How does voice biometrics compare to traditional forms of identification?

Current, non-biometric methods involve shared secret knowledge and physical tokens. Secret knowledge takes the form of a PIN or password, or the answer to a security question i.e., it’s something you know. Examples of physical tokens i.e., something you have, include keys, ID cards, security fobs, drivers’ licences, and passports.

Unfortunately, the traditional methods are vulnerable to social engineering and theft. Tokens are routinely counterfeited and stolen, and passwords are routinely forgotten, left in plain sight, and stolen. Moreover, tokens can’t guarantee the positive identification of a person.

In contrast, biometrics is less open to being copied, hacked, shared, or stolen. And aside from jokes about losing your voice, as it involves something that relates to who you are, it can’t be lost. Furthermore, in terms of the inherent security of voice biometrics, a voiceprint is a derived code, it’s not a recording, it can’t be reverse engineered to reproduce speech, and if it were to be accessed by a hacker, the data would appear as a meaningless string of numbers that is functionally useless.

Using a biometric in combination with other methods equates to strong, multi-factor authentication. Having e.g., a mobile phone, knowing your PIN, and verifying your identity via voice biometrics is a secure method of reducing the vulnerability of systems and services to unauthorised access.