ValidSoft, a specialist in multi-factor authentication solutions, has joined the FIDO (Fast Identity Online) Alliance in its efforts to develop a standards-based, open protocol for online authentication. U.K.-based ValidSoft joins payments industry giants PayPal, Lenovo, Mastercard and Google, as well as voice biometrics solutions provider Agnitio.
Launched in February 2013 and now counting more than 50 members, the FIDO Alliance has a goal to reduce reliance on usernames and passwords as a means to authenticate online users. In creating ‘low-friction’ authentication methods embedded in device hardware, FIDO members share a vision of simple, strong authentication to support electronic transactions and commerce.
“We’re pleased to support FIDO Alliance’s efforts to create and implement simpler and higher authentication standards that will help protect people from ever more sophisticated fraud,” said Pat Carrol, chairman of ValidSoft, as part of the announcement.
FIDO Alliance President and PayPal CISO Michael Barrett also said in the announcement, “ValidSoft’s contribution to our Alliance supports our industry goal to make user authentication easier and safer for all parties.” In a webinar this week, Barrett said he expected FIDO-ready authentication solutions to be available in the market within the first quarter of 2014.
This has been a busy year for the London-based ValidSoft, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Elephant Talk Communications Corp. In October, ValidSoft demoed an app integrating an in-band mobile authentication platform and voice biometrics technology into Spindle’s new MeNetwork360 mobile commerce ecosystem. The new app brings together mobile payments and marketing by enabling mobile users to search, transact and build relationships with multiple merchants.
Also in October, ValidSoft teamed up with OmniTueri to pilot a mobile application and cloud-based solution to address portability issues when dealing with electronic medical records (EMR) programs. The concept incorporates voice authentication into a mobile application to protect sensitive healthcare information.
And in September, ValidSoft announced the inclusion of Zero Latency Correlation (ZLC) in the company’s solution for smartphone wallet applications. ZLC monitors invisible authentication factors in detecting fraud and helping facilitate mobile transactions.
On the heels of this week’s unprecedented $13 billion mortgage settlement by JP Morgan Chase for its bad lending practices, a Spain-based speech analytics firm is targeting the financial services market with software tools to monitor and manage financial traders’ behaviors. Fonetic, a 10-year old private company, provides a cross-channel technology to analyze and decode trader interactions via speech analytics for phone, email and chat communications, and social media monitoring.
With a focus on insurance, telecommunications, government and finance, Fonetic has found particular traction in offering solutions for enterprises looking to comply with the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. This landmark piece of legislation was signed into law by President Obama in July 2010 as a response to the financial crisis of the “Great Recession” and serves as a regulatory tool to keep banks and financial services firms in check.
According to Simon Richards, global sales and marketing director with Fonetic, Dodd-Frank has had worldwide repercussions as any global financial services firm that carries out trades with U.S. banks must comply.
Fonetic’s technology takes unstructured data from voice, email and chat interactions to create a searchable database to analyze communications based on content, reconstruct trades, or identify risk patterns. The company names BBVA as a signature customer, who has been using the technology since 2009. Richards says Fonetic has only publicly been promoting their software as Dodd-Frank record-keeping solution since April of this year.
The company’s uses Nuance speech processing technology and Genesys SpeechMiner platform for call processing. With connectors into all sources of voice and text traffic into a bank infrastructure, the technology can handle up to 79 languages, but primarily caters to English, French, and Spanish.
Last week, Fonetics added voice biometrics as a way for banks to verify a caller’s identity, track their interactions, and authenticate transactions by traders. The company names Agnitio as the technology provider and offers voice biometrics as an additional feature for banks requesting authentication capabilities.
“For banks looking to implement a Dodd-Frank trading record keeping solution before the April 2014 deadline, Fonetic’s solution is still the only fully-functioning and proven platform available on the market, and we continue to drive industry innovation by being the first to integrate biometric voice analysis” said Juan Manuel Soto in a statement from last week.
The company is planning to open a U.S. office in New York City in the first quarter of next year, with designs on opening future offices in London and Singapore.
Earlier this month, Opus Research organized and produced Voice Biometrics Conference London 2013. This was the tenth VBC event hosted by Opus and featured case studies, industry experts, and technology providers showcasing the latest in strategies to prevent fraud with multi-factor authentication and improve the customer experience.
In this video below, produced by Nuance Communications, several of the VBC London speakers and attendees — including representatives from DBS, ING Bank, Vodafone, Australian National Tax Office, Aite Group and others — share their insights on the value proposition for voice biometrics and predict how future applications in multi-channel environments and mobile commerce will help drive adoption.
Voice Biometrics Conference London – November 6-7, 2013
The Grosvenor House, a JW Marriott Hotel, London, U.K.
Agenda & Presentations
Last week in London, top analysts, industry experts, interested prospects and successful implementers met to hear keynote presentations and panel discussions on the business opportunities, strategies and applications, deployment options, and what’s next for voice biometrics. Hosted and produced by Opus Research.
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
1:30 PM – 1:45 PM
Secure, Simple & Personal: Voice Authentication – Opening remarks from Opus Research, taking stock of the past, present and future of voice biometric-based technology and markets.
Speaker: Dan Miller, Senior Analyst, Opus Research
1:45 PM – 2:10 PM
Survey Data: Mitigating Fraud and Consumer Acceptance of Voice Biometrics – How contact centres can improve security while reducing customer frustration and cutting time agents spend on authentication. Sabio presents exclusive survey consumer data about contact centre security concerns and the organizational and business opportunities for phone-based voice verification.
Speaker: Peter Galloway, Head of VSS Practice, Sabio
2:10 PM – 2:40 PM
How to Choose a Voice Biometrics Engine – Voice biometrics engine evaluations can be both complex and expensive, and many users lack the knowledge to perform them. This session reviews the necessary aspects, costs, and common mistakes made by customers in real life decisions. Costs can be avoided if trusted parties make periodical testing of commercial engines and publish the results, thus reducing decision complexity and providing improved reliability.
Speaker: Emilio Martinez,CEO, Agnitio
2:40 PM – 3:00 PM
Reality Check: Top 5 Global Bank Mobile App Deployment – In 2012, a U.S.-based bank deployed voice biometrics as one factor in a multi-factor authentication approach for app login and for countersigning money transfers. This presentation will walk through the evolution of this new voice biometric feature in the bank’s Android / iOS app from initial qualification, to launch and to globalization. The session discusses the ongoing requirements from Fraud, Product and Legal and the overall success metrics.
Speakers: Julia Webb, EVP, Sales & Marketing, VoiceVault
3:30 PM – 4:00 PM
Panel: Impact of Apple Touch ID – A Biometrics Turning Point? – Apple’s iPhone 5s enables owners to activate their smartphones and authorize purchases by touching the home key. This capability, called Touch ID, has kindled renewed interest in how and whether biometric authentication will have mass appeal. What are its strengths? What are the weaknesses? How will it scale? What might hold it back? We’re assembling a panel of industry experts – across banking, mobile, customer care and security – to tackle these topics.
Brendan Treacy, CEO, Vicorp
Jamie Cowper, Sr. Director, Business Development, Nok Nok Labs
Alexey Khitrov, Strategic Development Director, SpeechPro
4:00 PM – 4:30 PM
The Future of Secure, Mobile Authentication – Mobile devices have the potential to be the universal device to make authentication stronger. But a host of challenges stand in the way for mobile security platforms. What are the key enablers and how does voice fit into a comprehensive mobile security strategy?
Speaker: Daniel Thornhill, VALid® Product Manager, ValidSoft
4:30 PM – 5:00 PM
Case Study: Tatra Bank – Established as the first private bank in Slovakia, Tatra Bank is currently the country’s third largest bank with more than 160 branches and 3200 employees. Since launching a voice biometrics system in July 2013 for its telephone banking program, known as DIALOG Live, Tatra Bank has created more than 40,000 voice samples in providing simpler, more secure customer verification.
Speaker: Michal Liday, Retail Head, Tatra Banka
Thursday, November 7, 2013
9:00 AM – 9:45 AM
Keynote: Powering Security and Easy Authentication in a Multi-Channel World – Security has high value and mitigates high risk in today’s expanding multi-perimeter world. Learn how organizations such as Bank Leumi have benefited from incorporating voice biometrics in their Identity & Verification process. Empowering organizations to deploy cross-channel and multi-factor authentication while delivering an incredibly positive user experience, voice biometrics is poised to become a key authentication tool within web and mobile just as it has within the IVR and call center space.
Speaker : Brett Beranek, Solution Marketing Manager, Nuance Communications
9:30 AM – 10:00 AM
Reality Check: Sentiment Plus Voice Authentication in Contact Centers – Your existing voice recording infrastructure and metadata can be used in the battle against fraud and to protect your contact center. NICE Systems will show you how existing call recording, call monitoring and analytic fabrics can be leveraged to build the voice prints that become the foundation for voice-based authentication and fraudster detection, as well as how to operationalize voice biometrics to achieve real business value and a compelling ROI.
Speaker: Elad Hoffman, Real Time Authentication Solution Manager, NICE Systems
10:00 AM – 10:30 AM
Next Generation Fraud Detection with Integrated Speech Technologies – Presenting a multi-factor authentication system which combines voice verification with speech recognition technologies and text-to-speech. The system strengthens vocal passwords by integrating security questions as an alternative to one-time passwords. Avea, a leading GSM operator in Turkey with a customer base of 12.8 million, has implemented a call center voice verification system by Sestek registering more than one million vocal passwords in the first year.
Speaker: Professor Levent Arslan, Founder and CEO, Sestek
11:00 AM – 11:45 PM
Financial Roundtable – TCommercial banks and brokerages are leaders in imaginative implementation of voice-based and multi-factor authentication for contact centers, online services and mobile. Hear from a panel of financial services executives as they share insights and lessons learned in evaluating alternatives, selecting solutions providers and preparing employees and customers for the roll-out of voice biometrics-based solutions.
Shirley Inscoe, Senior Analyst, Aite Group
Andrew Foote, Strategist, Wells Fargo
Greg Williamson, VP, Authentication Product Development, MasterCard
11:45 AM – 12:15 PM
Reality Check: The Power of a Black List, the Promise of a White List – Financial services companies are finding out that they can reduce fraud loss by quickly detecting imposters. But that is just the start of the story. Learn how the combination of multiple factors can lead to lower financial losses.
Steve Williams, Senior Director, Desktop & Process Analytics Practice, Verint
Mark Lazar, CEO, Victrio, Inc.
1:30 PM – 2:00 PM
Panel: Lightning Round – Exploiting Adjacent Opportunities – As e-commerce migrates increasingly to mobile and social networks, it fuels the need for strong, convenient authentication and access control. The opportunities for voice biometrics should be obvious. This panel will discuss where voice fits with Big Data, social networks, the cloud and other factors shaping the future of trusted communications and commerce.
Emmanuelle Filsjean, Global Head of Marketing, ValidSoft
Peter Hauser, CCO, VoiceTrust
John Dardo, Assistant Commissioner, Australian Taxation Office
2:00 PM – 2:30 PM
Identity & Authentication in a Post-Password World – Traditional approaches to verifying one’s identity through passwords, PINs, and plastic cards are fraught with usability and security flaws, increasing the need for alternatives. Digital money and identity expert David Birch presents a new world view of personal identity management and what role voice biometrics will play within the larger group of potential authentication approaches.
Speaker: David Birch, Director, Consult Hyperion
2:30 PM – 3:00 PM
Voice is Not Enough – How voice biometrics can be combined with other authentication factors to build trust.
Guy Cooper, CEO, Qivox
3:30 PM – 4:00 PM
Reality Check: e-Government Applications for Voice Authentication – A look into a government initiative to integrate voiceprints into a national ID database enabling qualified citizens to receive aid money, pensions or cast a vote in national elections with just a telephone call.
Speaker: Hermann Geupel, Managing Director, VoiceTrust
4:00 PM – 4:30 PM
Reality Check: The Case for Bimodal Authentication – Demonstrating a novel way to combine voice plus facial recognition to achieve very high levels of confidence when authenticating the identity of individuals carrying out personalized commerce, communications and collaboration.
Speaker: Bryan Chaney, VP Sales & Marketing, SpeechPro
4:30 PM – 5:00 PM
Executive Panel: Where We’re At and Where We’re Going – Voice biometrics has evolved from a technology to a set of solutions that span mobile commerce, home electronics and automotive marketplaces – in addition to e-commerce contact centers. Top voice biometric engine providers answer “what’s next?” for their products, companies, partners and customers, paying special attention to what it will take to make voice biometrics an integral part of platforms that promote secure, convenient, trusted commerce.
Almog Aley-raz, GM & VP Voice Biometrics and Security Solutions, Nuance
Vipul Vyas, VP, Client Development, Victrio+Verint
Tim Furnell, CTO, VoiceVault
Dan Miller, Senior Analyst, Opus Research (moderator)
Verint Systems Inc., a global leader in contact center monitoring, recording, analytics and “enterprise intelligence”, has agreed to acquire voice-based fraud prevention specialist Victrio. Financial terms were not disclosed. To this point, Victrio had marketed its solutions as an independent company often in conjunction with Verint’s rival, NICE Systems.
Victrio’s efforts have landed a set of marquee customers that include one of the largest commercial banks in the world and a leading issuer of payment cards. Based on months of real world results, Victrio’s clients are finding that voice-based fraud reduction has measurable impact on fraud loss. As Mark Lazar, Victrio’s CEO, explained, “We’ve brought the ‘data science’ into the mix and proven that our solutions can work at scale.”
That message was not lost on Verint and many of its existing customers. Nancy Treaster, SVP and General Manager of Strategic Operations at Verint, explained that Verint has been responding to RFPs from its existing enterprise customers with the Victrio’s solution. In many cases it offers a packaged solution that merges Verint-based portfolio of contact center software with Victrio’s services to bring a complete, risk-based fraud prevention solution.
As part of Verint, Victrio will see a large number of opportunities to augment Verint’s line of Actionable Intelligence® products and services for its global installed base. The ties with Verint also bring Victrio ready access to the call recordings that are the raw material for the database of voiceprints that are foundational to passive, predictive fraud detection. The respective sales teams will find themselves in front of new categories of decisionmakers, as well. Verint will find that its salespeople can take their message to top security and risk management executives who often pay short shrift to the problems that arise in contact centers; at the same time, Victrio will have a strong story to tell to the folks who want to limit their exposure to phone-based fraud without putting callers through time-consuming challenge-question-and-response rituals.
A silent winner in the acquisition is voice biometric engine provider Agnitio. It is the provider of the core voice biometric processing platform for Victrio’s solution. It also provides the speaker identification software that is a key component of Verint’s line of Security Intelligence solutions. Both Verint/Victrio and Agnitio will be present, as featured speakers and sponsors, at Voice Biometrics Conference-London (November 6-7).
With the theme, “Preventing Fraud and Promoting Trust,” next month’s Voice Biometric Conference London promises to showcase the ever-expanding set of deployed solutions and future opportunities for voice biometric technologies.
Voice technologies that support convenient authentication of customers in contact centers and promote secure communications through mobile devices are gaining impressive momentum just this year. Look no further than recent mainstream media coverage in the Wall Street Journal, BBC Radio, and MIT’s Technology Review.
Voice Biometrics Conference London (November 6-7) is an excellent place to hear from peers and industry executives sharing experiences in deploying voice biometrics. As part of the global Voice Biometrics Conference series hosted by Opus Research, industry leaders in customer care, fraud prevention, and mobile security strategies will be on hand representing all major verticals including retail banks & financial services, telecommunications, hosted service providers, insurance and identity management, government agencies, and mobile device and consumer electronics manufacturers.
Register here to secure your spot at Voice Biometrics Conference London; space is limited.
Demand for safe, secure, simple ways to carry out business online and over mobile phones is building. People are tired of remembering passwords or carrying pieces of hardware. It’s time to take concrete steps to implement safe, simple and secure authentication methods.
Join Dan Miller, Senior Analyst at Opus Research and Nik Stanbridge, Vice President of Product Marketing at VoiceVault, to hear about the best ways to get started with the technology. Find out what’s working among the dozens of implementations and learn what solutions are available “off-the-shelf” and why it’s getting easier to integrate voice into mobile and multi-factor authentication initiatives and see the potential to make voice-based authentication foundational to personalized mobile services.
October 15, 2013 — 1:00 p.m. EST / 10:00 a.m. PST
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Experts on biometrics-based security are coming out of the woodwork. Many joining the conversation only to make blanket statements that explain “Why fingerprints, other biometrics don’t work,” as Dave Aitel, CEO of Immunity, Inc., did in this article in USAToday. Aitel’s critique is two-pronged. He states that “a person’s biometrics can’t be kept secret and they can’t be revoked.” The implication of the first point, in the context of voice biometrics, is that your voice can be recorded, duplicated and used by impostors to gain access to your personal information. The meaning of the second point, non-revokability, is more subtle and, if Mr. Aitel is to be believed, it will be the death knell of mass use of biometrics.
Voice biometrics-based solutions providers have heard all this before, of course.
To address point one, there are several effective methods to prevent “replay attacks,” and “liveness detection” is baked in at the application layer of products from the leading vendors and integrators. Opus Research expects to see mass deployment of voice biometrics as part of ”Proof-of-Life” services for government agencies or pension service providers, as part of their efforts to minimize fraud losses. Suffice it to say that, as bad as it sounds, the challenge of preventing replay attacks has been addressed and answered.
As for the non-revokability of biometrics, this too is not news to anyone. As a matter of fact Bruce Schneier, world renowned security guru, noted the same flaws as last weeks USAToday column in this post on “Schneier on Security” which initially appeared in January 2009. Rather than calling non-revokability a show-stopper, Schneier simply closes by saying:
“Biometrics are easy, convenient, and when used properly, very secure; they’re just not a panacea. Understanding how they work and fail is critical to understanding when they improve security and when they don’t.”
…we’re four years on in the process of figuring all that out.
For purposes of authentication, a voiceprint is created when a person enrolls in a system. It is not a recording of the person’s voice; rather it is a digital distillation of an individual’s utterances. It reflects the unique qualities of a person’s vocal tract as well as various unique behavior attributes resulting from differences in pitch, tone, expression, etc. In instances where they are stored remotely, they are hashed, encrypted and stored separately from any personal information that would associate one of these binary files with other personally identifiable information. So if a system is hacked, a criminal will have a bunch of data and not much else. It’s not perfect, but it is difficult enough to ensure that there’s a future for finger and voice-based identification and authentication.
There are other threads of the Touch ID-inpired onslaught against biometrics for authentication. In this post on his Next Draft blog, Dave Pell points out that we’re on a slippery slope of highly-intrusive biometric-based security practices. “Before long,” he says, “you’ll have to give a DNA swab to access a collection photos you took yourself.” A scary thought, indeed.
Apple’s introduction of Touch ID provides a reason for Aitel, Schneier, Pell and many others (including me) to carry on conversations about the pro’s and con’s of using biometrics (including voice) to protect our personal information and authorize transactions. We’ll be holding discussions in real time at the Voice Biometrics Conference-London on November 6-7. The “hot topics” that Touch ID exposes include service delivery architectures: what’s on the device versus “in the cloud”?; privacy issues: how are voiceprints protected; user acceptance: what does the public think? and, perhaps most importantly: what can be accomplished at large scale?
Join Opus Research and NICE Systems for a fact-filled discussion of passive voice authentication. Companies deploy this technology in the contact center to overcome adoption barriers and garner financial and operational benefits that pave the way for bringing strong authentication to all customer touchpoints.
Customer care specialists have already discovered that huge benefits result when they shorten the time required for caller authentication. Shorter calls save costs and increase customer satisfaction. New technologies enable them to take a passive approach to customer enrollment, accelerating the time it takes to extend these benefits to all callers and stepping up the pace at which trusted communications links can be established.
Dan Miller, senior analyst at Opus Research, will describe the trend toward passive enrollment and authentication, what it is and why it’s important for firms in financial services, telecommunications, retailing, healthcare, insurance and government. Jade Kahn, Solutions Marketing Manager at NICE, will then outline the steps that companies can take to move ahead with passive authentication and provide a proposed roadmap from contact center to support multiple customer and consumer touchpoints.
Register now to learn:
- Why is there so much excitement about passive enrollment?
- Where passive enrollment can be leveraged?
- What is involved from the caller’s perspective
- What are the financial benefits in the contact center?
- Where do I start?
September 17, 2013 — 1:00 p.m. EST / 10:00 a.m. PST
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This week, Apple’s much ballyhooed announcement on the release of the iPhone 5s, complete with fingerprint technology for access to the device, has generated a fair share of publicity. Perhaps too much publicity. The wide-scale introduction of biometric-based authentication, in this case the Apple Touch ID, signals a new frontier in the discussion about biometrics, privacy, security and convenience.
Dan Miller, senior analyst and founder with Opus Research, breaks down the coverage of Apple Touch ID outlining the skeptics reaction as well as forecasting the creative potential of fingerprint technology on mobile devices and not being too quick to judge what consumers might want with their smartphones:
Experience over time will also play an important role in defining the usefulness and acceptance of Touch ID. Out-of-the-box functionality is confined to secure device activation and authenticating/authorizing purchase instructions for media or other content through the iTunes store. In this respect, Apple is smart to attach constraints on what people can do with the new technology. In addition to keeping user expectations low, it increases the probability of success.
Unlike Siri, which raised high hopes for the phone to understand virtually anything an individual would say using “natural language,” Touch ID will prove to be very good at a modest set of activities which, I believe, will lead individuals wanting more.
To read the entire analysis, be sure check out the post at Opus Research.