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Could Voice Authentication Join the Ranks of MFA?

by | Oct 15, 2021 | MyTek Blog, Technology

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Authentication has been such a huge topic in the past few years, especially with the increase in data and security. Because of the increased importance of security, people are looking at voice automation, to see if it could be used for security.

Today we’re going to look at how it could actually be promising.

First and Foremost, How Does Voice Authentication Work?

First, you’ll need to know how general authentication works so that we can apply this to voice authentication. 

Authentication is the measure of a user providing proof of identity. If the proof matches what they have in their system, the user is given access. For voice automation, the user’s “voiceprint” of a specific phrase is on file, and the user’s voice is compared to it is able to match it and let them in.

If your passphrase was “the rain in Spain falls mainly over the lazy dog,” the system would first make sure the user is saying the correct phrase but also check to make sure that the inflections and tones of the voice match the voiceprint on file. Voice authentication is usually a subset of a multi-factor authentication system, like the use of facial recognition, palm scans or retinal scans.

How Secure is Voice Authentication?

Just like any authentication process, vocal recognition has been one that has already been tampered with and messed with, meaning there is more work to be done to keep your system safe. Hackers have been able to fool these systems by using recorded snippets and have even hidden malicious commands in white noise to control voice-activated devices.

It is important to note that any form of authentication is less secure if it is used on its own, rather than with a mult-authentication system. Voice authentication systems are also being built so that fraud can be realized immediately. One of these ways is liveness detection which can tell a live voice from a recording. The next one is continuous authentication, which can tell when a user is active, so hackers can’t switch back to their own voice.

Best Practices Concerning Voice Authentication

There are some essential functions that all voice-authentication systems should have:

  • Multi-Factor Authentication: Multi factor authentication is important because it guards your system in multiple ways. With voice authentication, you can pair a PIN or password as secondary proof, so no hackers can gain access easily.
  • Secure Storage: You need to keep your authentication data secure on your end. Without this being done, your MFA can be fooled and the whole system can be tackled.
  • Obtain Consent: You need to have proof that your users have agreed to use biometric data as an authentication method so that you can’t get in trouble legally, or for privacy reasons.

Are you considering using voice authentication? Let us know in the comments or MyTek us a call at 623-312-2444 to learn more about authentication methods.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Tim Tiller, LMSW

 
Tim Tiller, MSW brings a deep service background to his role at Mytek, having graduated from McDonald’s management training program, fresh out of high school, and working his way up through the ranks in the hospitality industry. He has led two prior companies – Multi-Systems Inc., an IT-focused organization providing technology to hospitality companies (where he was named President at age 36), and most recently, as Chief Operating Officer for Jewish Voice Ministries International.

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