Multi-modal biometric authentication is becoming the go-to security option for enterprises who want to offer the most convenient and secure customer authentication.
The popularity of multi-modal biometric authentication has exploded in the past few years. According to Opus Research, there will be more than a half-billion voiceprints alone by 2020. It’s not hard to see why, as people become more and more comfortable with biometric authentication, enterprises are using multi-modal biometrics to improve security while keeping customers happy.
Multi-modal biometric authentication benefits the enterprise in three specific ways. It vastly improves the customer experience with no cumbersome passwords to remember. It improves the security of traditional customer authentication and prevents hacking and data breaches. And it enables layered authentication, which allows even the highest risk transactions to be performed in self-service channels.
of data breaches happen because of exploitation of weak or stolen passwords.
of people are dissatisfied with today’s automated authentication.
In 2013, Apple Computer revolutionised the biometric market by releasing the iPhone 5s with TouchID. This allowed apps to easily integrate fingerprint biometrics. Followed quickly by Samsung and Android, there are now hundreds of millions of customers using their fingerprint to authenticate within their phone.
Voice biometrics work by comparing a person’s voice to a voiceprint stored on file. The voice is analysed for over 140 factors against a voiceprint that is impossible to spoof or duplicate and cannot be reused if stolen. Voice biometrics can be applied to secure self-service applications and can even listen to a conversation with an agent to provide effortless authentication.
Voice biometrics can be active, where the user states a passphrase like “My voice is my password” which enables companies to create in-depth self-service digital channels in an app or website that can handle secure transactions. Or it can be passive to “listen” in the background of a conversation with a call centre agent, authenticating your customer in as little as 10 seconds with no additional input.
With facial recognition, the user takes a picture of themselves in real time that can be compared to a face on file. The system today can achieve high levels of confidence by overcoming facial variances, and new technology will soon provide liveness detection where the system can easily determine if a fraudster is using a photograph.
Behavioural patterns, such as how a person types, uses a mouse or even how they pause when accomplishing a task, create a profile of the user that can be compared to an expected profile. It excels at continuous authentication where a user is constantly compared to their profile to ensure that someone else has not hijacked the session.
A retinal scan is a biometric technique that compares the unique patterns on a person's retina blood vessels to data on file. Not even identical twins share a similar pattern. Retinal scanning today requires specialist hardware, but great strides have been made towards adopting common smartphone cameras to the task.
Everything from how you walk to how you breathe to how you smell can be used to authenticate that you are who you say you are. Some of these modalities may become mainstream in the future, but most are still in the testing phase.
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