identity verification is platform agnostic and only requires purchasing software that is easily integrated into existing Interactive Voice Response systems (IVRs).

3. Ensure reliability for your customers

These days, many customers are suspicious about supplying personal information over the phone. Mobile voice biometrics, however, can provide your company with a competitive advantage as it will provide increased trust amongst consumers. The more authentication factors like passwords, biometric information and user-generated security questions that you provide your consumers, the more likely they will be to trust you to do business.

4. Demonstrate your company’s commitment to security

We live in an ultra-connected environment, and ultimately every company is always at risk of nefarious activity. As we move forward into this high-speed era, a digital reputation will be increasingly important as consumers look for companies that go above and beyond to provide adequate account protection. Businesses with repeated offenses related to fraudulent activity will not be able to keep up with companies that make digital security using mobile voice biometrics a high priority.

5. Rely less on harboring client information

Many companies currently require customers to submit valuable information related to personal identities. This often holds them back and raises suspicion about how the information will be stored. Voice biometrics are unique in that no information is stored within a device or server. The device recognizes a user’s voice in real-time and correlates it with a correct account number to unlock the device when needed—ensuring that no security breaches will affect client or customer relations.

Are you looking to take mobile security to the next step in your enterprise? Please click here to find out more information about mobile voice biometrics.

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7 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Our Voice Biometric Demo App

Just downloaded our ViGo, voice biometric demo app and want to ensure that you have the best experience possible? Follow the tips below and then let us know if you have any questions.

  1. Take enrollment seriously (you’ll benefit in the long-run). This just means that you’ll get the best downstream results (your verification experience) if you enroll someplace where your speech is going to come through loud and clear with little background noise.
  2. Re-enrolling is OK! Either create a new profile or re-enroll the one you already use. You’ll get a new set of digits too if your profile is for the 4-digit mode.
  3. Create as many profiles as you like. Try creating a profile for each of the different modes.
  4. Speak clearly and at normal volume. The clearer the speech, the better the experience.
  5. Try and speak towards your mobile device’s microphone.
  6. Keep an eye (ear) on background noise levels. They will have an effect on performance (see #1 above)
  7. Tell us what you like/don’t like about your voice biometric demo app experience – we’d love to hear from you!

 

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Voice biometric mode: Phrases or digits?

With more than one voice biometric mode to choose from, you need to know which one to use and when.

Actually, it isn’t really about a choice of whether phrases or digits are best for your use / business case, it’s about what overall voice biometrics solution to deploy (and how it’s configured) to meet your very specific and individual needs.

There is no one-size-fits-all in choosing a voice biometric mode and there are no hard and fast rules – only guidance and advice in steering you in the right direction. It’s only through an understanding of what you want to achieve that is possible to extract the full set of decision-making criteria.

Use case drivers to take into consideration when making choices and decisions about voice biometric identity verification solutions include:

  • Security and secrecy
  • Convenience and user experience
  • Having to remember the words or not
  • Suitability to the channel (telephony or smart device or both)
  • Languages
  • Personalization

For each of these (and there are others) looking at the relative priorities will guide you towards whether you need a phrase or digit-based voice biometric mode.

Remember, there will always be a range of different ways you can deploy VoiceVault voice biometrics that will also meet all of the above criteria while still meeting your needs.  What and how you decide to deploy though will be different to another use / business-case that has similar requirements.  There really isn’t a once-size-fits-all!

 

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