Armor vox wp-securing-citizen-self-service-for-government


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Government, law enforcement and intelligence agencies are bolstering their identity verification methods in response to epidemic levels of security breaches, identity theft, password hacks and fraud. Moreover, the problem is only going to get worse as economies struggle and citizens find themselves in financial difficulty. At the same time, Governments are under pressure to deliver more services, more effectively and more efficiently to their citizens, yet with reduced budgets and funding.

This paper discusses the risks of citizen self self-service for government applications. You’ll also learn how technology such as voice biometrics for speaker identification can make self-service applications viable – even in these tough economic times.

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Armor vox wp-securing-citizen-self-service-for-government

  1. 1. TECHNOLOGY WHITEPAPER Securing Citizen Self-Service for GovernmentAURAYA SYSTEMSOne Tara Boulevard | Nashua, New Hampshire 03062 | +1 603 123 7654 | | linkedin/in/armorvox
  2. 2. Securing Citizen Self-Service for GovernmentHow cash-strapped government agencies can deliver secure self-services evenin economically challenging times.The Problem: Government Needs to Deliver More Services with Less BudgetGovernment, law enforcement and intelligence agencies are bolstering their identity verificationmethods in response to epidemic levels of security breaches, identity theft, password hacks and fraud.Moreover, the problem is only going to get worse as economies struggle and citizens find themselves infinancial difficulty. At the same time, Governments are under pressure to deliver more services, moreeffectively and more efficiently to their citizens, yet with reduced budgets and funding.Increased Use of Citizen Self-Service Fraught with RiskIn this environment, Governments often look to increase use of citizen self-service, either deliveredthrough the Internet or via the telephone. But the traditional secure solutions, such as PINs,passwords and the use of personal information questions to authenticate identity to enable secure self-service is rapidly becoming completely inadequate. These measures are no longer sufficient tomaintain strong identity authentication needed to deliver effective and secure government services.Apart from the inconvenience of remembering yet another set of PIN’s and passwords for a governmentservice, there is the high cost and inconvenience of resetting them when they are forgotten, stolen orcompromised. Further, simply knowing a PIN or password does not mean to say it is you. PINs andpasswords are regularly shared, stolen and misused. In addition, providing personal information toauthenticate identity in call centers and helps desks (often to reset forgotten passwords) is equallyfraught with danger. Firstly, knowing a name, address, telephone number and other information is noguarantee that you are who you say you are.Furthermore, in government call centers and help desks; there is the added security threat from agentsbeing exposing citizens’ personal information to staff. In this situation, governments often need to vetand closely manage call center and help-desk staff, adding further cost to already stretched budgets.Amid these challenges, government agencies are increasingly turning to voice biometrics as atechnology to provide strong but efficient citizen identity authentication. Voice biometrics, a technology2ARMORVOX – ImpostorMaps™© 2012 Auraya Systems
  3. 3. that authenticates a caller from their voice characteristics, is increasingly being used in citizen facingservices to streamline call center services and as an enabler of secure self-service applications.Voice, like a fingerprint, is unique to each person. This fact can be used in telephone and Internetservices to positively authenticate that a person “is, literally, who they say they are”. Typically, in atelephone service, for example, a person quotes an account number (or other information) to thesystem. The system uses speech recognition to recogniser the account number and voice biometrics toconfirm it is the account holder saying their account number (and not an imposter trying to break intotheir account).The Solution: Voice Biometric Solution Ensures “You Are Who You Say You Are”This way the technology eliminates the need for citizens to have PINs or passwords to access secureservices or indeed provide personal information to a call center or help desk staff to prove they are whothey say they are!Centerlink, for example (the Australian social security department), has had a voice biometric systemin operation since 2009. This system, which now has around 1 million registered users, enablesregular callers to authenticate their identity by simply saying their Centerlink number, name and theanswer to a secret question. The system analyses the voice of the caller to confirm they are theaccount holder and their request can then be immediately processed, either by a call center agent, orby the telephone self-service system. The system eliminates the need for callers to quote personalinformation to Centerlink staff or the need for citizens to remember PINs and passwords for access toself-service applications.IRD, the New Zealand tax office, is also rolling out a voice biometric system configured to authenticateupwards of 800,000 citizens to make accessing taxation services that much more convenient for taxpayers, whilst driving cost saving for the government agency. Whilst designed primarily to streamlineaccess to taxation services and eliminate the hassle of PINs and passwords, the system has the sidebenefit of addressing the upsurge of taxation fraud, which has been on the increase as economicconditions worsen.3ARMORVOX – ImpostorMaps™© 2012 Auraya Systems
  4. 4. More Benefits: Additional Security Expands Citizen Self-Service Applications That Can BeOfferedThe additional security provided by the voice biometrics has enabled Government departments to roll-out a number of high security self-services applications that could not otherwise be deployed. Oneexample of this is “change-of-address”, a high-value high-use application, especially amongst youngand often highly mobile demographic (students for example). But whilst, implementing change-of-address as a self-service application is relatively straightforward, deploying is not. The problem here isthat many identity fraud cases start with changing a victim’s address. PINs and passwords just do notprovide the level of security necessary to deploy such an application and prevent identity take-overs.But, as voice biometrics (like fingerprinting) provide a strong positive authentication of a citizen’sidentity, it now possible and practical to deploy such applications and streamline high use services.Government Secure Self-Services Pave the Way for Civilian ApplicationsAnd it is not just in telephone services that voice biometrics is finding applications. Developers areincreasingly using voice biometrics as a replacement for PINs and passwords to not only strengthensecurity as required in Government services, but enhance convenience and usability in mobile andtablet applications. These new government applications promise a bright future, not just for cashstrapped Government departments to deliver more efficient services, but enabling them to deliver theseservices more effectively and with enhanced security in economically challenging times.4ARMORVOX – ImpostorMaps™© 2012 Auraya Systems
  5. 5. About the Author Dr. Clive Summerfield is Auraya Systems’ Founder and Chief Executive Officer. Clive is an internationally recognized authority on voice technology and holds numerous patents in Australia, USA and UK in radar processing, speech chip design and speech recognition and voice biometrics.As a former Founder Deputy Director of the National Center for Biometric Studies (NCBS) at Universityof Canberra, in 2005 Clive undertook at the time the world’s largest scientific analysis of the voicebiometric systems leading to the adoption of voice biometrics by for secure services. That experiencelead Clive in 2006 founding Auraya, a business exclusively focused on advanced voice biometrictechnologies for enterprise and cloud based services. Visit for Clive Summerfield’s fullbio.About Auraya SystemsFounded in 2006, Auraya Systems, the creators of ArmorVox™ Speaker Identity System is a globalleader in the delivery of advanced voice biometric technologies for security and identity managementapplications in a wide range of markets including banks, government, and health services. Offices arelocated near Boston USA, Canberra and Sydney Australia. For more information, pleasevisit – ImpostorMaps™© 2012 Auraya Systems