For most IT professionals, the year has mostly been about keeping up with a spate of new, unexpected cyber threats in this ever-evolving new normal. Now, as we close the books on 2020 and look to a new year, Brett Beranek, Nuance Communications Vice President and General Manager of Security & Biometrics, shares his insights about what lies ahead in this space. Check out his top four predictions for biometric authentication and security.Â
The global pandemic has profoundly changed all of our lives, industries, and the way we work. From a wide-scale experiment of working from home to accelerated innovation in and adoption of technologies and research, it seems that nothing’s been left untouched. Including, unfortunately, cybercrime.
Scamming is a well-organized, well-established industry, costing the global economy as much as $5 trillionOpens a new window annually by 2024. In August, the UN Security Council shared alarming newsOpens a new window about how criminal networks have exploited disruption worldwide. Likewise, a new report reveals a 63%Opens a new window increase in cybercrime during this pandemic. What’s the biggest culprit? Human error. Thankfully, we now have the tools and resources we need to solve these increasingly-complex security challenges in ways that don’t depend on people’s vigilance alone.Â
Here are the top four biometric authentication and security predictions for 2021.
1. Remote work will continue to dominate â€“ and security will need â€œlong armsâ€ to help protect against fraud in these environments
Remote work represents an increased potential for occupational fraud. We expect fraud attempts to continue against remote workers and frontline agents, who are now empowered to work from anywhereOpens a new window . But there’s also the risk of unsupervised employees with access to personally identifiable information (PII), who have new opportunities to defraud their employers and customers. Security measures and fraud prevention solutions will need to not only secure these interactions between customers and workers they will also need to operate at peak performance when so many individuals sit outside an organization’s firewalls.
2. Customer care will shift to video / virtual settings to mimic in-person interactions
Much like the necessary shift to telehealth, we predict that customer care interactions will transition to video settings, especially as workers continue to do their jobs remotely. Keeping customers and their information secure will be more important than everâ€” even while making every interaction convenient and satisfying as an in-person transaction. Organizations will need intelligent, automated solutions that can help stop criminals before they commit a crime. Continuous authentication, voice and other biometrics, and holistic cross-channel security solutions will continue to rise in demand.
3. Look for password-less authentication
Account passwords, PINs, and SMS confirmations have practically become relics of a less-secure era. They have lulled consumers into a false sense of security, one that’s especially problematic as all of us spend more time in online environments. Going password-free will require a shift away from traditional security measures toward biometric authentication. That transition will also enable frictionless, convenient customer experiencesâ€”who hasn’t searched for a password or forgotten your secret banking passcode? It’s frustrating to be sure and not as secure as voice biometrics, as one example, which has already been adopted by a growing number of financial institutions worldwide. We expect this trend not only to continue but to broaden in scope and to other industries beyond the financial sector.Â Â
4. Artificial intelligence (AI) will augment and support fraud-prevention initiatives
Biometrics encompasses a range of modalities for authenticationâ€”voice, behavioral, facial recognition, etc. Uniting these powerful authentication tools with AI will allow organizations to prioritize or adapt their services for specific customer demographics. For example, one telecommunication company recently deployed voice biometrics for authentication and layered AI in ways that can analyze the customers’ voice prints and determine whether they’re 65 or over. This determination means the organization can provide world-class anti-fraud protection to an age group that can be more susceptible to fraudsters.
The good news is that biometric security systems and AI-powered fraud prevention solutions are already here. Organizations are already leaning on them to prevent account takeovers and other fraudulent activities. Some industry estimates reveal that AI and biometrics have combined to prevent billions of dollars in losses from fraudâ€”already. As more organizations and industries adopt these technologies, they’ll be able to make quantum leaps in their security protocols and find a smooth transition to a more secure digital presence. That’s not just good for companies, it’s good for their customers and the future of cybersecurity.