A Human-Centric Approach to Identity Assurance

As online fraud continues to grow through various means, the subject of identity has never been more important.

In this day and age, data breaches have become almost commonplace. Fraudsters leverage breached data and identity information to bypass organizations’ electronic and human security defenses. If we cannot correctly confirm the end user’s identity, we cannot guarantee account security.

Auth0, a leading authentication and authorization platform, claims that nearly 50% of all login requests their platform receives, are credential stuffing attacks (the automated process of trying to breach organization websites using a stolen username and password combinations).

Data breaches that expose Personally Identifiable Information (PII) like date of birth, social media credentials, or bank account information put end users at risk. The more identity data that is exposed, the easier it becomes for fraudsters to bypass knowledge-based authentication security checks used by companies like contact centers. One must keep in mind that knowledge of identity information is not the same as Identity Assurance.

To those that know us, our identity is a straightforward concept. It’s the proof of who we are.

In person, we can be recognized by appearance or the sound of our voice. There is no need to share a secret password with our family or friends for them to verify our identity. However, when dealing with business models operating remotely with people or entities who do not personally know us, we revert to the use of knowledge-based authentication as a proxy for our identity. 

Many contact centers rely on PII knowledge for authentication creating a vulnerability in data protection. Knowledge may be power, but knowledge is also hackable, transferable, shareable, vulnerable to theft, guessable, and reusable. This vulnerability is the reason data breaches will continue to occur. It provides ample opportunity for fraudsters to assume our digital identities. To a fraudster, knowledge equals an identity.

The use of knowledge for identity and access management is historical.

Widespread use of passwords blossomed with the growth of the internet. Data security and validation professionals have long been locked in an ongoing battle with fraudsters to get the upper hand. Fraudulent tactics and strategies evolve as quickly as authentication initiatives can progress. 

Over the years, more robust authentication methods have been used with varying degrees of success, however, many authentication use cases have already been rendered obsolete. Solutions like OTP generating key fobs were unwieldy and created a poor user experience. Others were simply unsuitable for the various communication channels in use by service providers within existing organization ecosystems.

What if organizations that communicate remotely could validate digital identity in the same way our friends do in person? 

We need to build real-time certainty into identity proofing while using automated or human-based contact center interactions. Especially in situations where the authenticator does not know us personally and we are not physically present. This is where, and why, voice biometric authentication is making ever bigger inroads in the Identity Assurance space.

Only voice biometrics is a two-dimensional dynamic biometric and only biometric authentication actually provides Identity Assurance. It’s not a proxy for identity, it is identity. 

With ValidSoft’s Guaranteed Identity, there are no passwords, no hardware, and no SMS messages; no concerns about user data sharing or compromised personal data. There is nothing tangible for a fraudster to steal or use to assume our identities.

A ValidSoft Voice ID biometric model is a digital representation of the sound distortion a person’s unique physiology makes. This is a complex multi-encrypted algorithm based on the way your body produces vibrations. It is not audio. It cannot be reverse engineered into audio. Most importantly, it cannot be used in any way apart from its intended purpose.

Even if a fraudster gained access to your biometric model, it can only be used within the environment in which it was created rendering possession of the model useless to a bad actor.

With VoiceID, ValidSoft’s voice biometric solution, only the owner and creator of the biometric model can authenticate against it – regardless of who is in possession. If your smartphone is stolen, and a bad actor tries accessing your accounts, they will be stopped. The smartphone may be a recognized device, but we can validate if the correct person is requesting access. Prioritizing identity confirmation over knowledge is the key to continued success.

So, in the same way our friends identify us physically without the need for devices or passwords, organizations using ValidSoft’s voice biometric Identity Assurance can guarantee our digital identities sight unseen. We may not be physically present, but our biometric identity is, and that identity is guaranteed.

To learn more about how ValidSoft is powering the Future of Identity visit www.validsoft.com