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What You Should Know About Voice-Based Tool Security

Remote work has become commonplace these days, and that means more employees are accessing privileged data from less secure areas than their work building. How can your business make sure that the person remotely accessing their information and resources is who they claim to be?

Voice-based authentication is a biometric security measure that provides businesses with extra protection during ongoing this shift to asynchronous, remote workplaces.

How Does Voice Authentication Work?

We have all seen the film version of voice authentication— a person speaks into a secure microphone system and the doors to the bad guys’ stash open up.

What’s happening behind that microphone is rather sophisticated. Voice authentication involves matching a voice input to a sample that is stored in a company’s secure data systems. That sample, called a voiceprint, is a unique imprint of an individual’s voice.

When a person speaks into their microphone to gain access to their employer’s systems, the input is weighed against the sample using many factors including:

  • Inflection
  • Voice
  • Accent
  • Rhythm
  • And other personal elements of speech

The authentication engines then determine whether or not the new input passes or fails the test to match with voiceprint.

Depending on the system’s level of sophistication, the voiceprint might require a user to utter a specific passphrase, or it may just require an individual to speak any phrase for authentication purposes.

How Secure is Voice Authentication?

A major concern that businesses have when looking at authentication is whether it’s capable of preventing individuals from logging into their systems. After all, couldn’t a talented voice impersonator find a way to bypass the voice authentication system?

Surprisingly enough, voice authentication is rather secure because of the nuances of the human voice and development in the “internet of things”, including smart speakers. Your voice is unique and it’s incredibly hard to replicate. Furthermore, modern hardware and software are better at detecting and parsing the unique elements of human voices.

Naysayers would counter and demonstrate that using a voice-based passphrase to access a company’s systems is a process that has been duped before, but more sophisticated systems are combatting these developments. Continuous voice verification throughout an access session, specialty passcodes, and multi-factor authentication make voice authentication a secure tool, especially when used as part of a larger security system.

Best Practices Concerning Voice Authentication

A few considerations exist for businesses that are trying to use voice authentication. It is not a good idea to put all your trust in this single system or implement it without your workers’ input.

Multi-factor Authentication

Although voice authentication is powerful, it should not be used alone. A strong multi-factor authentication model can head off security threats. Adding voice authentication to an existing MFA system will increase the likelihood that your business can prevail against incursions.

Secure Storage

All the authentication in the world cannot help you if the sample data is not properly stored. Your business must develop secure storage for your biometrics so the data will not be leaked and used against you.

Obtaining Consent

A business cannot legally record its workers’ voice data for biometric authentication purposes without their consent. Talk to your team and get permission to make voiceprints while also gathering proof of consent.

These best practices will insulate you against legal and security threats.

Establishing an MFA system in your business can greatly reduce the threats to your systems. Now that more employees than ever are working remotely, using voice authentication to give them access to valuable internal systems is very practical.

While it may take some time to establish an MFA with voice authentication in your business, it will be well worth the effort.

What other tips are you hoping to see from us in the future?

Let us know in the comments, and be sure to check back every week for even more blogs about security, privacy, and more tech.

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