Pryathna Sankaranarayanan | November 29, 2017 | 3 minutes
In November 2017 bitcoin scams worth millions of dollars have hit cryptocurrency holders such as C-level executives, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists. Phone numbers have been hacked, and email passwords reset by cyber criminals before completely wiping out the victim’s assets. The weak link in security vulnerable to theft and hacking is the two-factor authentication model as it exists today.
If you make a high value transaction from your account, you will be required to provide a 2FA (two-factor authentication) commonly used for identity verification. Common 2FA tokens include a OTP (one-time pin) sent over an SMS message as an additional layer of security to process your transaction request.
Someone attempting fraud can easily hijack your phone number, receive the SMS text with the OTP, and click on the ‘forgot password’ option to reset your password and lock you out of your account, whilst they steal your assets.
One Time Passwords sent by SMS have low levels of security and can be easily misused and are not suitable for transactions that carry risk. When millions of dollars are at stake, it is advisable to implement a multi-factor authentication model with different layers of biometric security that are difficult to obtain and steal – as biometric features are unique to individuals.
A multi-factor authentication model that involves biometric information for identity verification as an additional layer of security can protect customer assets. Here’s how this works – after a customer enters a password to process a transaction, he is prompted with voice verification. He speaks a unique string of digits (a passphrase) that appears on the screen, and the technology verifies his voice against his enrolled voiceprint.
It is difficult to imitate someone’s voice as over 150 attributes are used as distinct markers for a person’s voice – including shape and size of a person’s vocal tract and behavioural characteristics such as accent, speed of speech, pronunciation and emphasis. Additionally, implementing random digits on the screen each time defeats attempts of using a recording of a customer’s voice to break into his account and strengthens security.
You can bump up security further by customizing the voice biometric technology to request additional voice data. This provides the necessary asset protection to customers, while ensuring ease of use and convenience.
For low risk transactions, you can forgo some of these additional security measures in favour of user experience to make it faster and easier for customers to do business with you – such as saying your phone number.
Voice biometrics offers variable and highly customizable security and user experience solutions for businesses, making it a perfect second factor authentication.
Customer identity verification needs to move beyond information that can be easily acquired and misused. Incorporating a biometric component can save businesses and individuals millions of dollars in fraud and identity theft.