Managing Risks from Voice-Controlled Devices

By CIOReview | Friday, January 4, 2019

Voice controlled personal assistants and applications appears to be the key functional tools for the enterprise today. The use of this technology enables individual workers to conduct hands-free searches, set times, recall key information, and perform tasks in support of productivity. Voice and speech recognition could replace human-to-human interaction that might have taken place over the phone with customer representatives.

Despite the opportunities, there are several security challenges to consider before implementing such technologies. It is possible to implement voice technologies with minimal risk. The steps taken are,

Just like fingerprints and eye scans, the voice could be an individual signature that authenticates identities with a less margin of error. Voice recognition can be safer when used in two-factor authentication. Combining an identifier with a voice sample is the safest authentication that is easy to execute and hard for cybercriminals to solve. Unlike a password, the voice will never be lost.

How to use voice controlled devices while managing privacy and security within an organization is a challenge. For effectively using voice assistants, it is mandatory to send one's internal conversations, queries, and voice data to an outside source. There is only little control over what happens to it, including where the data is stored and how it is analyzed.

On an application to application basis, it is important to decide whether to grant access to voice functionality to individual applications. Researching how the voice data is stored and used, and limiting access to applications can benefit the organization.

The voice management needs to be outlined before the technologies are deployed company-wide. Many voice-controlled devices are always listening, whether spoken to them or not. Enterprises should figure out how they want to govern the use of these devices during business hours. Organizations might be able to disable voice functionality in certain situations or develop a protocol for allowing voice permissions on certain conditions.

Security risks do not mean that voice command devices are bad, but the voice-activated solutions are relatively new it is wiser to make it error free.