Voice Biometry: My voice as a password

At Telekom, my voice is my password. “This is the rate that telecom customers can now use to authenticate to the service hotline customer service provider: Voice biometric authentication is a new alternative to traditional numeric input while interacting with an automated voice system The objective is to make customer service easier for the end customer and more efficient for the employees in the service hotline.

“Copying a voice profile is almost impossible”

The caller is authenticated to the voice biometric security system using a voice sample that is compared to a previously stored voice print – usually a phrase spoken, such as “My voice is my password”. Then it is determined how exactly these match.

A very safe method, explains Heiner Kruessmann, Nuance Director of Enterprise Sales DACH: “A voice profile is made up of more than a thousand physical features and behaviors, such as length of the vocal cords, shape of the nasal cavities, speaker rhythm, intonation or accent. Copying this voice profile is almost impossible. With voice biometric authentication, abuse can be reliably prevented, because even if someone knows the passphrase, he is unable to fully imitate the voice of the speaker. ”

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Customers are offered a better service

Voice biometric security solutions are already widely used internationally: The technology is used primarily in call centers, for example in the financial and banking sectors, in insurance companies or in telecommunications providers. But voice biometry is also used for authentication in the smart home and healthcare. Internationally, the Australian Tax Agency, the Royal Bank of Canada and Vodafone Turkey are already using Nuance Security Suite technology.

According to the company, they have each stored more than one million vouchers of their customers and thus may, according to Nuance, discourage fraudsters from illegally gaining access to customer accounts while providing better service to their customers.

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In 2018, identity theft fraud tripled

The topic of data theft protection is as current as it has never been: in the past year, identity theft fraud has tripled, with the resulting damage estimated at more than $ 5 billion.

All the more surprising Heiner Kruessmann finds that many large companies offer their customers only the possibility of conventional authentication. “The sum of the more than a thousand physical features being tested makes a voiceprint as distinctive as a fingerprint, but is even more difficult to imitate.

Behavior can perhaps be simulated relatively easily, but physical conditions are not so easy to reproduce. “Anyone who has doubts as a company offering can supplement their system with additional security queries, such as personal information. Voice biometry then occurs as part of a multi-factor authentication.

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The German market is holding back – still

Nevertheless, the German market still seems to be holding back in the use of voice biometric applications. The lack of confidence in the system can not be, says Heiner Kruessmann.

A survey of the company in different countries, including Germany, has thus shown “that Germans are not conspicuously less confident in biometric security technologies than citizens of other countries. Thus, 60 percent of Germans consider biometric authentication methods as the most pleasant. “Rather, the Germans are not overly alarmed when it comes to identity theft and data theft compared to other nations:” Only just under half of Germans said that the loss of data to their bank account by a cyber attack would be of the utmost concern to them. “

Nevertheless, German companies are currently using conventional registration procedures instead of biometric methods. Heiner Kruessmann emphasizes: “Also in the German market there is a rethinking. Telekom is still a pioneer in Germany, but given the benefits of the technology, we expect other companies to follow soon and voice biometrics to be much broader in the German market. ”

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