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 think the problem with a fingerprint is that you can't really make a fingerprint password more difficult, but with a voice print, the system can change what you say to make the password challenge more difficult. So if you had a really secure voice recognition account, it might ask you to say a secret series of words that only you knew, for example. A fingerprint could be copied from anything you touched... (or someone might cut off your hand)
Biometrics is a very interesting subject. I think that although a voice print is more secure than a finger print isn't a finger print secure enough? I think its pretty tough if not near impossible to copy someone's finger print.
I remember a post on another blog from Alison a while back about using gait recognition. Where many of these are not ready for primetime yet someday they will be. I can see a combination of biometric technologies being used together rather than just one.
Actually, the problem of using voice recognition while suffering from a cold/flu/etc has been addressed -- and there are a bunch of verification systems that claim to be able to remain effective even when user's voices may be affected by illness (or age!).
I've never used these biometric systems myself, but I'd be more worried that some hackers would be able to re-create a digital version of my voice (or fingerprints/retina/etc) and then my accounts would be forever compromised b/c there's no way to change my biometric passwords once they've been duplicated.
DARPA has been working for a while on biometrics like keyboard interaction. I don't know when we're going to see results, but the idea that you sit down and start using a device, and it recognizes you immediately (or not) is appealing.
Thanks for sharing this article, Raj. Voice recognition has been trouble for long time, there has been lots of researches and improvement around it but we are not there yet unfortunate. If we can make improvement in this area we can ask Siri to keep information secure for us. She can simply give us the information or a temporary key to access whatever we want to access. That way we do not have to store any password for anything.
Yes, I agree that a combo-pack will be how most companies protect data and networks -- at least their most sensitive data -- in the future. When you go into secure buildings, that's how they do it now, too. I can't imagine any organization relying solely on one security system.
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