Study Highlights Critical Need for Mobile App Security

Most companies today are focusing heavily on driving business to their mobile applications. This is for good reason, as mobile apps allow companies to grow customers because they serve them in a variety of ways, such as completing transactions, providing real-time service, offering product information and more.

There’s one problem, though: Mobile apps pose a big security risk. They’re just as risky as a website when left to traditional identity verification methods like passwords, PINs and security questions alone.

What’s more, a recent study from Bluebox indicates that 80 percent of consumers would stop using a company altogether if its mobile app was compromised by a security breach. The same survey also indicates that 74 percent of developers believe that most apps are moderately vulnerable to hackers.

These are alarming statistics, and they should leave developers questioning and re-questioning their current app safeguards. The fact is that yesterday’s security technologies are no longer capable of adequately protecting today’s mobile apps and all of the sensitive data they contain.

In that regard, one leading security strategy you should consider implementing is cloud-based voice biometric identity verification. A voice biometric engine can be easily integrated into the front end of an app, so that consumers can log in simply by speaking a phrase into the microphone on their mobile devices. The voice biometrics engine will scan the customer’s voice, taking into account a variety of factors, to verify the individual’s identity. If the voiceprint is valid, the customer can then either enter further security questions or move into the application, depending on how the customer has set up preferences.

Click here to learn more about leading voice biometric identity verification provider VoiceVault’s approach to this next-generation security technology.

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You’d Be Horrified If You Discovered Your Employees’ Passwords

Right now the cybersecurity industry is abuzz about a new report highlighting the worst  passwords of 2015. And rightfully so, as some on the list are downright terrible.

For example, “123456” topped the list. It was followed by “password,” “12345678” and “qwerty.” Other noteworthy passwords included “football” and “starwars.”

With these abysmal examples in mind, it’s no wonder that criminals are continuing to have a field day hacking into private corporate accounts. In order for passwords to be even marginally effective, for instance, they need to be long and must contain a mix of different characters. As these examples indicate, most people do not go to such lengths, thus making it easy for criminals to gain entry.

In 2015, it should be noted, over 169 million personal records were stolen and 781 public breaches were recorded. It’s a problem that is bad and getting worse for corporations.

The unfortunate reality is that employees in your company—yes, yours—are using passwords like this. Mainly employees are choosing easy passwords because, you guessed it, they’re easy to remember. Those that are long and complicated, are difficult to remember and even more difficult to enter. Plus, most employees think that a data breach will never happen to them.

It’s time, therefore, to take action to ensure that your organization’s sensitive data does not become exploited by hackers who are looking for easy passwords to exploit. Consider a solution like VoiceVault’s voice biometric identity verification technology, which can provide strong security measures while also satisfying your end users demands for a simple and efficient login process.

Using voice biometric identity verification technology, end users simply have to recite a phrase or series of digits into their microphones. It eliminates the need for passwords, since the voice biometric engine will authenticate them by the sound of their voice. So you can kiss passwords like “welcome,” “abc123” and “letmein” goodbye.

Click here to learn more about how VoiceVault can streamline account authentication for your company.

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Don’t Let What Happened to Gyft Happen to You

Chances are likely you may not be aware of Gyft, a California-based startup that allows customers to send digital gift cards to friends and family members. The company provides a handy service not undeserving of positive press.

Unfortunately, the first thing that holiday shoppers saw this year when Googling Gyft is a negative headline about a data breach.

According to Krebs on Security, cyberthieves recently targeted Gyft, asking certain customers to submit to unauthorized password resets. Following the incident, Gyft confirmed that hackers successfully acquired usernames and passwords, and forced password resets for customer accounts. As of right now, there is no telling how many customers were affected as the information has not yet been made public by Gyft. All affected accounts are being closely monitored for fraud attempts.

It’s a sad story indeed, as it’s one that could easily have been prevented by taking appropriate security precautions. The incident is a stark reminder that username and passwords are outdated security measures, and that businesses should instead be looking to next-generation technologies like voice biometrics to protect end-user accounts.

If Gyft had been using voice biometrics, for instance, hackers would have been unable to access accounts even following a reset. That’s because a voice biometrics engine will only grant access to a confirmed end-user voiceprint. Voice biometrics is spoof-proof, as it measures a variety of different factors in a voiceprint, and thus cannot easily be hacked.

So moving further into 2016, make sure your business does not wind up the victim of a data breach. Secure your mobile applications with voice biometrics! Click here to learn more.

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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.

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How Popular Is Cloud-based IT Security?

A recent study shows that cloud use is soaring among IT security leaders.

It was revealed in an IBM survey that 90 percent of IT security leaders have adopted the cloud, or are planning to integrate the cloud in the future. Furthermore, 75 percent of IT security leaders claim that their cloud security budgets will either increase, or increase dramatically, within the next five years.

Why are IT security leaders demonstrating such strong confidence in the cloud? A big reason can be attributed to the fact that the cyber threat landscape has grown more dangerous in recent years. In most companies, digital security is no longer viewed as a back-end IT problem, but a serious issue that could potentially compromise an entire organization if left unmonitored.

In order to meet modern cybersecurity challenges, many organizations are overhauling their security architectures. In doing so, the cloud is experiencing widespread adoption for the following reasons:

Lower CAPEX/OPEX: Besides the cost savings of a massive upfront capital investment, investing in the cloud also means being spared the financial and time-consuming burdens of support as well as costly hardware and software updates. A cloud-based security solution comes with access to the latest network equipment, overseen by a team of advanced IT professionals.

Real-time communication: As the survey also shows, over 70 percent of respondents claim that real-time security intelligence is taking on increased importance for their enterprises. The cloud streamlines security communication by making it possible to release updates to end-user devices as soon as they go out. IT departments do not have to wait several days or weeks to ensure that everyone is up to date with the latest software patches and installations.

Reliability: There is no room for system downtime when it comes to IT security. Investing in the cloud comes with the assurance of failover protection and network redundancy so that in the event power is lost, a natural disaster occurs or a critical network device fails, end users will not be affected.

Click here to learn more about how VoiceVault, a provider of cloud-based voice biometric identity verification, can provide cloud-based digital security for your enterprise.
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What’s Driving The Voice and Speech Recognition Market?

The sun is just rising on a bright future in the global voice and speech recognition market, as evidenced in a new report from Tractica.

According to the report, right now the market is hovering around $249 million. By as soon as 2024, this figure is expected to balloon to $5.1 billion—thus demonstrating an expected compound annual growth rate of at least 40 percent.

What’s driving this explosion in voice recognition usage? As the report explains, voice biometric technology is now considered to be in a mature—or highly developed—stage, and has finally found a place in the global market. The combination of its convenience, and its flexibility, makes the technology highly appealing to consumers who can use it to enhance—and secure— their mobile experiences. It’s important to note that Tractica makes a clear distinction between voice recognition and speech recognition, as they are not the same thing though they both utilize end user voiceprints. Speech recognition software, for instance, is commonly used for issuing operating commands and navigating through across applications. Apple’s Siri, for instance, is an example of speech recognition software.

Voice recognition software, by comparison, which is what VoiceVault specializes in, is used almost exclusively for identity verification purposes. Voice recognition software will scan an end user voiceprint for key behavioral and physiological traits before granting or denying access into a mobile devices, applications or corporate accounts. Voice recognition software is highly useful for mitigating mobile and contact center fraud, and facilitating secure transactions for organizations.

It’s an exciting time to be involved in the voice biometrics industry, as the technology is now receiving major mainstream attention and is becoming much more prevalent across consumer devices. Right now it’s one of the best solutions that a corporation can invest in to ensure that its sensitive information remains protected online.

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Mobile Fraud: A Problem That’s Bad And Getting Worse

As society becomes increasingly reliant on smart technology over the next few years, strong mobile identity verification will become imperative for businesses. That’s because as more people rely on mobile devices to interact with businesses, it will create a massive uptick in mobile fraud.

In fact, a study from market research firm J. Gold Associates predicts that mobile fraud will nearly double by about 2017. What’s the main reason? It can be attributed to a lack of cohesive security.

Consider the fact that of the 250 organizations surveyed, just 8 percent said that they had no losses from fraud over the past year. The rest weren’t so lucky. While 34 percent of respondents lost up to 5 percent of revenues, 14 percent lost as much as 10 percent and 15 percent admitted to losing as much as 25 percent of revenues.  That means that nearly a third of all enterprises that participated in the study lost over 10 percent of their revenues last year to fraud. That figure alone should stop executives dead in their tracks.

Unfortunately, there’s more bad news. Just 33 percent of the organizations surveyed said they generate revenues from the Internet, with 25 percent of those relying on a mobile application. That percentage is certain to climb over the next couple of years as the marketplace for mobile apps expands and revenues grow. That’s actually good news.

What’s scary is the number of new enterprises that will be exposed to fraud and data breaches. While roughly 20-30 percent of new fraud incidents are due to mobile devices, that figure could double over the next few years unless something significant changes. Given that the average mobile loss was $92.3 million last year, a significant amount of revenue is at stake.

As mobile e-commerce continues to expand, enterprises must rely on mobile voice biometrics and other cutting edge security technologies to ensure their survival. You can learn more about how VoiceVault can keep your organization’s data safe by clicking here.

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Voice Biometrics and Mobile Instant Messaging: A Winning Combination

Identity verification has always been a tricky issue for mobile instant messaging (IM) applications. This is due in large part to the very nature of text messaging, which is a communications medium designed with speed in mind. Simply put, end users engage in text messaging because they don’t want to spend time talking on the phone.

It follows, therefore, that such users would likely leave their IM app open to enable quick engagement with their contacts, making traditional security measures like passwords and PINs unlikely security solutions.

This is a recipe for disaster, particularly for enterprises that allow employees to transmit sensitive data regularly among each other via text message. In the case of mobile theft, a criminal could easily gain access to stores of unsecured information located in the application.

Voice-based mobile identity verification is a solution to this problem. Recently, for instance, Tencent Technology updated the latest version of its WeChat mobile application to support voice-based security on its mobile application. Now, end users can verify their identity themselves using a unique voiceprint on an authentication screen prior to using the app. It’s a great step forward for the voice biometrics industry, as this could open the floodgates for mobile messaging providers looking to enhance security.

Unlike passwords or PIN numbers, the solution is ultrafast and only takes a few seconds to load. End users can log in securely and move about the application freely once the biometrics engine authenticates them.

Moving forward, expect that other leading mobile applications will adopt voice biometric authentication as a trusted and efficient method of validating end user identities.

You can learn more about the benefits of voice biometrics by clicking here.

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Biometrics: The Future of Authentication in the Banking Industry

The banking industry is now at a major crossroads as it looks for ways to protect against costly cyberattacks apart from traditional methods like passwords and security questions. Right now, many people are asking what the future of customer authentication will look like in banking.

According to a new report from Goode Intelligence, you should look no further than voice biometric identity verification. By 2020, voice biometrics will be the primary authentication solution for financial consumers.

In an article from Biometric Update, the report’s author—and Goode Intelligence founder—Alan Goode explained that the banking industry is looking for authentication solutions that are not only secure but also convenient to use, and that voice biometric identity verification is the technology that can fill this need.

Why is voice biometrics convenient to use? First and foremost, it only requires the end user to speak a single short phrase into his or her mobile device. This brings up another point, too: There is no extra technology to purchase. Every customer with a smartphone can utilize the technology since every smartphone already has a built-in microphone.

All a bank has to do, therefore, is to partner with a voice biometrics provider like VoiceVault that can build a voice biometrics engine directly into a corporate application. Once the voice biometrics component is added to the application, it can be rolled out to end users directly through the cloud.

If you are interested in upgrading your bank’s end-user authentication platform to include voice biometrics, check out VoiceVault’s pressure-free, 45-day trial. Click here for more information about this exciting program.

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As Driver’s Licenses Go Mobile, the Need for Security Is Increasing

The days of having to rummage through your car’s glove compartment or your wallet to find your driver’s license and registration could be close to an end for motor vehicle operators in certain states. Instead, drivers may soon be allowed to legally store this information in a secure smartphone-based application.

Delaware recently announced that it is looking to become the first state to adopt this forward-thinking technology. The state is currently studying the viability of digital licenses, and will soon propose official legislation to draft them into law. Iowa, for that matter, is closely following suit; the state plans to unroll its new license application at some point in 2016.

The concept is meant to offer drivers additional options for storing and presenting identification information. The application would not render hard-copy licenses as obsolete, but would suffice as a legal alternative in the event of a police traffic stop or other identification inquiries.

The decision to store driver’s licenses on mobile devices is naturally drawing concern from cybersecurity experts who fear for the application’s vulnerability to hacking. Storing identification in a virtual database could potentially lead to security incidents—including fraud.

Fortunately, Delaware is taking security into consideration as the proposed application would mandate virtual ID holders to use voice biometric identity verification or other biometric options as well as a unique multifactor code in order to limit access to the application. This is a practice that the state of Texas has had success with through its online driver’s education courses. Drivers must provide random voice samples throughout the process to ensure that the person taking the course and receiving certification to operate a motor vehicle is in fact who he or she claims to be.

Here at VoiceVault, we’re glad to see voice biometrics playing such a prominent role in ensuring the integrity of new digital licensure initiatives. We hope that as more states move forward with plans to unroll digital licenses or online driving courses, they take into consideration the need for advanced security options and consider adopting this affordable and powerful identity verification technology.

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