Know the Difference: Cloud Vs Localized Biometrics

When selecting a mobile biometric identity verification solution, you will have to make a decision about whether you want to move forward with a localized or cloud-based model.

What’s the better option?

In a localized biometrics setup, the biometric engine is stored in the hardware of the actual device itself. Some companies use localized biometrics if they are skeptical about trusting biometric data in the cloud. It’s also slightly faster, but only in nanoseconds.

There are, however, several disadvantages to using a purely localized biometrics solution. For instance, it’s not possible to create a single cross-channel identity using a localized solution. Plus, there is no easy way to back up biometric data in a localized setup. And there is limited capacity to integrate machine learning.

In a purely cloud-based model, biometric data is stored on a private server instead of on a device. The cloud also makes it possible to set up a universal interface. And it’s easy to integrate machine learning into the biometric system, too. So with the cloud, biometrics can be much more flexible and user-friendly. What’s more, it’s much easier to perform updates on cloud-based models.

VoiceVault can actually give you the best of both worlds, with its hybrid model voice biometric identity verification solution. Using the hybrid model, a user can unlock his or her device without having any connectivity — like if they are in a tunnel. The voiceprint sample will be matched on device, then as soon as connectivity is established, it can be used for cloud-based authentication.

To learn more about VoiceVault’s unique approach to biometrics, click here or contact us. For an additional perspective on the differences, you may also consider reading the recent white paper from Acuity Market Intelligence.

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Still Using Passwords

Still Using Passwords?

According to a recent report from Verizon, weak and stolen passwords are still a leading factor in enterprise data breaches. In fact, the odds of getting hacked via password are greater than any other method.

Does this mean you should immediately migrate away from passwords? It may be unrealistic to suggest this, as your users may still prefer using them on their devices.

While passwords may not be going away any time soon, though, your company can at least start looking for new ways of fortifying them so that they cannot be easily exploited by hackers.  It’s possible, for instance, to layer additional security technologies alongside passwords — one being voice biometric identity verification.

What should you do if your business isn’t quite ready for voice biometrics?

Here’s something to look into:

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Chicago have created a new tool that takes passwords and compares them to a large database of codes that have been made publicly-available from leaks.  This tool will scan a password to make sure it hasn’t been used by a user on another website, and it will make sure that the password does not follow a common pattern. As Forbes explained, the tool also checks passwords against common dictionary terms.

Of course, we can speculate that in time hackers will find a way to use this new tool to break more complex passwords. But in the meantime, it should suffice as a quick fix while your organization considers integrating more advanced security measures.

When you’re ready to give voice biometrics a try, head over to VoiceVault’s demo section where you will find free trials of our software.

To get started, click here.

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Banks and Fintechs: Use Multifactor Authentication to Reduce Operational Risks

Over the last year or so, there has been a significant uptick in the number of financial institutions leveraging disruptive financial technology (fintech) services. Third party fintech providers are now streamlining everything from payment processing and lending to wealth management.

As these two industries continue to merge, though, cybersecurity is quickly becoming a growing concern to U.S. policymakers and regulatory agencies. Just recently, for instance, a group of business leaders from the fintech industry travelled to Washington, D.C. for a series of important discussions with the Federal Reserve Board (FRB), Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

While cybersecurity wasn’t the only topic that was discussed, it was a big one.

According to The Hill, U.S. regulators are worried about operational risks associated with the use of novel technologies in financial settings. As such, regulators and policymakers expect financial institutions to “meet high standards for the due diligence and monitoring of their third-party service providers, especially around cybersecurity and data security.”

Of course, identity verification is a major piece of the cybersecurity puzzle for banks and fintechs. And one way that companies can strengthen authentication and reduce fraud is to embed multifactor security options into their applications — providing extra security options beyond traditional passwords and personal identification numbers (PINs).

While this may sound difficult, it can be easily accomplished by working with a company like BioConnect, a VoiceVault partner and creator of the BioConnect Identity Platform which supports a range of enterprise-grade biometric technologies including face, fingerprint and iris scanners. The BioConnect Identity Platform also utilizes VoiceVault’s cutting-edge voice biometric identity verification technology. Fintechs can use the BioConnect Identity Platform to obtain simple, user-friendly and highly-secure user identity verification.

“Ease of use, security and fraud reduction are major drivers as to why we’re seeing changes to identity verification within every day, run of the mill banking applications,” stated Bianca Lopes, Vice President of Strategic Marketing and Global Alliances for BioConnect. “VoiceVault has a brilliant track record and a sound voice recognition technology that will provide enterprise clients with ease of use, scalability and ultimately, greater choice by being a part of the BioConnect Identity Platform.”

To learn more about BioConnect, click here. To learn more about VoiceVault, click here.


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Encourage Digital Identity Cleanup Day in Your Enterprise

Encourage Digital Identity Cleanup Day in Your Enterprise

Keeping employees physically healthy is an important part of office life. But how healthy is the digital health of your employees? With much of our business—and lives—conducted online today, keeping employees and their digital identity safe and secure on the Internet is now turning into a big challenge for IT managers across the globe.

So, why not make it an HR issue, too? Here are a few ways that your HR team can get involved to promote safe Internet use both in the office and for remote workers:

Hold regular identity awareness meetings: With so much conflicting advice on the Internet, it’s important to have scheduled group get-togethers  to discuss issues such as the latest strands of malware and industry-wide security threats, as well as to offer ways of combating them. Encourage employees to discuss best practices to help make identity awareness a major part of routine maintenance in your company.

Encourage consolidation: Try offering an identity consolidation solution for your employees such as single sign on or a federated identity. This type of identity consolidation can allow employees to sign into different sites, or different departments of your enterprise, using a single identity. An example of this would be signing into your Gmail or Yahoo accounts—or many other sides—using a Facebook password. This helps prevent employees from losing track of accounts and identities as they spread their image across the Web.

Focus on end-points: Make sure employees are aware that if they are using a mobile device to connect to a company application or database, they are in fact accessing an end point and could pose a legitimate security risk. Recommend using voice biometric identity verification in conjunction with fingerprint scanners, passwords and security questions to prevent unauthorized parties from gaining access.

We want to know: What does your enterprise do to protect the digital identity of its employees? Tweet us your suggestions! #digitalidentity

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Is Your Mobile Security Strategy Behind the Times?

Cybersecurity awareness is gaining a lot of traction these days, as business leaders are becoming increasingly attuned to the digital risks they face. One recent study, for instance, shows that 82 percent of company boards are now concerned about cybersecurity.

Despite this growing awareness, however, many businesses are still failing to protect one critical area of the enterprise: their mobile devices. They’re relying on mobile devices more than ever, yet they’re employing outdated, or in some cases virtually nonexistent, mobile security strategies.

Does this reflect what’s occurring in your organization? The truth is that if you’re not actively researching, assessing and planning security strategies with the vulnerability of your mobile devices in mind, then your network is vulnerable to intruders.

Take a moment and consider whether any of the below are characteristic of your current situation:

  • IT lacks a strong mobile management policy: Mobile devices are currently proliferating in your organization, and the traditional model of securing the “perimeter” of the business has been blurred, posing a challenge to your IT department. Your tech workers are struggling to apply a stagnant set of security controls to various makes and models of mobile devices, and control over them all is slipping. It may also be that IT is trying too hard, leading employees to frustration and a search for workarounds.
  • There is no mobile visibility: Does your IT department even know how many mobile devices are accessing your network on a daily basis? Your employees may or may not use their various devices for work each day, and some might be used more than others. You know that endpoint security solutions are critical to maintaining a secure network, but keeping tabs on every relevant device is becoming next to impossible.
  • Your company is still relying on passwords: Passwords are fast becoming an outdated method of protection because they present an easy target for hackers. Most of your employees are likely using the same password for multiple accounts, or passwords that are easy to crack. Usernames, which often accompany passwords, are just as troublesome. Often it takes only one username/password combination to access multiple accounts shared on one computer.

If any of these situations apply to your business, it’s time for a mobile security update. Enter voice biometrics, a simple, convenient and secure choice for protecting sensitive data. By measuring the pitch, tone, and rhythm of a person’s speech, identity is verified, providing unparalleled—and effortless—protection against mobile cyber attacks. A digital voiceprint is unique to every person, and cannot easily be taken away, lost, counterfeited, or forgotten.

If mobile security is becoming an obstacle to productivity in your organization, VoiceVault can help. Be proactive and meet today’s challenges head-on. Find out if voice biometric identify verification software is right for you.

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Avoid This Critical Digital Security Mistake in Your Enterprise

Think back to your first day at your current job, when you were given a computer and/or mobile device. Did you have to sign a safe usage or digital security policy? Did your IT department even make clear what is allowed on company-owned equipment? The answer is most likely no. You simply logged on and got to work without any briefing from your IT manager, who trusted that, as a professional, you would know how to conduct yourself online.

This sort of oversight—and it is an oversight—represents a common paradox occurring in many enterprises today in regard to cybersecurity policies. That is, IT managers assume that employees are engaging in safe usage policies online, and workers think IT is working overtime to keep their devices protected. Research, for instance, shows that 87 percent of workers believe that it’s the IT department’s job to keep them protected.

As a result of this disconnect, many enterprises are much less safe than workers or IT managers may think.

It’s time, therefore, to take initiative and clamp down on security gaps in your enterprise. A great place to start is by making sure that your business has a robust mobile identity verification strategy in place. Establish a policy that employees must use strong authentication to protect their mobile devices by using the built-in security features like passwords and PINs or, if available, voice biometrics.

Then, go a step further and integrate a voice biometrics engine directly into the framework of your business’s mobile application. This way, all corporate assets stored or accessed on employee mobile devices will be protected by unique end-user voiceprints.

VoiceVault can work with your team of developers to help you build a secure voice biometrics solution. Click here for more information.

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Want to Put a Stop to Customer Spoofing?

Right now, cybersecurity is getting a lot of attention as a top business concern. But there’s one issue that’s equally deserving of attention, as it’s not going away any time soon: customer spoofing.

In 2015, for instance, there was a dramatic uptick in customer spoofing attempts to 13 percent, from 2 percent in 2014. Fraudsters are becoming increasingly cunning, and many businesses are struggling to prevent attacks.

A common form of fraud in use today is customer spoofing. When spoofing a legitimate customer, a fraudster will attempt to use the customer’s login credentials—such as a password, picture or voice recording—to gain access to a particular account.

As you can imagine, it’s very difficult to spot a customer spoofing attack when using standard security protocols like passwords and PINS. A password is just a password, in other words, meaning that if an interloper gains access to it, he could easily use it to gain entry into an account.

So, better protection is needed to prevent customer spoofing, such as is provided by voice biometric identity verification. While a fraudster may somehow gain access to a recording of a customer authenticating, VoiceVault’s solutions can easily detect replay attacks, as well as audio recorded audio that has been manipulated.

Make 2016 the year you think about your business’s current fraud protection technology and look for new ways of securing your enterprise. Click here to learn how voice biometrics can help!

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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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Why You Should Focus On Mobile Security In 2016

Right now you’re looking ahead to the new year, and are trying to figure out how you want to allocate your IT budget. Should you invest in the Internet of Things? Power over Ethernet? More data storage?

All of these solutions are great things to consider. But if you’re overlooking mobile security, then it’s time to add this critical need to your list of action items.

Why focus on improving mobile security in your enterprise? According to CyberEdge, mobile is now one of security’s “weakest links” in the enterprise, on par with social media applications and laptops/notebooks as a major vulnerability. Last year, for instance, there was a 59 percent rise in mobile device threats. What’s more, 5.2 million smartphones were lost or stolen last year, which is dreadful when considering how many contained sensitive corproate information yet lacked appropriate security safeguards.

With these figures in mind, it’s time to get serious about cracking down on mobile security. And voice biometric identity verification is an affordable, convenient and effective solution that can help with this initiative.

By investing in a voice biometric identity verification solution, you can allow employees to safeguard their mobile devices by simply speaking a phrase into their microphone when logging in. The voice biometrics engine will scan an end user’s voiceprint for a variety of factors, and  grant access based on whether or not his or her unique voiceprint is an exact match. It can also be used in conjunction with additional security methods like passwords for additional protection.

Click here to learn more about how VoiceVault can work with your organization to bolster your mobile endpoints!

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Your Mobile Endpoints Are on the Move This Holiday Season. Are They Safe?

This holiday season, many of your employees will be boarding planes, trains and automobiles en route to their favorite winter getaways. And they’ll be taking your enterprise with them, too, on the mobile endpoints they own.

Unfortunately, not every mobile device will make the trip back home. Some will be lost, some stolen. Others may require repair at local stores, leaving unprotected accounts vulnerable to access by criminals.

In light of these risks, will your enterprise survive the holidays without a major data breach?

Of course, it’s too late to protect your enterprise now. But as soon as business resumes in your organization, make it a point to ensure that all of your mobile endpoints are safe from intruders.

First and foremost, make it a company policy that employees are required to use multifactor, device-level security measures. Inform all your workers that they are required to be vigilant about device theft and unauthorized account access to keep the corporation’s digital information safe and secure.

Then, consider going a step further by investing in a mobile anti-fraud solution such as voice biometric identity verification, which will identify an end user by his or her unique voiceprint. This solution is simple and easy to use and can ensure that all of your mobile applications are well-protected at all times.

Click here for more information about VoiceVault, a leading mobile identity verification provider that can expertly meet your voice biometrics needs.

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