SRS Networks

What Threats You Need to Consider with Voice-Based Tools

Authentication is one of the most important topics on the table for discussion this year, particularly in regards to how the need for secure data access has been increased considerably during the COVID-19 crisis. How can you make sure that your data is being accessed in a safe and secure manner while also verifying the identity of whoever accesses it? Voice-based authentication might be one option. 

Here are some of the variables that must be taken into consideration concerning voice-based authentication.

First and Foremost, How Does Voice Authentication Work?

Authentication measures require the user to provide proof of identity. If the proof matches what the system compares it to, then the user is granted access. Voice authentication uses the user’s voice print of a specific phrase to keep access to an account secure. The system then compares that spoken phrase to what it has stored.

If the passphrase was “The rain in Spain falls mainly over the lazy dog,” the system would check for the correct phrase, as well as the tones and inflections in the user’s voice. As such, voice recognition software would classify as “something you are” in terms of multi-factor authentication, right alongside staples like retinal scanning, facial recognition, and palm scans.

How Secure is Voice Authentication?

Just like other authentication measures, there are already many stories about how voice recognition can be fooled. Hackers have already been able to fool voice authentication with recorded segments of the victim’s voice, and they have hidden malicious commands in white noise to gain control over voice-activated devices.

That said, it’s important to mention that any form of identity authentication is not going to be as effective on its own as if you were to use it alongside other measures. Voice authentication is being developed with a couple of built-in features that are meant to minimize fraud. First, there is liveness detection, a measure that can differentiate between a recorded snippet and a real live voice. The second is continuous authentication, a process that constantly checks whether or not the person accessing the device is who they say they are.

Best Practices Concerning Voice Authentication

We have already touched on a couple of these, but we wanted to emphasize the importance of these best practices:

  • Multi-factor authentication: MFA is critical to the security of any system, and the more proof you need to provide a system to guarantee security, the less likely it is to allow unauthorized access. For example, you can pair a PIN or password/passphrase with voice recognition or some other authentication measure.
  • Secure Storage: Make sure that all saved records of your authentication data are extremely secure, including biometrics. MFA can be fooled if you don’t, and the whole system will crumble, bringing your hopes and dreams for a secure network along with it.
  • Obtain Consent: You will also need to provide proof that you have your users’ permission to use biometric data as an authentication measure (for privacy and legal reasons).

No matter how you choose to secure your business, SRS Networks can help. To learn more, reach out to us at (831) 758-3636.


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