Feeds

Brit bank Barclays rolls out voice recog for telephone banking

I hab a cold. What do goo mean you can't berify?

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

UK high street bank Barclays is introducing voice recognition for users of its telephone banking service.

The roll-out of the technology is designed to provide a more secure alternative to pass-codes and the answers to secrets questions as a means to authenticate consumers accessing telephone banking services.

The retail bank is rolling out voice biometrics technology from Nuance – already used by customers of its high-roller banking arm – to its 12 million retail customers next year.

The technology works by recording a customer's voiceprint, which is recorded and used to identify them in seconds during subsequent conversations with the bank's call centre. Barclays reckons the technology has the potential to reduce fraud and increase security while making life easier for consumers.

Jason Hart, VP cloud solutions at data protection firm SafeNet, commented: "It’s not surprising that Barclays is making the move away from password-based authentication for its telephone banking. Today we have so many passwords to remember that we choose easy-to-guess passwords, use the same passwords for several accounts, or even write down passwords where they can be easily found.

"So organisations need to look for alternative ways to authenticate users and bolster security. This means not relying on basic username and password for customer authentication and adopting a holistic security strategy that offers multiple layers of protection, such as multi factor authentication and encryption," he explained.

Hart added that voice-recognition biometrics alone were not enough and need to be supplemented with other security controls.

"While biometrics can provide a convenient and alternative security mechanism, it should not be used as a single factor authentication solution. This is partly because of the fact that biometrics are not based on secrets. Your voice, your image and your fingerprint are not a secret. You leave them everywhere and they can be spoofed, with different levels of effort. So it’s important that they are used as part of a multi-factor authentication strategy," he concluded.

Chris England, director at identity management firm Okta, said Barclays' customers are likely to welcome to move away from passwords.

“We’ve reached a point where usernames and passwords alone are no longer good enough," England explained. "We’ve long had single sign-on technologies to remove the complexity of remembering multiple passwords, but what if someone else gets a hold of that single username and password?"

"Not surprisingly, multi-factor authentication – which requires two or more factors to verify legitimacy of the user – has taken off and evolved pretty substantially in the past decade and we’re now seeing authentication methods becoming as personalised and specific to the individual as the experiences they're trying to access. At Okta, we’ve already seen a lot of organisations implementing more flexible, adaptive, people-centric authentication methods and expect to see more following in Barclays’ footsteps,” he added. ®

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

More from The Register

next story
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
Early result from Scots indyref vote? NAW, Jimmy - it's a SCAM
Anyone claiming to know before tomorrow is telling porkies
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
YouTube, Amazon and Yahoo! caught in malvertising mess
Cisco says 'Kyle and Stan' attack is spreading through compromised ad networks
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
China hacked US Army transport orgs TWENTY TIMES in ONE YEAR
FBI et al knew of nine hacks - but didn't tell TRANSCOM
Microsoft to patch ASP.NET mess even if you don't
We know what's good for you, because we made the mess says Redmond
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.