Voice Authentication Market Expected to Grow Significantly

Voice Authentication Market Expected to Grow Significantly

With nearly every part of our lives now connected in some way, identity verification is becoming a constant activity. Typing passwords and such is a tedious task, especially if you’re diligent in changing your passwords regularly and keeping them complex. Fortunately, other forms of identity verification are becoming more popular, making the process simpler, whether talking to a representative or logging into an account.

Among them is voice authentication, which, along with facial recognition, is expected to see significant growth in the coming years. The global voice and face recognition market, which stood at $4.5 billion in 2016, is expected to reach $24 billion by 2025.

A major boost to the voice authentication market will come from the government sector, as defense and military organizations seek to increase their security measures. Growing use in government agencies will also drive the use of voice biometrics and facial recognition in commercial markets as well, especially in banking and other security conscious industries. North America is expected to see the largest growth in adoption, driven by a combination of government and consumer demand.

Customer service organizations at financial institutions and other service providers will leverage advanced authentication techniques to secure access to applications, accounts, and internally for access to facilities, servers, and other infrastructure. For customers, this provides not only an easier, quicker means of authentication, but a more secure one as well.  Many organizations have already implemented voice authentication internally and, as customers learn to use these newer forms of verification, they will start demanding them from other vendors, further driving adoption.

In addition, customer satisfaction will naturally increase, as businesses are able to more quickly identify customers and address their needs without going through lengthy manual verification processes.  Likewise, customer representatives will deal with fewer customers agitated by constantly having to identify themselves, driving an increase in employee satisfaction.

While the drivers of the voice authentication market may be primarily security driven, the additional benefits in commercial markets go well beyond helping reduce identity fraud, which cost businesses billions each year.

To learn more about how voice authentication can help better secure your business, click here.

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What to Consider for Securing Retirement Accounts

What to Consider for Securing Retirement Accounts

Hackers want your money, and that includes your retirement nest egg. The bottom line is this: If you have a 401(k) account, be careful about who you allow to access it.

If you’re a 401(k) plan provider, or even an employer who offers your workers such a plan, be sure to warn participants about the potential for hacking. You should consult regulations – like the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 – related to your financial responsibility related to account protection, loss, and replacement. Then you can be sure to communicate the right messages to account holders (and their employers) on how to safeguard 401(k) savings.

For example, 401(k) providers should be alerted that fraudsters are a real threat to these accounts. Studies indicate that foreign hackers are trying to gain access to the $5.3 trillion in U.S. 401(k) assets today.

That said, it makes sense to warn retirement plan holders to avoid granting access to their accounts via email, phone, or text – even when communications appear to be from their employer or the plan administrator. Phishing is a common way frausters masquerade as legitimate organizations to get unsuspecting people to reveal personal information like account numbers and passwords.

Plan administrators and sponsors may also want to suggest that 401(k) account holders use strong passwords, change those passwords often, employ two-factor authentication, and avoid doing financial transactions on unsecured public connections. Voice authentication is another great option for providing a high level of security to 401(k) accounts.

Plan administrators and sponsors may want to configure the plans they offer and the systems they use to support them to only allow 401(k) account changes or withdrawals to occur when a certain set of steps are performed and information provided. Again, voice authentication provides a unique security mechanism that makes hacking very difficult.

When accounts are hacked, people and organizations suffer. If sponsors or third-party administrators are found at fault, they may be responsible for replacing that loss.

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Best Buy and the Big Bang of Breached Data

Best Buy, and the Big Bang of Breached Data

On the heels of Kmart and Delta data breaches, Best Buy is one of the latest retailers to confess that customers’ information may have been compromised. Third-party data firm [24]7.ai was affected by a malware hack, generating cause for concern from Best Buy, which uses chatbots for customer service calls and online sales. Where does data security go from here? Best Buy will have to tackle that question as it sorts out the muck caused by the [24]7.ai breach.

Although credit card and other customer information is at risk, the damage done is not as insurmountable for Best Buy as it is for other retailers. While thousands of customers have fallen victim to information hacks in the previous cases, Best Buy remains confident much of their customer base is safe.

Best Buy issued an apology, now in the spotlight of the data privacy epidemic: “We are fully aware that our customers expect their information to be safeguarded and apologize to the extent that did not happen in this case.” A privacy hub website has been set up to address customers’ concerns about protecting their information. But is it too little too late?

Since US legislation may not be stringent enough to regulate privacy practices at major firms like electronics giant, Best Buy, what can you, as a consumer, do to protect your data? A step in the right direction, apart from boycotting businesses, is to regularly update passwords and take stock of who has your credit card information saved in their online database. Companies can take heed by auditing data practices, formalizing procedures for third-party data access, and further solidifying security measures by utilizing voice biometrics as part of a multifactor authentication security solution.

Remember, security is everyone’s problem, and both customers and retails have an obligation to do their part to ensure it.

To learn how VoiceVault can help develop or enhance your corporate security strategy, click here.

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Five Ways to Protect Your Identity During Tax Season

As if tax season wasn’t painful enough already, the Internal Revenue Service reports that identity theft related to tax refund frauds continue to plague the American people and the economy at epidemic levels. While the numbers have decreased from highs around 2015, the IRS reports that tens of thousands of taxpayers are still victimized on an annual basis.

While you should be mindful of cybersecurity all year long, now is the time to be particularly vigilant, with Tax Day just around the corner. In an effort to ensure your protection, here are five ways that you can fight back against malicious actors this year.

Update passwords: Between our personal and professional lives, the average individual must keep track of about 25 passwords. With so much to remember, many people will use duplicated or incredibly simple passwords. This makes it easy for hackers to break the code and gain access to your entire network. Set up Tax Day as your annual day to update your passwords to make yourself a more elusive target.

Biometric authentification: Adding extra layers of authentification can also be a great way to protect yourself and your personal financial data. For best results, leverage biometric technology. While hackers can fake a signature, it’s much harder to replicate the unique markings of our fingerprints, voices, faces or eyes.

Encrypt your data: If you’re sending documents over to your tax accountant, don’t do it on the public Wi-Fi at Starbucks. Even if you have firewalls and anti-virus software on your device, you’re only as secure as the network on which you transmit files. Consider using an encrypted messaging service or a virtual private network for such sensitive documents.

Credit reports and SSA statements: Every year, you’re entitled to a free credit report and social security statement. If someone already has gotten hold of your information, you may find it in these reports. Maybe you’ll see a strange new card added to your credit report. Maybe you’ll see your personal information with someone else’s earnings reported on the SS statement. Check these out annually and you’ll catch fraud that has already occurred before your financial reputation is irrevocably destroyed.

Always have backup: What do you do if you’re targeted with ransomware and lose access to your tax documents or other financial records? If you don’t have back-up, you only have two options: pay up, or lose the information forever. Colocate vital data off-site in the cloud or a private server for starters. And of course, while less modern, it doesn’t hurt to have paper copies either.

There are fewer ways to destroy your finances more quickly than handing over your data to a thief. To learn more ways to protect your identity, click here.

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Money2020 Asia 2018

Three Takeaways From Money2020 Asia 2018

After a strong showing in the United States and Europe in recent years, one of the world’s premiere FinTech events, Money2020, headed to Singapore last week for Money2020 Asia 2018. In past years, we’ve kept a close watch on the latest happenings from the event, which you can check out here or here.

But what can we expect to come out of this year’s show, where thousands of attendees, vendors and industry experts will connect to explore the latest happenings in the FinTech space?

If you weren’t able to catch a flight to Singapore yourself, don’t worry—we’ve got you covered. Here are the top three stories to come out of this year’s event.

  1. Blockchain advances but cryptocurrency growing pains are far from over.
    No question, there’s a general consensus among Money2020 Asia attendees that blockchain is on the doorstep of revolutionizing FinTech across industries. But interestingly, there’s less certainty in regards to cryptocurrency applications. Consumers have reported widespread identity verification issues at exchanges, and this uncertainty may be starting to take its toll. Ironically, the cryptocurrency market lost $60 billion in value on the last day of the show this year following announced regulatory increases and Google’s advertising ban.
  2. Mobility continues to drive security concerns.
    The global mobile payment market is poised for a $3 trillion valuation by 2023—a clear indication that both businesses and consumers are going to continue leaning heavily on their personal mobile devices for all manner of transactions in the coming years. But security concerns continue to besiege mobile users, driving up interest in biometric solutions like voice-based identity verification.
  3. Artificial intelligence shows signs of life.
    With deep machine learning and artificial intelligence technology taking off, it should come as no surprise that AI left an impression at Money2020. Transaction tracking, identity theft and fraud detection are all among the top applications as platforms become more interoperable.

To stay up to date on the latest industry news or to learn more about how VoiceVault’s voice biometric authentication and identity verification solutions can support your business, click here.

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Meet Your New Biggest Cyberthreat Mobile Devices

Meet Your New Biggest Cyberthreat: Mobile Devices

Over the last several years, your business has been relying more and more on its mobile devices to operate. Now, all of your employees have smartphones and tablets. They use them for everything from processing payments to collecting data to communicating.

Here’s the problem, though: These devices are not secure. In fact, in a recent study 93 percent of organizations agreed that mobile devices present a serious and growing cyberthreat.

The report also found that:

  • 32 percent of companies admitted to sacrificing mobile security to improve performance;
  • 79 percent stated that the disruption of business operations is a bigger threat than the theft of data; and
  • 79 percent fear employee misuse.

Of course, the hardest step is admitting that you have a mobile security problem. Once you understand the scope of the cyberthreat, you can start taking immediate actions to improve your business’s mobile security strategy.

As you assess your mobile cybersecurity strategy, remember to consider taking a multifactor authentication approach that utilizes multiple systems to protect employee accounts. Give your employees access to a variety of authentication tools, and let them decide which ones work best for them. This could include voice biometric identity verification, strong passwords and security questions, or facial, iris or fingerpint scanners.

Remember that the more security checkpoints you add to your mobile device, the more secure your device will be. However, they need to be easy for employees to use or it could impact morale and productivity.

To learn more about how VoiceVault can bolster your company’s cybersecurity strategy, click here. Developers can also access a free trial here.

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There’s No Easy Solution to Cybersecurity

Many business leaders today are still operating under the belief that cybersecurity is a simple fix — and that a single provider or solution can protect your business.

Until this way of thinking is corrected, cybersecurity will remain a top challenge for businesses.

The fact is that if you want to keep your business safe on the Internet today, it requires embracing a fundamental shift in how you approach the subject. Cybersecurity today is an around-the-clock job that requires using a variety of different technologies and strategies.

You can’t, in other words, rely on anti malware software anymore and expect it to work. But if you use it as part of a wider strategy that incorporates many different and layered protections, it can work.

Here is an example of what a robust cybersecurity strategy is comprised of today:

Physical access controls: All computing devices and equipment should be protected with strong identity verification controls, to protect unauthorized users from accessing core network services.

Regular patching: All hardware and software needs to be regularly monitored for security updates, to protect hackers from exploiting vulnerabilities.

Real-time network monitoring: Anomalies cannot go overlooked. They need to be detected and investigated in real-time in order to prevent them from spreading across the network.

Rapid-response troubleshooting: Cyberattacks can happen at any hour, not just when employees are in front of their desks. Businesses need cybersecurity experts in place to spring to action as soon as they are needed.

Employee education and awareness: A business is only as strong as its weakest cybersecurity link. Employees need to be aware of the threat landscape, so that they know what to avoid online.

Mobile security: Mobile devices are now considered to be one of the top threats facing enterprises today. As such, organizations need to use multifactor security to protect company and employee-owned devices. Strong password hygiene and biometrics should be used together for maximum protection.

VoiceVault is a leader in cloud-based voice biometric identity verification, and can provide critical support to enhance your company’s cybersecurity.

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How to Fight Password Leak

How to Fight Password Leak

The recent false missile alert at the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency (HEMA) brought to light a serious security vulnerability that all businesses should take note of. And it has nothing to do with rockets.

Business Insider analyzed several press photos from HEMA headquarters, and discovered on one a sticky note, taped to a computer screen, with “password” written on it. This was followed by a series of characters.

As of right now, it isn’t clear whether there is a connection between the visible password and the false alarm that made national headlines for the panic that it caused. The incident, however, is a reminder about how careless employees can be with passwords — and the risks that this can pose for an organization.

This is a great example of “password leak” which occurs when a company loses control over its login credentials. Every time an employee writes down a password, or stores it in an insecure location, it puts the company’s sensitive information at risk. As this shows, passwords can be easily lost, shared or stolen.

So, what can be done to prevent password sprawl?

First and foremost, remind your employees to be smart about using passwords. Tell them not to hide passwords in plain sight, and to consider memorizing them prevent them from falling into the wrong hands. You can also supplement your company’s passwords with advance biometric-based solutions.

VoiceVault can be used in conjunction with additional third party biometrics solutions to enhance your mobile security strategy and prevent unauthorized users from stealing your company’s information.

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How Do Consumers Feel About Biometrics?

For years, all we have been hearing about in the biometric security space is how demand is growing, and how businesses are integrating them at a high pace.

This begs the question, though: How do customers feel about biometrics?

Many business leaders are still concerned that consumers are not ready to submit biometric samples like fingerprint, facial or iris scanners when logging into accounts or verifying transactions. But as it turns out, consumers are actually overwhelmingly in favor of biometric solutions.

According to a recent study from MasterCard— which recently announced consumers will be able to use biometrics for payments— 93 percent of consumers prefer biometrics over passwords when validating transactions. And banks are reporting that when biometric authentication is used, customers are more inclined to complete their purchases. Cart abandonment rates have been found to drop by as much as 70 percent compared to other types of methods like SMD and single password-based systems.

Part of the reason why these types of solutions don’t work well with biometrics is that they are inconvenient. Consumers don’t like waiting, in other words, for SMS codes to be delivered to their phones. And passwords can still be lost or forgotten.

It’s for this reason why many companies, especially banks, are turning to voice biometric identity verification for their mobile security needs. Voice biometrics can work alongside any other type of verification technology, and all it requires is a microphone. Voice biometrics are a quick, painless and secure way for customers to verify their identities.

To learn more about how VoiceVault can help your company move forward with biometric-based security, click here. A free developer trial is also available here.

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Why You Need More Than Just Facial Recognition Protection

There is no denying the popularity of facial recognition software, as the global market is on pace to reach $8.74 billion by 2022 at a compound annual growth rate of 17.83. It’s quickly becoming one of the most popular types of biometric identity verification technologies, and is rapidly spreading across all vertical markets.

As such, you may be in a position where you are wondering whether facial recognition is the right technology for your business’s mobile users. Is it worth investing in facial recognition software, or should you look to other types of security technologies?

Keep in mind that while facial recognition is useful, it’s not the most secure type of biometric security. Researchers have discovered, for instance, that Windows 10’s “Hello” security feature, which uses facial recognition, can be spoofed with a  photograph. And another group of researchers successfully created a backdoor into a facial-recognition system, enabling hacker wearing glasses to trick the system into thinking they are the real user.

Here is our take on the issue:

Facial recognition may be vulnerable to certain types of fraudulent attacks, but that doesn’t mean that you should fear using it. Just don’t make it your only mobile security solution. Instead, think of it like a locked glass door in front of a heavy wooden door; in other words, layer it on top of other types of security technologies that are harder to spoof like voice biometrics and iris scanners. This type of strategy is called multifactor security. It’s a way of providing extra protection to your sensitive accounts, in a way that is also convenient to an end user.

To learn more about how voice biometrics can enhance your company’s mobile security, click here.

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