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What’s the Best Form of Biometric Security for Banks?

Biometric Update logoWriting for Biometric Update – the leading online source for breaking news, analysis, and research about the global biometrics industry – Enacomm CMO David Anderson explains in an expert guest article why voice biometrics technology may be a better choice for banking security than fingerprint or facial recognition. In the piece, “All forms of biometric authentication are not created equal,” Anderson notes that biometrics security technology is now being more widely used thanks to the proliferation of smartphones with high-quality microphones and cameras that make the process easy. While ease is a priority when choosing between biometric identification methods, he says, effectiveness is just as important.

Touch biometrics is often one of the least reliable forms of biometric authentication, as fingerprint scanners can be easily duped. From the article:

For the pros, making fingerprint dummies is relatively easy. Tsutomu Matsumoto, a security researcher at Yokohama National University, created a way to fool biometric scanners 80 percent of the time by taking a photograph of a fingerprint left on a wine glass, for example, and re-casting it in molded gelatin. Nine out of 10 fingerprint readers can even by tricked by manipulated Play-Doh from your local department store, as proven by hackers. What’s more, it’s possible for cyber-criminals to intercept fingerprint data from Internet-enabled biometric scanners as it’s sent to the computer server for processing.

More reliable than touch, facial recognition has close to a 98 percent success rate. However, fraudsters have been able to find cracks in the technology. According to Anderson:

In recent years, facial recognition technology has greatly improved its accuracy and is nearing a 98 percent success rate. Discovered methods of deception, user error and the fact that facial scanning can be faulty in direct sunlight make up the two percent gap. Hackers have been able to reverse engineer the biometric information stored in (not-so-)secure databases to print photos that dupe most face scanners. Security researchers at companies like MasterCard and USAA believe blinking is the best way to prevent a fraudster from holding up a picture of the individual being impersonated to fool the system.

More accurate than fingerprint or facial recognition, voice authentication has a 99.99 percent success rate. According to Anderson, it should be a top security choice for financial institutions, particularly when it comes to important, high-dollar transactions. From the piece:

A voice print is a sophisticated model against which future voice utterances are compared, using complex algorithmic processing. There is no physical “voice” or sound recorded on the computer. One cannot reverse engineer a voice biometric template or print to create a spoken voice.

Anderson goes on to emphasize that, “Because there is no single, perfect solution, it is recommended that multiple verification methods be employed by financial institutions.”

Click here to read the full article on Biometric Update’s website. To learn more about Enacomm Voice Authentication (EVA), go here.