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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Report Names Voice Biometrics Top Security Modality

If you’re wondering how voice biometric identity verification stacks up against other leading mobile security solutions, look no further than a new report from Research and Markets which shows that voice biometrics has been recognized as one of the top authentication services available.

In the report, voice biometrics was named, along with facial recognition software, as a top security modality. This was due in large part to the noninvasive characteristic of both the technologies.

Why is voice considered to be noninvasive? When using voice, end users are not asked to submit any sensitive information that can be stolen and used against them. Fingerprints, passwords and security questions, on the other hand, could all easily be compromised by thieves. Having to speak a security credential like a Social Security number in public to obtain access to account information, for example, is very risky; as well, entering this information via key pad is not conducive for a mobile user who is on the go. Using voice biometrics, end users can recite a simple phrase that would mean nothing to someone who could be eavesdropping.

For these reasons, voice biometrics is helping protect a number of targeted industries, such as healthcare, banking, border control and security, where sensitive information goes for a premium rate on the black market. As these markets continue to become increasingly mobilized, voice biometrics will play a key role in helping the organizations within them prevent fraud and abuse.

Here at VoiceVault we are pleased to see voice biometrics given the handle it deserves  as a top security modality. Click here to learn more about how VoiceVault can help your company with its authentication needs.


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As Target Proves, a Data Breach Can Take Years To Fix

It’s been more than 15 months since a massive data breach was discovered at Target, and the company is still cleaning up the mess.

The 2013 incident resulted in the theft of more than 40 million credit and debit card numbers, as well as the personal information of over 70 million customers. Further, banks and credit unions spent an estimated $200 million reissuing cards to customers, Target’s approach to IT and security were lambasted and the company’s profits plummeted by more than 46 percent immediately following the breach.

The problem, however, is still making headlines today.

According to a recently-agreed upon class action settlement offer, Target has offered to pay $10 million to customers whose data was stolen in the breach.  And while Target says breach-related expenses cost the company $162 million in 2014, sales have continued to slump since it occurred; and it’s unclear when—or even if—the American public will forgive the retailer.

This should be an important lesson for your business in that it makes much more sense to focus on securing your company’s digital assets than it does trying to recover from a data breach—a process that can take several years to truly fix. If it’s taken Target this long to recover, it could take smaller businesses even longer.

If you’re looking for one specific area where you can improve your business’s digital security, start with mobile identity verification. By securing your company’s digital endpoints with voice biometrics, you can greatly reduce the risk of sensitive information from falling into the wrong hands from malware, theft or any other number of security issues.

Click here to learn more about how VoiceVault, a leading mobile identity verification provider in the voice biometrics space, can help protect your business.


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What’s the Lowdown on HIPAA Phase 2 (II)?

Right now the healthcare industry is anxiously awaiting the onset of impending HIPAA Phase 2 (II) audits. Originally slated to begin last summer, the audits were delayed indefinitely due to technical issues surrounding HIPPA’s customer portal.

At this point, the program is still considered to be in development. On March 16, however, during an address at the 23rd annual HIPAA Summit, the director of the Health and Human Services’ Office of Civil Rights, Jocelyn Samuels, provided an update about the organization’s progress.

“I can promise you two things,” Samuels said. “The first is, it’s coming; I can’t promise you the specific date, but it’s happening. The second is that we are committed to transparency.”

While these remarks will strike a chord with healthcare providers, business leaders across other industries should take note as well. Details surrounding HIPAA Phase II audits are still nebulous at best, but there is widespread speculation that the new audits will more aggressively target business associates of healthcare providers, that is, companies that transmit or store protected health information (PHI), e.g., those involved in billing, legal and data management processes. These business associates are expected to be held to the same HIPAA compliance standards as healthcare providers, especially regarding PHI data security and privacy issues.

In assessing ways to streamline your facility for data compliance, consider the benefits of voice biometric identity verification. Using a voice biometrics solution, your company can replace paper-based authentication systems with secure voice prints to validate workers handling sensitive information and accessing data. Voice biometrics can work in conjunction with smartphone-based EMR applications, tablets and even OASIS medical charts.

The fact is that HIPAA Phase II can begin at any time. Consequently, make sure your business is capable of passing an audit with flying colors. More information about how voice biometrics is helping healthcare providers stay in compliance can be found here.

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US Named Top Developer of Risky Apps

America has a growing problem related to application security, as evidenced by a new report from Marble Labs.

According to the report, the U.S. was named the top developer of risky apps. In fact, 42 percent of applications deemed to be dangerous stemmed from publishers and developers located on American soil.

Why is application security such a big problem? It can be attributed to a lack of quality control in application hubs like the App Store and Google Play. Many companies that sell applications in these digital storefronts store sensitive information on unsecure third-party servers, which often leave the door wide open for unauthorized third parties to hack in and steal consumer information. While Apple and Google maintain that they regularly scan for security purposes, the fact is that both companies contain applications with malware.

“This [data] came as a surprise to Marble’s analysts, who before examining the data would have bet that most malicious apps originated from publishers in Eastern Europe or Asia,” a spokesperson explained. “While China, Korea, India and Taiwan generate a great number of malicious and risky apps, their combined total doesn’t amount to that of the United States.”

Though troubling, the report could actually be beneficial if it drives development of stronger application security standards in America. Right now, the U.S. has no overarching security mandates apart from those enforced by industry watchdogs like the FIDO alliance. The fact is that there needs to be a stronger method of ensuring that U.S. applications and software solutions are safe for use before they are made available for sale on the open market.

Mobile identity verification provider VoiceVault is a member of the FIDO alliance. You can learn more by clicking here.

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Voice Biometrics Market Increasing in Diversity

Companies and Markets recently painted an exciting picture for the future of the global voice biometrics market in a new report titled “Global Voice Recognition Market: New Insight.” According to the study, the voice recognition market will experience 9.4 percent growth between 2014 and 2019.

Furthermore, the market is expected to significantly diversify during this time period, as the technology becomes adopted by a greater number of industries. As the report explains, this will happen as the accuracy of the software continues to develop (more on this below).

One of the markets that will experience a greater adoption of voice recognition services over the next few years is the financial services industry—specifically, mobile banking. Online banking services are growing concerned with providing safe end-user authentication options for customers, and will undoubtedly look to voice biometrics as an affordable and user-friendly solution. After all, companies can simply build a voice biometrics engine directly into the framework of their applications and distribute them to customers over the cloud.

The healthcare industry was also mentioned in the report as another market that will see an increased adoption of voice biometric technology. Voice biometrics streamlines faster and more accurate recordings during patient interactions, as it allows workers to collect data without having to write it down. This eliminates potentially costly errors during the transcription process. It also helps prevent the growing problem of patient fraud in home healthcare, as well.

As for the lack of accuracy mentioned in the report, it should be noted that VoiceVault is one voice biometric identity verification provider that is already tackling this issue head-on. VoiceVault is built with multiple configurations for accuracy, and thus supports an industry-leading false acceptance rate of 0.01 percent, as well as a false reject rate of about 5 percent.

You can learn more about how VoiceVault ensures such high levels of accuracy by clicking here.

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Majority Of Employees Lack Mobile Security Training

Your business is ahead of the curve in regard to the adoption of enterprise mobility. Employees regularly use mobile devices in your company to log into email, share multimedia files and exchange text, audio and video communication while they are on-the-go. This in turn is creating a more flexible work environment, and thus happier and more productive employees.

But is your company’s mobile policy safe? It may not be.

In a recent study, 88 percent of respondents indicated that they regularly access confidential data over mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. Yet only 20 percent of respondents claim to have been offered official mobile security training as to how to access and handle mobile content.

Even more alarming, of the 20 percent that did receive training, 74 percent indicated that it was not effective in reducing the risks they face when accessing content over mobile devices.

So, what are the biggest risks facing mobile users? First, there is the issue of malware. Applications often contain hidden malware that can be used to steal sensitive information, or infect a larger amount of end users. Even more frightening, some new devices have been even discovered to come with pre-installed malware.

Other problematic issues include downloading and using applications that are not approved for use in the enterprise, as well as device theft. For instance, about one in every 10 Americans falls victim to smartphone theft.

What’s the best way to protect your corporation from the dangers of mobility? Even more important than training, you need to invest in mobile identity verification technology that can help keep hackers and unwanted parties out of your databases. By implementing a multifactor authentication policy built around voice biometrics, you can fully embrace mobility while safeguarding against threats like hacks and malware, as well as device and identity theft.

Click here to learn more about the services of VoiceVault, a leading mobile identity management provider.

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