Why Voice Verification is the Future of Authentication

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Fraudsters have never been as sophisticated as they are today, and so the pressure on businesses to verify the legitimacy of their customers is of the utmost importance. This is now especially pertinent with Cifas, the independent fraud association, having revealed that a record 89,000 cases of identity fraud took place in the UK during the first half of the calendar year. 

Identity fraud now accounts for 56% of all reported fraud cases across the UK, meaning that businesses must do everything in their power to ensure they have the proper technology in place to distinguish between legitimate customers and imposters. Failing to do so could cost businesses millions through criminal activity. 

Customer verification has undoubtedly come a long way in terms of improving the process of determining an individual’s identity, but more still needs to be done to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of this process. 

Customer authentication tools have developed in recent times and voice verification is the future when it comes to authenticating legitimate customers. 

The journey to ensuring better authentication
It may be an alien idea to some of us now, but in the past the only way a business could authenticate a customer’s legitimacy was by actually meeting them face to face. Though it may have been somewhat of an inconvenience, this technique did manage to provide reliable results. 

As technology has developed, the need to travel sizeable distances to authenticate in this way has ceased, moving instead to processes such as PINs, passwords and Knowledge Based Authentication Questions (KBAs). These new methods of authentication have unquestionably made life easier for the consumer, but such a heavy reliance on technology has left companies susceptible to fraudulent behaviour, endangering customers in the long term.

While safeguards such as passwords, PINs and security question answers can be stolen by fraudsters monitoring social media profiles, while detailed information like KBA answers can be obtained by fraudsters phoning call centers and manipulating their way into accounts.

Recent research from Pindrop has confirmed this, revealing that call center fraud attacks have increased 113% in the past year. A shocking amount of fraud is now occurring over the phone, due to this access point having been neglected. The industry had primarily focused its efforts on cyber defences, but businesses are now turning to voice biometrics to help them tackle fraud.

Voice provides higher quality protection
Voice user interface may not be a new innovation, but the improved precision of this technology has raised its profile dramatically, particularly when coupled with the news that phone fraud is on the increase. 

In the wake of this, banks have taken it upon themselves to act as vanguards for voice biometric authentication. Barclays have launched voice recognition services to protect themselves against fraud on the phone channel. HSBC has also implemented similar services for their phone and mobile banking customers that will allow customers to access the full range of services in their bank account. 

In order for this technology to become commonplace across all industries however, there is a greater need for a coherent, reliable and safe solution. For instance, this technology must be able to adapt to the fact that a human’s voice changes over time and it must be uninhibited by background noise.

As the human voice changes with age, standard voice authentication will quickly become outmoded. Businesses must look for a system which can continually learn and readjust itself to the user’s voice.

As the sophistication of biometrics enhances, so too do the modus operandi of fraudsters. If a fraudster is aware that a company is using voice biometrics they will often do things to outsmart the protective barriers.

To help businesses truly secure themselves, it is therefore essential that they cover all weak spots. The creation of a multi-layered defense approach, which covers all forms of authentication from face-to-face, to online and over the telephone, is vital. 

How to protect your voice from fraud
Voice authentication through technology is fast becoming the everyday norm. Whether it is conducting financial withdrawals or making online purchase decisions - it will be our voice, not our computer mouse making these transactions. Businesses must start preparing themselves for the voice-led revolution that is to follow. 

Building on the existing security validation foundations of voice biometrics are pieces of technology such as Phoneprinting - which offer sophisticated, multi-factor authentication. This technology is capable of pinpointing specific components of each call such as the location of a call, the device, whether it is mobile or landline and whether the phone has been used to call the company in the past.

In tandem with a new “high-def” development, this high-tech solution now analyses 1,380 different elements, which helps in detecting fraudulent activity before it becomes problematic, taking us another step closer to protecting our voice against more fraud.

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