With the aim of boosting security in the financial services industry, ISO, the world's largest developer of international standards, has issued a new biometric standard for financial firms.Biometrics include technologies such as voice identification —authenticating the identity of a person based on their voice —as well as fingerprinting, iris scanning and facial recognition.
ISO said the proliferation of electronic transactions —and the security risk inherent in these transactions -- led the organization to promote biometrics in the financial industry and suggest it become an integral part of a company's overall information security management program.
"Trillions of dollars in funds and securities are transferred daily on payment and other financial systems through telephone, wire services and other electronic communication mechanisms," ISO said.
"...The sheer volume and value of such transactions exposes the financial community and its customers to severe risks from accidental or deliberate alteration, substitution or destruction of data. There is therefore a strong need for an ironclad authentication method," the organization added.
The new ISO standard presents the architectures for implementation, specifies the minimum security requirements for effective management, and provides control objectives and recommendations.
ISO said the appeal of biometrics lies in its convenience and ease of use, its level of apparent security, performance and non-invasiveness.
Voice biometrics had until recently lagged in popularity behind fingerprinting or other physical methods of biometrics, with critics considering it inaccurate, costly and impractical.
But it has rapidly been gaining momentum due to advances in technology, says Ziv Barzilay, founder and CTO of Tel Aviv, Israel-based voice biometrics company CellMax Systems. "There has been a quantum leap in voice biometrics following an influx in post-9/11 venture investment in security technologies," he says.
Barzilay points out that voice biometrics is the only biometric technology that enables immediate authentication anywhere at any time, simply by using a landline phone, cell phone or microphone. He says it is also cost-effective as it doesn't require additional hardware with the exception of a microphone.
Solutions such as CellMax's examine the 15-plus parameters that make up our voiceprint. These include our teeth, nasal cavity, nostrils, lips, tongue, jaw, lungs, diaphragm, and soft and hard palates.
The system registers, stores and analyzes the data using a real-time, accurate algorithm, enabling it to authenticate a user each time they subsequently try to carry out a transaction over the telephone.ISO says the proliferation of electronic transactions — and the security risk inherent in these transactions -- has led it to promote biometrics as an integral part of a financial company's overall information security management program... Melanie Rodier has worked as a print and broadcast journalist for over 10 years, covering business and finance, general news, and film trade news. Prior to joining Wall Street & Technology in April 2007, Melanie lived in Paris, where she worked for the International Herald ... View Full Bio