With the recent news of his acquisition of Twitter, Elon Musk has shone a spotlight on the importance of authenticating humans in a digital world.
Although there is certainly a legitimate need for anonymity and the use of pseudonymity in the online world, including in some forms of social media, there are clearly many situations where we need to be able to prove that we are, who we say we are. For example, in protecting our real world and online assets and services, and preventing fraudsters and criminals from appropriating or exploiting those.
Nothing is as fundamental to human beings as identity. Our identity is unique, and is important because it exists in relation to others. It exists in relation to the economic and social structures in which we live.
The ability to reliably and consistently prove that we are, who we say we are, will increasingly determine our opportunities to establish trust with each other and to carry out meaningful interactions and transactions in a digital economy. All over the world, a growing number of organizations – from the public and private sectors – are advancing systems that establish and verify digital identities for people.
- Close to a billion people in the world have no form of legal identification available.
- The others (about 6.6 billion people) have some form of identification available, but its usage in the digital landscape is limited.
The Need for Identity Assurance
As digital connectivity and the online activities of individuals grow, our digital identities are increasingly embedded in everything we do in our daily lives. Every day we use multiple account logins, and authentication services or tools, to access services and carry out digital interactions. These disparate authentication processes are designed to give others confidence in our assertions that we are, who we claim to be, or our right to interact with or use a service.
Authentication is the process of determining if an individual’s claim to a real or digital identity is valid – that it belongs to the same person who genuinely established the identity, but unfortunately the technologies used have failed to keep pace with the evolution of methods used by fraudsters and hackers. Simply put, unless authentication methods are capable of performing reliable and consistent identity assurance in a privacy compliant manner they are no longer fit for purpose.
Voice is the ‘Alpha’ Authentication Factor
The only way to truly establish identity, is with biometrics. However, the only biometric modality that is mathematically strong enough to reliably and consistently establish digital identity is voice biometrics as it is inherently multi-dimensional – it’s not just one’s voice that can be verified, but also what that voice is speaking which dramatically increases the mathematical probability that an identity assertion is legitimate.
This is because your voice provides both behavioral and physiological information, as well as being multi-dimensional- it is able to convey context (what is being said) along with the biometric information (who is saying it).
Our voice is significantly more secure than other forms of biometrics including facial and fingerprint recognition. Technology that uses voice to authenticate humans is multi-dimensional – it measures not only the behavioral traits of an individual and the impact their physical body creates on sound, but it can also determine whether what is being said is contextually accurate and correct.
Furthermore, voice biometrics is unlike any other form of physical biometrics – it cannot be reverse-engineered, contains no personally identifiable information (PII) and has no value outside its instance and purpose in the voice biometrics deployment. Voice is also omni-channel and can also be used as an overlay on existing pervasive authentication technologies, such as OTPs, to address the inherent weaknesses of “possession” factors (interception, credential sharing, etc).
This massively increases the mathematical probability of identifying both the legitimate human seeking to assert his or her identify and crucially preventing giving access to a hacker/fraudster.
Authenticate with identity assurance because digital authentication is nothing without digital identity assurance.
Assurance is, “How sure am I that you are who you claim to be?” In other words: How confident is the service provider (such as bank, or e-commerce site) that the presented credentials belong to the consumer whose identity is being asserted?
Customer identity security and privacy are crucial for organizations that want to build deep and trusted digital relationships with their customers. Consumers have increasingly high expectations that their personal data should be kept private and secure.
The many publicized cases of data abuse, breaches, and identity theft have massively raised the bar for enterprises to be considered trustworthy keepers of personal data. When customers store data with an organization, they are entering into a trust contract. If that trust is breached, it tends to be very difficult to restore.
Are you authenticating your users for a trusted online experience?
If your users face friction while exploring your online platform or service, you should rethink your overall digital experience.
Incorporating a robust voice identity assurance solution assures their digital identity and helps deliver a flawless user experience each time a user interacts with your brand.
At ValidSoft, we are focused on making voice the ‘alpha’ authentication factor: the most secure and trusted way to assure identity. Our technology delivers identity assurance that is easy to deploy, yet enormously secure.