Tag Archives: fraud

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.

The Latest Battle between Security Technologists and Law Enforcement

This week, a new report authored by 15 cybersecurity and computer science experts warned that the FBI’s goal of gaining “exceptional access” to tech companies’ encryption systems could pose an even bigger risk than anything fraudsters or terrorists could cook up. The Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory Technical Report—issued by MIT—is titled “Keys Under Doormats: Mandating insecurity by requiring government access to all data and communications”.

The report was a grenade from technologists and privacy advocates in their ideological war with intelligence and law enforcement leaders. The group of security technologists intentionally issued the 31-pager the day before FBI Director James Comey and Sally Quillian Yates, the deputy attorney general at the Justice Department, testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Comey fired back in a LAWFARE op-ed that there are lots of good things about universally strong encryption (e.g., expanded privacy and protection from cybercriminals), but the benefits must be weighed against the potential risks of making it harder for the government to access the digital communications and data of likely wrongdoers.

Scott O’Connell of the Telegram & Gazette paints a picture of the U.S. government’s concerns:

Somewhere in cyberspace, ISIS operatives are busy planning something and the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s concern is that thanks to today’s stronger encryption technology, it’s increasingly difficult to figure out what that something is.

Here’s to hoping that both sides continue their efforts to come together and reach a balanced solution through fair-minded and healthy discussion, as encouraged by Comey.Keys under Doormats - Meme

Enacomm’s David Anderson Gives Talk on Voice Biometric Authentication at CARTES AMERICA 2015

CARTESFraud, identity theft and security breaches are increasing, underscoring the need for better defense against these attacks. Today at CARTES SECURE CONNEXIONS AMERICA 2015, David W. Anderson, Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer of Enacomm, Inc., will present on voice biometrics, a proven method of identification that is perfect for multi-layered authentication systems.

CARTES AMERICA 2015 is taking place at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. for its 4th edition. As the global event for Payment, Identification & Mobility, CARTES encompasses the whole value-chain of the smart card industry, innovative payment solutions, digital security and identification.

Anderson will speak today from 4:00-4:30pm as part of the conference track, “Biometrics: Assured Identity in a Mobile World!” His talk will focus on voice authentication, which offers better defense against fraud than PINs or static security questions.

“One of the best weapons against fraud could be your customers’ voices,” said Anderson. “Customers prefer voice biometrics to other authentication methods, because it’s quick and easy to use, with no password to remember or lose. For financial institutions, it saves dollars by saving customer service reps’ time, eliminating the need for account verification or identification questions to be presented by an agent.”

Enacomm Voice Authentication™ (EVA) harnesses voice biometrics technology and enables reliable log-in and transactional authentication of customers from any phone, any time. To see a short video on EVA, click here.

Enacomm Voice Authentication Fights Phishing Flagged by Akamai in New Report

This week Akamai Technologies released its Q4 2014 State of the Internet Report . Section 1 of the report focuses on security and details escalating, advanced attacks. Phishing, for instance, is a form of fraud that involves defrauding an online account holder of financial information by posing as a legitimate company.

To help prevent fraudsters from compromising online banking accounts and, for example, wiring a victim’s funds to a third-party account, the report emphasizes user awareness. An excerpt:

Because end users are the target of these attacks, training and education are needed to help them identify suspected phishing attacks…Users should not respond to e-mail requests with sensitive information and should contact their financial institutions with questions about suspicious banking emails. It’s a good idea to browse directly to a financial institution instead of clicking a link.

Banks, credit unions and prepaid companies can help thwart online account break-ins and wrongful transactions, too. Enacomm Voice Authentication (EVA) utilizes voice biometrics technology to protect financial institutions, customers and members, fulfilling Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) guidance. Click here to learn more. Enacomm’s team is available to help with questions about EVA – call 1-877-860-0025 or email sales@enacomm.net.

Phishing infographic

Enacomm CEO Mike Boukadakis on the Shortcomings of the EMV Chip

findbiometrics logo

FindBiometrics this week published a new guest article by Enacomm CEO Mike Boukadakis, “EMV Chip Card Technology Leaves the Job Undone.” In the intro for the piece, Boukadakis notes that, according to the Aite Group, 70 percent of US credit cards and 41 percent of US debit cards will be EMV chip-enabled by the end of 2015. But he goes on to explain:

Embedded computer chips make EMV cards far more difficult to clone, yet it is important to understand that financial institutions, retailers and consumers will still be left vulnerable, because counterfeit cards only account for about 37 percent of credit card fraud, and card fraud itself is just one piece of the larger fraud pie.

EMV chip cards will impede fraudsters’ efforts to produce counterfeit cards, but these payment methods can still end up in the hands of the wrong person if lost or stolen and will do little to thwart card-not-present threats. Additionally, as Boukadakis points out, “fraudsters break into online bank accounts and hijack high-risk transactions” – no card needed.

So, how can banks, credit unions and prepaid companies help finish the job in the fight against fraud? Voice biometrics.

Boukadakis notes that Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) guidance recommends and sometimes mandates the use of multi-layered, dynamic forms of customer authentication, versus archaic, static methods. “Voice biometrics…is a proven method of identification that is perfect for multi-layered authentication systems,” he says.

Used by government intelligence agencies worldwide, voice biometrics technology is even more reliable than fingerprinting. By conducting sophisticated analysis of hundreds of voice characteristics, a bank, credit union or prepaid company can accurately identify and authenticate a customer in real-time.

Fraud, identity theft and security breaches have increasingly infiltrated America. Fraudsters stole $18 billion from consumers in 2013, according to Javelin Strategy & Research. To learn more about how banks, credit unions and prepaid companies can easily deploy voice biometrics authentication technology now to fight fraud, read Boukadakis’ entire article here, and contact the Enacomm team with a call (877-860-0025) or email (sales@enacomm.net).

Enacomm CEO Mike Boukadakis at APEX 2015

Enacomm Shows Off Advanced KBA and Voice Biometrics at APEX

Enacomm is traversing the map to show companies how they can protect their customers and their own organizations. This week, the team traveled to Las Vegas for the All Payments Expo to salute innovation in the payments industry. From February 23rd to February 25th, Enacomm exhibited at Booth 404, demoing its new eKBA (Enacomm Knowledge-Based Authentication) and EVA (Enacomm Voice Authentication). These products, which are particularly valuable for financial institutions and prepaid companies, enable organizations to authenticate and shield their customers from identity fraud using a combination of personal information and impenetrable voice biometrics technology. The team also gave away Microsoft Surface Pro 3 tablets at the show!

For a recap of the event in photos, check out the shots above and below. And give us a call at 1-877-860-0025 or drop us a line at sales@enacomm.net to learn more about how you can authenticate and protect your customers with next-generation technology. EVA at APEX APEX15

More Smartphones, More Biometrics Technology in the Mainstream

Last week, Cisco released its “Visual Networking Index: Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast Update, 2014–2019”. According to the study, in 2014, smart devices and connections – those having advanced computing and multimedia capabilities with a minimum of 3G connectivity – made up 72% of wireless devices in North America that are accessing mobile networks. By 2019, that number is projected to reach 89%.

Recently, in an interview with Arlene Hauben of The Prepaid Press, Enacomm CEO Mike Boukadakis explained that, with the advent of smartphones, we should expect to see more biometrics technology being employed. “Now we have a vehicle to implement dual mode authentication,” he said. To read the full article, go here.

What does it all mean? Smart devices are making biometric authentication a reality.

Smart Devices Infographic

Enacomm CEO Writes on Biometrics Authentication for CRMXchange and Paybefore

CRMXchange logoRemember being fascinated by iris recognition, fingerprint scanning and voice analysis in movies like Men in Black, Mission: Impossible, and Minority Report? Thanks to new advancements, biometrics technology will soon transform the customer experience, too, allowing consumers to be identified based on their unique personal attributes.

In a new guest column for CRMXchange, Enacomm CEO Michael Boukadakis points out that “fraud, identity theft and data attacks are disproportionately plaguing our nation — breaches involving U.S. entities accounted for 41.1 percent of incidents worldwide, according to Risk Based Security.” Traditional forms of account authentication, Boukadakis explains, are no match for modern forms of fraud – but biometrics authentication can thwart sophisticated schemes. In the financial space, companies can use biometrics to control who has access to personal information and card data.

According to the article:

For organizations big and small, voice authentication is now a financially and operationally feasible application of biometrics technology…A voiceprint is distinctive like a thumbprint, but rather than an impression of the lines upon a fingertip being scrutinized, a sophisticated analysis of hundreds of voice characteristics is conducted. An algorithm is applied to break up and map each unique voice identity, which is then stored in an encrypted file. An individual can then be accurately identified and authenticated in real-time by matching particular characteristics of his or her spoken words every time he or she calls.

Not only will there be a significant increase in the adoption of biometrics to safeguard financial transactions, but the technology will also be used to improve everyday events such as turning on lights, starting a car, or buying coffee at Starbucks.

paybefore logoBoukadakis also recently penned a guest article for Paybefore, titled “A Soon-to-Be Must-Have: Biometrics Authentication for Customer Service.” Capturing the identity fraud crisis in numbers, the piece states:

There were more than 12 million identity fraud victims in 2012, and fraudsters stole nearly $21 billion, according to Javelin Strategy & Research. This is about one victim every 3 seconds. Large data breaches provide account and personal information to fraudsters, who then use it to access individuals’ accounts. America leads the world in the number of payment card accounts, including prepaid, that have been breached. Business Insider reports that payment card breaches cost card issuers $3.4 billion in 2012 and merchants another $1.9 billion.

Boukadakis observes that “voice biometrics technology has improved along with the underlying communications channels, reducing the cost of a single authentication to pennies per instance. Compare this to the cost for a customer service representative to authenticate a customer, which could easily be $2.”

As part of an onboarding and authentication system, biometrics can be combined with advanced knowledge-based authentication. Voice biometrics authentication, in particular, is incredibly reliable and shouldn’t be compared or confused with voice recognition. A voiceprint is distinctive like a thumbprint, but even more reliable than fingerprinting with a 99.99 percent success rate. Of interest, fingerprinting can provide misleading results due to contextual bias. Making his case, Boukadakis provides an example of the FBI mistakenly matching a partial fingerprint found on a bag of detonators linked to the March 2004 terrorist bombings in Madrid to Oregon lawyer Brandon Mayfield.

How are customers authenticated with voice biometrics? Using inbound or outbound calling, texts, a mobile application or Web browser. And voice authentication can be integrated with new or existing interactive voice response (IVR) and call center systems. When a customer calls the IVR, he or she can authenticate in real time, or if speaking with a customer service representative (CSR), the CSR can send the customer a text message with a “talk back” link. Alternatively, the cardholder could be connected to a mobile Web browser to authenticate. Because call centers and customer service reps don’t have to repeat account verification or identification questions, 20 percent or more of their time can be saved, resulting in reduced costs and a much-improved customer service experience.

While PINs and other authentication data can be breached, customers’ voices cannot be compromised or stolen. With heightened security concerns and the need for multiple methods of authentication, voice biometrics is one of the best ways to arm your organization against fraud.

To learn more about Enacomm Voice Authentication (EVA), give us a call at 877-860-0025 or send an email to sales@enacomm.net.

Enacomm Offers Answer to White House’s Card Security Concerns

The White House is bringing down the hammer on fraudsters. This month, President Obama officially nominated Loretta Lynch to be his next attorney general – and she is TOUGH on cybercrime. In fact, one of her biggest cases was the prosecution of hackers who allegedly stole $45 million from ATMs throughout 27 countries in an enormous bank heist. A federal prosecutor in New York, Lynch is responsible for expanding her office’s leading national security practice into the area of cybersecurity. When Obama announced Lynch’s nomination at the White House, he gave her kudos for “aggressively” fighting illegal activities exploiting the Internet and other computer networks.

To boot, in October President Obama signed an executive order for “Improving the Security of Consumer Financial Transactions”. The order will require all credit cards issued to government employees and used for official purchases to be armed with Chip-and-PIN technology, which is more secure than Chip-and-signature technology that most issuers and merchants are adopting in compliance with EMV mandates imposed by the major card networks.

According to CardNotPresent, the “president said he was working with companies like American Express, Home Depot, Target, Visa, Walgreen’s and Walmart to ensure private sector action making Chip-and-PIN enabled terminals available everywhere.” With data breaches making headlines in recent years, mounting public pressure already prompted many companies to get on board with the transition to EMV to protect their customers, their assets and their reputations.

In conjunction with the above, a war against identity theft is being waged. The White House is seeking to enhance IdentityTheft.gov, to improve information sharing and coordination around fraud attacks, and to put on a cybersecurity and consumer-protection summit.

The President also put in a good word for multi-factor authentication. For online security, he’s called upon the National Security Council staff, the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and OMB to come up with a plan by early 2015 “to ensure that all agencies making personal data accessible to citizens through digital applications require the use of multiple factors of authentication and an effective identity proofing process.”

Enacomm is ready to answer this call with multi-factor authentication that utilizes voice biometrics and enables mobile knowledge-based authentication (KBA) to safeguard against fraud:

  • eKBA (Enacomm Knowledge-Based Authentication) is the best mobile product available to help organizations authenticate their customers and activate their accounts in real-time. The perfect choice for fraud prevention, eKBA provides a non-intrusive, positive customer experience and is compliant with FFIEC guidance, the Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act, USA Patriot Act, and the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act.
  • Eva’s (Enacomm Voice Authentication) voice biometrics are proven methods of identification — perfect for multi-layered authentication systems. Utilization of voice biometrics is more reliable than fingerprinting and is used by government intelligence agencies worldwide. While PINs and other authentication data can be breached, a customer’s voice cannot be compromised or stolen.

Cybercrime has relentlessly challenged consumer confidence, private sector success and government patience. To learn how Enacomm can help your organization guard against fraud, reach out to us at 1-877-860-0025 or sales@enacomm.net.

 

Kaiyan/Flickr

Kaiyan/Flickr