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VBC-SF in Review: Growth Through Partnerships that Promote Trust

2014 May 23

125x125VBC_SF__14-15_2014The key take-aways from the intense day-and-a-half I spent at Voice Biometrics Conference-San Francisco surfaced in presentations by core technology providers, accompanied by their partners. Separately and together, speaker/partners made the case that biometric-based technologies are being integrated into fraud prevention and mobile authentication implementations around the world. More importantly, they demonstrated that go-to-market partners and incumbent security infrastructure providers play the important role of integrating voice biometric technologies into solutions in ways that leverage existing investments in contact center, risk mitigation and security infrastructures.

Announcements and news releases emanating from VBC validate these observations. A case in point is this press release from Pindrop Security and AGNITiO. The Passive Detection flavor of AGNITiO’s flagship product, KIVOX, has been integrated into Pindrop Fraud Detection System 2.0. Put into commercial-eze, AGNITiO’s Voice iD™ is now ships with Pindrop Phoneprinting™ technology, which the two companies position as an “end-to-end solution that meets the ease of use and privacy needs of customers and security demands of enterprises.” Bear in mind that AGNITiO’s engine is already integrated into Verint’s Actionable Intelligence® line  of contact center products by virtue of Verint’s acquisition of Victrio. The white label formula is working.

In a closely related story, TrustID, another leading provider of phone verification technology, announced its partnership with Nuance Communications, to incorporate voice biometrics-based caller identification technology into contact center fraud prevention infrastructures. The trend is clear. Using an individual’s voice “in the background” as a mechanism for assessing whether a caller is the person he or she claims to be strengthens fraud loss prevention tactics in measurable ways. It has a built in ROI when taking ongoing investment into account.

Voice biometrics have an important role to play in securing mobile devices, applications and, eventually, transactions. Mobility is the other opportunity are where partnerships among technology and infrastructure providers are taking shape. As David Harding, chief technology officer and vice president of ImageWare Systems (IWS) suggests in this presentation at VBC-SF, the rapid proliferation of smartphones is driving demand for multi-modal biometrics. As Harding points out, people everywhere are using smartphones as convenient replacements for personal computers. Use cases span business, as well as personal applications creating an acute need for stronger authentication and assurance that the device has not fallen into the hands of a criminal. Harding observes that “multi-modal biometrics will become as ubiquitous as smartphones,” noting that the devices are always present and hooked-up to the Internet. More importantly, with their cameras, touch screens and fingerprint readers, Harding calls them “the perfect biometric capture device.”

At VBC, SpeechPro announced that it is providing voice biometrics capabilities for IWS’s GoCloudID™, GoMobile Interactive™ and pillphone® products, and that its VoiceKey technology has been integrated into IWS’s core Biometric Engine to assure flexible deployment options, embracing cloud-based as well as embedded resources. This type of flexibility is one of the benefits of partnering.

SpeechPro was not alone in announcing mobile offerings in conjunction with security specialists. On Day 2 of VBC, AGNITiO’s co-founder Emilio Martinez was joined by François Grenier, telecom solutions business manager at Oberthur Technologies (OT).   Emilio provided a lead in to François’ presentation by debunking many of the prevailing myths that stand in the way of broad adoption of voice biometrics. He made the point that concerns about accuracy, replay attacks and other forms of spoofing and vulnerability to data hacks are overblown and have been addressed by today’s solutions. With those challenges behind us, AGNITiO forged relationships in the broader community of the FIDO Alliance, which has raised the profile of firms striving to replace vulnerable PINs and Passwords with more robust and easy-to-use authentication methods.

OT has integrated AGNITiO’s KIVOX Mobile into the Oberthur m-Wallet offering. It was demonstrated at CARTES 2013 exhibition in Paris. Using the passphrase “My voice is my password” individuals can unlock applications on their smartphones or gain access to sensitive data. The key selling points are that voiceprints are not stored in a centralized database; instead, the voice patterns are stored on a SIM card. The approach is two-factor by definition (voice and pass phase) and that it is “revocable,” meaning that the passphrase can be changed if there is concern that the trusted link between a service provider and the person in possession of the device has become suspect.

Grenier enumerated the strong points of mobile, multi-factor authentication in his presentation about the “My Voice is My Password” service. OT’s imprimatur on the joint offering can go far to allay concerns from the security officer community. Support in the marketplace from long-time security specialists like IMS and OT represents a true vote of confidence for voice biometrics.

This, in turn, sets the stage for robust growth for multi-factor authentication and fraud prevention solutions that integrate voice biometrics.