In today's digital world, we have to remember so many passwords for the different accounts we use for banking and work, for social networks, and other websites. Despite our many security precautions, we often can see the results of password theft on the news. For IT departments, this creates the challenge of choosing a better way to safeguard our data and access.
At present, fingerprint biometric technology is increasingly being used as one advanced authentication system. The National Australia Bank (NAB) concentrated its biometrics authentication system using voice recognition instead of fingerprinting for customer identification.
That's because NAB believes voice recognition is more secure biometric technology than the fingerprint, said Adam Bennett, executive general manager of enterprise transformation at NAB, in a press conference in Sydney: "Voice has nearly 120 security points and the fingerprint has nearly 40 security points."
The bank has more than 100,000 customers using the voice authentication on their phones today. In the future, NAB wants to expand this voice biometric system into its ATMs, too. Not only does the financial institution rely on this technology for security, but it also views voice biometrics as a way to enhance customer service, since it's designed to reduce patrons' frustration over forgotten passwords, said Warren Shaw, NAB Personal Banking's executive general manager, in a statement.
Researchers continue to push the biometrics envelope, of course. Some are investigating the use of brainwaves to create thought-control computing, which could eventually include a security application.
In a company experiment, Interaxon could control a building's lights using its thought-control technology. Imagine the possibilities if someone integrates this with something like Google's Project Glass.
Facial recognition and fingerprints are authentication methods used in more devices today. It may take another decade before we see voice- and thought-control dominate common consumer devices. Where do you think the future of identification will be?
— Raj Kumar is an independent industry analyst and IT professional in the Coimbatore area of India.
I like the idea of using voice for security. Actually, I like the idea of using anything uninvasive for security that doesn't involve passwords. I don't know that brain-controlled access is anything close to reality in terms of opening our applications and logging on to networks, but surely we are getting close to wider adoption of voice or fingerprint biometrics for day-to-day computer use?
One concern about any form of biometric security is what happens when access is compromised. You can reissue someone a new password, but it's not so easy to reissue their fingerprint, or retina-print, or voice.
Also, will the voice recognition work if the user has laryngitis, cold, or allergy attack?
From what I've read, there are always password backup systems to biometric solutions -- definitely one drawback to the technology, since IT departments must implement dual systems for primary and secondary means of access. I recall speaking to a company that used fingerprint biometrics for its workers' timecards. For some reason, two employees' fingerprints were unusable and they had to access the system via traditional password.
The Americans with Disabilities rules, too, must be adhered to. Other countries, I'd think, have similar rules to prevent discrimination; that would also extend to people's ability to log-on.
That was my first thought too... sometimes if I get a cold people can instantly tell it because my voice changes.
It would take a REALLY good algorithm to get around that.
Also, what about voice actors? Or recordings? You could in theory game the biometric to think the real user was calling, just like you can hold a picture up to many of the facial recognition webcam software and wiggle it to get the algorithm to "recognize" the owner and unlock the device.
Biometrics are still too much of a work in progress imho for serious privacy/security applications; they are however fascinating from a research perspective.
Well, I hate to be grotesque, and I don't know what part of the world you live in, but quite frankly if my bank account could be drained with a thumbprint, I'd be walking round with iron gloves on. I have been using index finger id to get into 24 Hour Fitness for 3 years now and I like it, but I'd like to keep my fingers close to the rest of my body. Voice sounds a lot less "invasive" but really why not mix all together...face, voice, print, passcode, shoe size...etc.
There is the Maxwell Smart shoe. Actually, it's got nothing to do with the TV show, but Carnegie-Mellon researchers are working on insoles for biometrics, the Washington Post wrote several months ago. They're basing their research on the fact that people have a unique gait--but, of course, gaits change with age, accident, illness, etc.
I think voice is a really good option for authentication. Like Alison said, it is not intrusive. We're also starting to see phones and othe devices work via voice fairly well so using it as a "gateway" makes sense. There may come a time where a lot of work interfacing with digital devices will be done with voice commands. The technology is only going to get better and may make security less of a headache. There will be less passwords to remember when you can use your vocal cords!
Sure, if it were one metric, it would have to be exact. But when you meld togther several then you can be a little fuzzy on each with the total giving you a really good match. And now I read they are doing a lot with "age projection" where they can estimate how a person would look after 5 or 10 years.
Melding together several metrics does indeed sound promising. Using some combination of voice, fingerprints and -- who knows? -- keyboard typing rhythm, facial recognition, and retina scans would enable users to continue to be identified even if one or more metric is distorted or compromised, while making it harder for intruders to break in.
One thing is clear: Passwords are fundamentally broken. They were designed for the 1980s, when a person had two or three passwords to remember at most. Now, people have hundreds of passwords. The advice people get for password security is laughable -- nobody has time for all that nonsense of generating and keeping track of 12-digit passwords mixing uppercase and lowercase letters and numbers?
The ThinkerNet does not reflect the views of TechWeb. The ThinkerNet is an informal means of communication to members and visitors of the Internet Evolution site. Individual authors are chosen by Internet Evolution to blog. Neither Internet Evolution nor TechWeb assume responsibility for comments, claims, or opinions made by authors and ThinkerNet bloggers. They are no substitute for your own research and should not be relied upon for trading or any other purpose.
Today's browsers are capable of doing tasks that were impossible only a few years ago. Development of HTML5 created the revolution, empowering current web browsers in desktops, tablets, and smartphones to become equally capable of handling websites and business-critical applications.
A survey by JD Powers found that customer interest in product features is lessening as phones evolve. Rather than features, price is driving purchases, and that change could have a dramatic impact on how IT departments secure these devices.
A recent release of the popular TweetDeck app for Twitter power-users gives new life to software that had previously taken a wrong turn. Here's a quick walk-through of the new TweetDeck, to show you why it should be at the top of your Twitter toolkit.
The quest for Webpage clicks and ad impressions is creating a market for sensational truths and lies in equal measure. How are we going to get to the bottom of any real issue online – like what's really going on with Carrier IQ, for example – if we can't separate hype from reality?
You've heard the expression, "Out of the frying pan, into the fire?" Amazon lives in the fire. The e-tailer wins by keeping things hot for its competitors, employees, and itself, according to a new book.
Positec, a manufacturer of power tools for homes and commercial applications, achieves greater customer service flexibility and cuts hold times in half by using a cloud-based service to manage its call center.
Big-data and analytics tools enable marketers to understand customers as individuals, identifying unmet needs and addressing each customer as a "segment of one," says John Kennedy, VP corporate marketing, IBM.
Acquire, Grow & Retain Customers: The Business Imperative for Big Data & Analytics Find out how to use big data and analytics to change how your business interacts with customers by incorporating all sources of data to help forge long-term relationships and realize value. A holistic view of the customer, made possible by big data and analytics, ensures unique experiences and personalized communications. READ THIS eBOOK
your weekly update of news, analysis, and
opinion from Internet Evolution - FREE! REGISTER HERE
Wanted! Site Moderators Internet Evolution is looking for a handful of readers to help moderate the message boards on our site as well as engaging in high-IQ conversation with the industry mavens on our thinkerNet blogosphere. The job comes with various perks, bags of kudos, and GIANT bragging rights. Interested?