A password bank is software that secures a place for web users to store unlimited passwords and user names. The program integrates voice biometric authentication (speaker recognition) with a minimum of three layers of data encryption. A password bank should not be confused with a password manager, which typically encrypts data (passwords), but utilizes a different mechanism than voice biometric for authentication.
Origins of password banks
The average web user needs to remember 6.5 passwords, leaving many users to try to cut corners. The challenge in remembering all of these passwords tends to invoke one of two actions: changing passwords on a regular basis, or to use a single password for all websites (which really defeats the purpose of passwords for security - an attacker need only break one password to harvest your entire online identity). Password cracking is an issue professional organizations are protecting themselves against.
In June 2011, the storage service Drop Box failed to protect password authentication for a period of four hours, exposing the files of 25 million users. The Ponemon Institute surveyed 830 information technology, security, and compliance professionals. Over half of them cited emails as the main cause of data leaks.
As a result, industry experts continue to seek out alternatives to standard passphrase authentication systems. Opus Senior Analyst Researcher Dan Miller said that “Voice biometrics strikes the right balance between strong authentication and usability.” Opus Research in connection with ValidSoft concluded that “the conditions are ripe for the emergence of voice biometrics as the dominant means of authentication, particularly for financial transactions. The key drivers are the growth of mobile banking and e-finance together with the intrinsic lack of security on mobile devices. A secure means of authenticating mobile devices is an increasing necessity.”
Critics of voice biometrics[who?] have identified duplication as its biggest challenge. The high risk of someone copying an individual’s voice has slowed down the integration of biometrics into data security systems. A password bank works around this pitfall by implementing a process known as random phrasology.
Each human voice is unique and consists of over 2000 biometric parameters. Voice biometric software records the highly specific timber of each voice and creates a unique and proprietary log in as authentication. Each time a user attempts to log in, they are prompted to read a random phrase. A password bank has a minimum of 100 phrases built into its software. Users are granted three opportunities to read the phrase accurately. If the sentence is read properly and the voice parameters (timber) match the attempted user’s pre-recorded voice, they will then be logged in. In terms of duplication probability, there is a less than one per cent chance that a copied voice could match the random phrase.
A password bank differs from a password manager in that the encryption mechanism to secure data (passwords) must include three layers of different encryption families. In addition, data is encrypted within private clouds as well as along public clouds (between mobile devices and PCs.)
Data stored in secure private corporate clouds is referred to as “rested.” Data shared between two independent devices is considered to be “in motion.” The distinction represents a significant shift in communication as data is sent and shared from remote locations.
Password banks utilize a modular approach when designing data security systems. Software utilizing modular programming divides mechanisms such as authentication and authorization into separate components, allowing each part to be removed or reconfigured with ease.
Password banks are built on the premise that solid security (voice biometric authentication and three layered encryption) will not interfere with ease of use.
- "Drowning in Passwords? You're Not the Only One," by Kendra Srivastava. Mobiledia, March 12, 2012. http://www.mobiledia.com/news/131786.html
- “Dropbox Left User Accounts Unlocked for 4 Hours Sunday,” by Ryan Singel, Wired, June 20, 2011. http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2011/06/dropbox/
- “Email Fingered As Main Source Of Data Leaks,” by Fahmida Y Rashid, Tech Week Europe, September 22, 2011. http://www.techweekeurope.co.uk/news/email-fingered-as-main-source-of-data-leaks-40451.
- “Voice Biometric to Play a Key Role In Security in 2012,” Elephant Talk News, January 18, 2012. http://www.infosecurity-magazine.com/view/23332/voice-biometrics-will-be-the-authentication-of-choice-says-opus-research/.
- "Voice biometrics will be the authentication of choice, says Opus Research," Infosecurity, January 19, 2012, http://www.infosecurity-magazine.com/view/23332/voice-biometrics-will-be-the-authentication-of-choice-says-opus-research/.