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.

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What’s Driving The Voice and Speech Recognition Market?

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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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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