NuData comments on wearables and voice authentication
01 November 2017 16:09 GMT

The biometrics firm NuData has commented on recent research that linked wearables with voice authentication.

Earlier this month, a University of Michigan research team outlined a solution that could eliminate vulnerabilities in voice authentication—the practice of logging in to a device or service with your voice alone - using a security-token necklace, ear buds or eyeglasses developed.

"Increasingly, voice is being used as a security feature but it actually has huge holes in it," said Kang Shin, the Kevin and Nancy O'Connor Professor of Computer Science and professor of electrical engineering and computer science at U-M. "If a system is using only your voice signature, it can be very dangerous. We believe you have to have a second channel to authenticate the owner of the voice."

The solution that Shin and colleagues developed is called VAuth (pronounced vee-auth), and it's a wearable device that can take the form of a necklace, ear buds or a small attachment to eyeglasses. VAuth continuously registers speech-induced vibrations on the user's body and pairs them with the sound of that person's voice to create a unique and secure signature.

The NuData representative welcomed the development:

Robert Capps, authentication strategist, Vice President of NuData Security explains, “We have come to the point where mass-scale personally identifiable data leaks are now an unfortunate fact of life. As a consequence, almost every known static identifier is at risk and may need some second factor of authentication, and possibly more, to ensure it is right the person behind the device. "

He said that everything from voice authentication to fingerprints, retinal scans, and other physical biometrics are needed as part of the authentication toolkit layered with passive biometrics and behavior analytics so that people can be authenticated accurately.

"The industry as a whole is benefiting from these new technologies, such as VAuth, that adds additional strength to prevent fraud. The key is when to use them and what other layers to combine them with to ensure they are properly integrated. We are glad to see voice authentication sharpen up, as it is a viable layer to identify the good user when appropriate. A multi-layered approach will provide better identification rates when one of the layers, such as the physical biometrics, fails or when passive behavioral biometrics indicates risk and needs to present the 2FA request.”