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Pros and Cons of Using Voice Biometrics as 2FA

by Jay Ouellette 0 Comments

Voice biometrics for Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) has been around for quite some time now but not widely adopted. Why is that? Most employees don’t know about this functionality because their organization isn't making it widely available as another tool to use to prove identity. According to Steve Zurier’s article, 70% of Consumers Want Biometrics in the Workplace, key points to user experience are “speed, simplicity, and security". These key points are what end-users want when it comes to proving their identity.

So, what are the pros and cons when it comes to using voice biometrics as 2FA in the work environment?

Pros of Voice Biometrics as 2FA in the Workplace

  • Efficiency - As password complexities in the workplace fluctuate due to changing recommendations from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), users need to be able to keep pace and authenticate on the fly. Voice biometrics allows for quick and efficient authentication. No need to type in a long phrase!
  • Convenience - Using third-party software, such as VoiceIt.io, provides the user with their phrase eliminating having to remember a complex password or passcode.
  • Security - Every individual has a unique voice. The way they speak and enunciate their words makes it difficult for hackers to replicate. Now we've all seen the spy films where they use a tape recorder to gain access to sensitive information with a recording of someone's voice. Protect your organization by utilizing a third party vendor, like VoiceIt.io, which uses a patented software that has built-in “anti-spoofing system". This gives end-users and administrators confidence that the voice biometric method is a secure and seamless user experience.

Cons of Voice Biometrics as 2FA in the Workplace

  • Environment - Loud background noise isn’t the best when trying to record your signature vocals. Make sure you find a quiet place to record, especially for initial recording.
  • Hardware support - Any device you choose to enroll must have a microphone to support the use of voice biometrics as 2FA.
  • False Negatives - Voice recognition biometrics have come a long way, but there are still flaws when it comes to using your computer to record your audio, then transitioning to using the microphone in a cellphone. Gregg Browinski, VP of Engineering, states that "these discrepancies can prevent a user from authenticating properly".
  • Getting Sick - Bronchitis or the common cold can alter the vocals and make a user sound differently, thus preventing authentication. 

Overall using voice biometrics as 2FA provides administrators and end-users with stronger security and a seamless and efficient way of authenticating. Having the flexibility to provide alternative 2FA options gives users the options to select the best method that fits their unique experience.  Technology for voice recognition has come a long way but there are still setbacks. Think about requiring an additional form of 2FA as a standby in case of failure. Delivering flexible multi-factor integrations, PortalGuard helps administrators achieve the balance between security and usability without disrupting the daily flow of business. Learn more about how PortalGuard is integrating its multi-factor authentication.

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Tags: Authentication, authentication management, #cybersecurity, identity management, information security, MFA, Multi-Factor Authentication, PortalGuard, SSO, User Experience, OTP Authentication, Password Management, SSPR, Two-Factor Authentication, User Authentication, #userexperience, Biometrics, end-users, NIST, voice recognition

Jay Ouellette

Author: Jay Ouellette