November 20 2023
In our last article in this series, “The Disadvantages & Vulnerabilities of Voice Biometrics | What’s the Alternative?”, we examined the limitations and vulnerabilities of voice biometrics – ranging from low assurance levels to security concerns and usability issues.
This article picks up where we left off. We’ll evaluate face biometrics as a secure and convenient alternative to voice biometrics. But the next question is crucial: how do you know which solution to trust?
To help navigate the challenge of identifying a trustworthy biometric solution, we’ll investigate the specific differentiators within verification technology – and explain the key factors to consider when making the leap from voice to face.
First, consider the leading factors that may be affecting your business’s key performance indicators (KPIs):
When deciding to abandon voice biometrics, it’s important to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the business drivers and assess how they align with your organization’s specific objectives and goals.
The right biometric face verification solution can enhance completion rates, security, and compliance in one end-to-end solution. With this in mind, let’s move on to the specifics.
As we’ve established in the previous two articles, voice is not a reliable indicator of identity. It’s prone to spoofing, is difficult to obtain an authentic “source” to match against, and is prone to variance over time.
With face biometric verification, as with any remote identity solution, it’s crucial to evaluate the merits of the individual vendors and technologies, as not all technologies are created equal. iProov is trusted by some of the world’s most security-conscious organizations – such as UBS, The US Department of Homeland Security, and the The UK Home Office. Here’s why:
Level of Assurance (LoA) refers to the certainty you can have that an identity can be trusted to actually be the claimant’s “true” identity. The higher the assurance level, the more secure the identity and the lower the risk of successful attacks such as new account fraud, synthetic identity fraud, and identity takeover.
iProov has proved its LoA rating through certification from a number of leading LoA frameworks. For example, iProov is certified as a Trusted Service Provider (TSP) for biometric face verification of a natural person with Genuine Presence Assurance ‘GPA’ technology to the highest level of assurance in accordance with the eIDAS Regulation. Additionally eIDAS Module Certification as Trusted Service Service Provider (TSSP) for Electronic Identification (eID) and Electronic Signature (eSig) means we can provide trusted services to trusted service providers (TSP).
Whereas voice biometrics cannot even verify an identity – it can only authenticate it – iProov can verify and authenticate users with a Level of Assurance that meets the highest international standards for technology and business systems. This is a key competitive advantage and can reduce the associated cost and burden of implementation, auditing, and legal compliance for your business.
Certification and governance accreditations are a market differentiator for biometric verification vendors. iProov’s Software Development Kit (SDK) conforms to many of the most stringent standards, for inclusivity, security, and privacy, including WCAG 2.1 – demonstrating online accessibility for all, regardless of age, literacy, language, cognitive ability, disability, or other constraints
All iProov solutions have been inherently designed for privacy, and the business is certified to ISO/IEC 27001 and SOC 2 Type II – demonstrating how we safeguard customer data and how successfully those controls are operating. Plus, iProov is one of the only companies named a SIF mitigation vendor by the Federal Reserve.
You can learn more about some of iProov’s long and distinguished list of certifications here.
iProov provides science-based biometrics which includes a multimodal approach to attack detection, testing both imagery and metadata to deliver a high level of assurance that a remote user is genuine. Our security has been evaluated by the best: external Red Team Testing (e.g., DHS, Outflank & AIS); full accreditation by iBeta for Presentation Attack Detection to the standard ISO 30107-3; and continuous in-house Red Team Testing.
Adaptability is critical for identity assurance technologies. The lag between the time an exploit is detected, processes are adapted, and security is redeployed presents a significant risk as the threat landscape constantly evolves. Therefore, organizations must remain vigilant and agile to ensure their systems are secure and resilient to evolving threats. Static on-premise security is outdated and ineffective.
iProov is the only biometric vendor with active threat monitoring in the cloud, enabling us to track threats, evolve, and respond in real-time. You can read about the importance of evolving and adaptive security here.
iProov delivers a unique one-time biometric technology, which verifies that an individual is authenticating in real-time and is not a photo or mask, nor a digitally injected attack using a replay of a previous authentication, or synthetic video (such as a deepfake). The user’s device screen illuminates their face with a unique sequence of colors that cannot be replayed or manipulated synthetically. It also analyzes multidimensional information derived from the way the face behaves and how light is reflected off of a face, which is key in uncovering synthetic imagery.
One-time biometric technology is essential to defend against the growing threat of fraud and synthetic media. iProov is completely unique in the identity assurance space, largely owing to its ability to confirm whether a device is sharing correct real-time information about a real user right now. It’s more than just a timestamp that can be easily manipulated – it’s a challenge-response mechanism, utilizing a science-based flashmark technology to ensure real-time authenticity.
The iProov solutions are designed to be accessible, scalable, and resilient, with a high level of uptime and the capacity to handle millions of verifications. iProov has proven its ability to scale in real-world scenarios, with major deployments globally processing over 1 million verifications daily. iProov is a proven supplier, and financial services organizations such as Bradesco, Rabobank, and Knab already actively use and rely on it.
Overall, voice biometrics has fundamental and significant limitations and should only be deployed in low-risk scenarios.Voice is only suitable for use cases where the level of assurance required is low, and there’s already a lot of contextual data that the person is who they claim to be.
Biometric face verification has emerged as the most secure and convenient way to verify identity online, as traditional methods such as passwords and one-time codes have failed for high-risk use cases. Now, other inherence-based factors reveal cracks in their foundations – failing to defend against the growing threat of synthetic media and groundbreaking advances in generative AI.
With iProov’s combination of patented features, key certifications, and proven experience with industry leaders, your organization can confidently transition from voice to face biometrics, ensuring a secure, convenient, and inclusive verification and authentication process.
What happens when you transition to iProov?
If you’re ready to transition away from voice biometrics and enhance your authentication process with secure and convenient face verification – or if you’re interested in learning more about how iProov technology can benefit your organization — book your demo today. Our team will swiftly be in touch to provide the assistance you need.
November 14 2023
iProov and Ping Identity share the common goal of establishing trust in digital interactions. The need for strong authentication and verification methods has never been more crucial as organizations seek to ensure that their online users are authentic.
While passwords and secret questions were once adequate, today, 74% of all breaches include the human element, with people being involved either via error, privilege misuse, use of stolen credentials, or social engineering. Authentication and verification technology has advanced considerably as the need for more robust measures has grown. Now, it’s essential to bind digital identities to real-world government IDs rather than just something a user knows.
However, cybercriminals are also keeping pace, and Generative Artificial Intelligence (Gen AI) has accelerated the development of cyberattacks and fraud. AI is neither good nor evil – it’s a tool that’s employed by both cybersecurity organizations and threat actors alike. One thing is certain, though: it poses a significant challenge to organizations seeking to protect their users and data.
iProov and Ping have integrated their best-in-class technologies in order to utilize face biometrics as part of identity verification and a wider Identity and Access Management (IAM) solution to defend against cyberattacks, credential compromise, and fraud at scale. Read on to discover how Ping and iProov’s groundbreaking technology works and why we have partnered to combat the growing threat of Generative AI.
Generative AI utilizes algorithms to generate fresh content in the form of text, images, videos, or other media in response to given inputs or prompts. Gen AI generally leverages AI technologies such as computer vision and neural networks – these enable computers to derive information from images, videos, and other visual inputs to make actions or decisions based on what they “see” based on that information. These technologies have given rise to the increasing use and quality of deepfakes and other synthetic imagery.
Gen AI poses a threat to online identity assurance. The ultimate aim of identity verification is to establish that the user is who they claim to be remotely. But with Gen AI, it has become increasingly easier for fraudsters to impersonate others or render new identities from scratch by utilizing tools like ChatGPT (and its evil twins Fraud & Worm-GPT), and other tools to create voice clones and synthetic imagery.
Gen AI is no longer a technology of the future. In fact, research shows that humans can “no longer meaningfully distinguish between AI-generated and human-created digital content,” and easy access to the aforementioned tools means that low-skilled threat actors can launch targeted attacks with relative ease.
Choosing the right user verification and authentication solution is now critical. iProov and Ping have developed solutions to address this problem, with an approach aimed at simplifying online user verification while maintaining the highest level of security. Organizations must embrace advanced techniques that adapt to the rapidly accelerating landscape of cyber threats, utilizing AI for the good of cybersecurity.
The use of AI can also enhance accuracy, security, and speed in identity verification processes. Deep learning models, including Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs), can help detect and match images. At the same time, computer vision can help ensure that the imagery belongs to a real person and not a deepfake, mask, or other synthetic media.
With the implementation of a robust facial biometric verification system, organizations can easily mitigate most of the threats posed by Gen AI. By scanning their faces with a one time biometric and adding a trusted identity document such as a passport or driver’s license, users can remotely opt-in to verify their identities with utmost security.
In this context, iProov and Ping’s technologies stand out as market leaders. Let’s consider how iProov and Ping’s technologies work in more detail:
Ping allows organizations to design, test, and optimize digital identity experiences with PingOne DaVinci for easy creation of frictionless security.
Ping’s open architecture enables customizable identity architecture where decentralized digital identity applications like PingOne Neo put users in control of their identity, effectively protecting against data breaches and other security incidents. Ping takes a multi-faceted and customizable approach to threat protection, with a proven track record of detecting bots and account takeovers even before the session begins.
Decentralized identity helps defend against AI-based attacks by limiting the incentive for the attacker and reducing the risk of a compromise. With DCI, the attractiveness of a hack is massively reduced as a breach likely results in a single individual’s records being compromised–as opposed to the sensitive data of millions of people in a centralized system. DCI also makes it harder for cybercriminals to successfully execute takeovers and fraud with digital credentials, which provide a secure and tamper-proof way for people to authenticate themselves.
PingOne Neo is the only solution on the market that offers native digital credential issuance and verification. Neo is architected to limit how much identity information is collected and stored by organizations. This approach is critical to preventing data breaches and security incidents. Learn more about Identity Solutions in the Age of AI here.
Discover more about Ping’s products and their capabilities below:
iProov’s patented biometric solutions suite assures that an online user is the right person not an impostor), the real person (not a spoof), and is authenticating right now (using a one-time biometric).
iProov’s science-based face biometric verification uses computer vision technology to detect the genuine presence of a living user with a time-limited session code that illuminates the face with an unpredictable sequence of colors. Deep-learning techniques then analyze the reflected sequence to confirm real-time authenticity, analyzing multidimensional information derived from facial behavior and other contextual data for comprehensive identity assurance and identity fraud risk mitigation. Traditional timestamp methods which can be falsified are not adequate to ensure real-time authenticity.
To confidently detect that an individual is a ‘live’ person, technology leveraging artificial intelligence is needed to ensure they are verifying in real-time. This is the only way to effectively mitigate digital injection and Gen AI attacks with the highest level of assurance. iProov also incorporates active threat monitoring and response enabling us to respond to zero-day vulnerabilities and stay one step ahead of Gen AI attacks.
In the fight against Gen AI, organizations must bind individual’s digital identity to their real-world, government-issued ID and ensure they do so in real time. This identity should be reusable so individuals can authenticate with the same credentials throughout their user lifecycle. iProov and Ping make this process simpler and more secure than ever before, offering the versatility to apply the appropriate authentication technology for each transaction according to the risk of the activity, with Flexible assurance levels in the iProov Biometric Solutions Suite – LA (Standard) and GPA (Premium) – available in one integration
You can deploy iProov and Ping for a range of use cases, including using face biometric verification for passwordless login, multi-factor authentication (MFA), account recovery, and step-up authentication. It’s ideal for organizations looking to bolster their cybersecurity posture while delivering a frictionless customer experience.
The two solutions complement each other, combining Ping’s industry-leading IAM/CIAM and iProov’s biometric verification with best-in-class liveness detection to offer a powerful, end-to-end solution. Advantages of this include, but are not limited to:
October 30 2023
Picture this: A fraudster hacks into the email account of a high-net-worth individual (HNWI). The fraudster then contacts the individual’s wealth management company and requests funds to be moved into a new account. Because the request is coming from the client’s email, an employee at the wealth management firm approves it. The fraudster escapes with the stolen funds.
The wealth management sector needs utmost security: because they deal with ultra-high-net-worth and high-net-worth individuals, the financial gain from defrauding a wealth management account can be huge.
In this highly regulated industry dealing with high value assets, a robust solution is essential to secure online onboarding and authentication. Biometric face verification enables wealth management organizations to prove an individual’s identity when they access services remotely, without inconveniencing the user in any way. The right solution should be secure, convenient, and easy to use.
For private banks and relationship managers, the importance of verifying the genuine presence of an online client has never been higher.
For such a high-risk sector, single-factor authentication simply isn’t secure. It’s easy for a shrewd fraudster to get past it. Passwords are weak and only fit for purpose as part of a wider multi-factor authentication (MFA) strategy, and social engineering attacks are rife. Plus, technology has made brute force attacks easier than ever.
In addition, there is a unique complexity to financial affairs in this industry, which increases opportunities for fraud. Private banks and wealth management companies can carry out a wide range of financial services for HNWIs and their families, including retail banking, investment management, tax affairs, estate planning, and legal matters. Establishing trust in this context is complex but essential.
Criminals target wealth management firms’ clients because:
iProov works with wealth management firms to securely verify and onboard new clients, securely authenticate account/portal sign-in, and authorize high-risk transactions using advanced biometric face verification technology.
The face is essential because it facilitates matching a unique biometric characteristic against a trusted identity document (such as a driver’s license) in order to establish genuine identity. Meanwhile, robust liveness technology works to ensure an online user is a real person, detecting if the face being presented to the camera is a live human being.
This minimizes many threat vectors by ensuring that only those verified and authorized can access or manage the HNWI’s account. Once verified, payments or other transactions can be authorized with a brief, effortless facial scan. HNWIs can use any device with a user-facing camera to authenticate. There are no complicated instructions or steps to follow. It’s simple, yet delivers the highest levels of security.
iProov also allows clients to effortlessly recover their identity if a device is lost, stolen, or replaced. This can often be a tedious and insecure process without iProov, as clients would have to reverify their identity to the organization (often requiring sending physical documents!)
Not all liveness technology is created equal. As wealth management is such a high-risk environment, only iProov’s most mission-critical solution is recommended to enable an organization to be sure that the remote user is the right person, a real person, and that they’re authenticating right now.
1. Building and maintaining customer trust
For private banking and wealth management firms, establishing and maintaining trust with clients is vital. It ensures that the firm wins the client’s business in the first place, and that the business is retained.
Wealth managers typically have strong personal relationships with their customers, and in-person visits are common. However, HMWIs want and need digital access. According to McKinsey, 71 percent of private banking clients prefer multi-channel interaction, and 25 percent want a fully digitally enabled private banking journey (with remote human help if needed).
iProov’s technology enables wealth management firms to demonstrate to their clients that they are using the gold standard in online security and user experience. This builds initial trust and retains it through secure, effortless authentication that does not inconvenience the client.
2. Avoiding reputational risk
Wealth management firms depend on their reputations. A security issue with one client can not only jeopardize that particular relationship, but can impact current and future business.
3. Adding value to customer service
Private banks and wealth managers often use ‘callbacks’ to maintain security and to demonstrate a responsive and personal service to their clients. This means that transactions are validated via a callback either from a call center team or by the relationship manager. This is a common point of friction between wealth management firms and their customers: “I’m busy/in a meeting/I can’t talk now so just go ahead etc…”. It’s also a weak link in the security chain: a fraudster could manipulate this process if they’ve intercepted a user’s mobile.
iProov helps add value to the customer service process by:
4. Delivering effortless user experience and accessibility for all clients
Each HNWI will expect a level of service that meets their individual needs. Some HNWIs will be technically advanced and want to engage with their wealth managers on multiple devices — smartphones, tablets, and laptops. Others may not even own a smartphone.
iProov offers a consistent, effortless user experience across all devices which…
5. Protecting against fraud
As discussed above, HNWIs and wealth management firms are a target for fraudsters as the returns can be big if a scam succeeds. iProov can help to protect against fraud, so that money is not stolen and a bank’s reputation is protected. Fraud attacks can include:
Criminals use a variety of tactics to steal money and cause disruption. These include malware, digitally injected attacks and the use of deepfakes. iProov is unique in being able to detect and mitigate against the use of synthetic imagery, such as deepfakes or face swaps, in attacks.
Ultimately, a strong biometric solution can deliver unrivaled security for the wealth management sector. iProov is trusted by the world’s most security-conscious organizations – such as the Department of Homeland Security, UBS, and the UK Home Office – and other banks such as Knab and Rabobank for a reason.
If you’d like to see how iProov’s Genuine Presence Assurance technology can secure and streamline your online customer onboarding and authentication, book an iProov demo here.
October 13 2023
It’s National Hispanic Heritage Month. First established in 1968, this month is celebrated across Latin America and recognizes the many dates of importance and independence days throughout this region.
To honor this month, we introduce you to our LATAM iProovers: Daniel Molina, Omar Sanjuanero, Gustavo Ferreira da Silva, Renato Andrade, Ronald Chapman, & Eduardo Montellano. They share what makes them proud to be Latin American, as well as unique insights into the future of digital identity, the importance of inclusivity and diversity, and more.
I was born in Mexico and moved to the States when I was 11. It was working as a pre-sales engineer in cybersecurity that I first realized the key pillar to any security issue is the identity of the person, and from there, it’s only one step away from realizing how many people are disenfranchised today because they don’t have a legal identity.
The opportunity at iProov arose and came with it the huge challenge of expanding the company in the LATAM region where many people are disenfranchised, and the infrastructure for providing digital identities is not yet available. But I was determined to see this area develop, so I took the role and started to build out my team.
My role is a Business Development Consultant for LATAM where I get to talk to interesting companies and potential partners and spread the word about iProov. I was born in Mexico City and I’m still living here today – I love it, so I’m not looking to move out anytime soon! All my previous roles have been within the technology sector, I enjoy being part of this community of software and innovation which is what first attracted me to iProov, and why I’m still here 10 months later!
I’ve been at iProov for 9 months as a LATAM presales consultant, and part of my responsibility is to help our partners and clients understand, test, and implement our technology. I was born in Curitiba, Brazil, and spent ten years here before traveling from state to state and finally landing in Santa Catarina State. After studying mechatronics, I joined a company that delivered fingerprint biometric devices for governments, before eventually meeting iProov and Daniel Molina.
I’m from Brazil and based in Sao Paulo. My role as a Channel Sales Manager consists predominantly of building a partner ecosystem in the Brazilian territory while generating demand and developing relationships with end users.
I was born in Venezuela, lived in Mexico for three years, and now I’m based in Bogota, Columbia. I joined iProov as a Channel Sales Manager and have been here for around 7 months. For 20 years prior, I worked in the telecommunications industry before eventually moving into identity. The identity industry was where I learned the importance of having access to a legal identity and part of the reason I joined iProov.
I’m a Channel Manager at iProov, born and based in Mexico City, and have lived here almost all my life, but when I first heard of the iProov opportunity I was living in Canada. Daniel Molina and I discussed my soon-to-be role and what excited me the most was the goals iProov had to expand our reach across Latin America. I fell in love with the mission and decided to move back to Mexico with my family to begin this new and exciting adventure.
I have three trends! The first is that over the past 18 months, we have seen maturity in the legal framework and cultural acceptance of digital identity and biometric technology.
Secondly, We have seen that Brazil has the most advanced criminal organizations for digital fraud.
Finally, maturity levels vary across Latin America. Brazil is far ahead in terms of adopting biometric and digital identity technologies. Our team can utilize our experience and expertise from working with Brazilian organizations in less mature countries such as Colombia, Chile, or Peru.
We have started to see uneven development of digital identities in this region. The levels of maturity, the different use cases we’ve experienced, and people’s understanding of biometrics differ greatly – which I think is one of the most interesting things about working in LATAM – each country poses different challenges.
Knowledge will vary. In one country I might be discussing the rise in digital injection attacks, deepfakes threats, or how to implement resilient liveness solutions, whereas in another country you feel you’re 10 years in the past and your role will consist of educating organizations on what biometrics are how they can be used to make life better for their customers.
We are seeing the digital transformation of financial services. Banks are turning to digital transactions as opposed to cash transactions, which brings with it new challenges of inclusivity and security. Currently, it is estimated only 45% of Latin Americans have a bank account, so enabling people to be involved in formal finance, and the economy, will be a focus for policymakers, governments, and financial institutions alike.
There is a great difference in culture regarding the adoption and practices of digital identity programs compared with the United States for example. However, it is evident now that laws and legislation, pushing for the adoption of digital identities, are moving very quickly within the LATAM region.
Inclusive and accessible digital identities mean you can be a part of the economy. Whether it’s taking part in voting, taking out loans, or accessing crucial digital services from governments, banks, or other organizations – an inclusive and accessible digital identity program will ensure you are not excluded from those processes.
The next step in security is resilient biometrics, but to successfully provide this security to all your customers you need to do so regardless of the quality of their device, or the individual’s ability. You have to protect everybody. Building inclusivity into biometric security solutions will play a crucial role in the public’s acceptance of the technology.
Large segments of the Latin American population are low-income and find themselves unable to access basic services, such as benefit programs. A way to fuel financial and digital inclusion is through digital identity programs. This ensures no matter how remote the user is, or whether they can afford the latest smartphone, they can access digital services.
We are starting to see a trending topic in the region: user-centric distributed identity, if you are required to show proof of age a user-centric identity enables you to share an approved ID showing you are over 18 years old, as opposed to sharing an ID card with your address, name, and date of birth. You can protect and have control over, your data and identity.
We will continue to see more digital identity use cases applied across sectors, from financial to transportation. The LATAM region is in a great position where we can see the ways countries across the world are utilizing digital identity programs, including iProov’s very own use case: the EU digital identity wallet. This allows LATAM countries to see the potential ways digital identity programs can be used for their own needs. We will certainly see the adoption of digital identity programs here – but it will take time.
All services; government, banking, health, etc. will migrate to the digital world. Digital inclusion is undoubtedly a challenge in some regions due to a lack of infrastructure, but over time this will improve, and iProov is helping solve this issue.
Digital Identity is a primary issue throughout the whole of Latin America. However it is something that is moving in the right direction, and about to accelerate with opportunities to be applied across all industries and a huge variety of use cases. It’s an exciting time for us!
There is a huge shift from stolen to synthetic identity fraud, and from presentation attacks to digitally injected attacks. Two years ago the majority of fraud in Brazil were presentation attacks and stolen identities, but today we see higher numbers of synethic identity fraud and digital injection attacks. The immense increase in synthetic identity fraud, deepfakes, and digital injection attacks is having an impactful detriment on banks.
One key difference is that synthetic identities defraud the bank, not the account holders… and that makes it harder to quantify. It is often misrepresented as a business loss, instead of the fraud that it is.
There are two focuses for financial services. One is combating fraud. We are finding that banks are increasing their digital transactions without the correct security measures in place which leaves them vulnerable to more fraud, and this number will only increase if they don’t take action.
Secondly, where security levels are increasing there is a risk that usability is lost. There needs to be a focus placed on the inclusivity and accessibility of authentication to create a seamless user experience for banks’ customers.
Financial institutions must stick together and share information to survive. They need to remember that when a fraudster is successful in their attack, it means they have been attempting, and are still attempting, to attack many different financial institutions. One attack is not only bad for that specific organization, it’s bad for the whole of the financial sector in the region.
The high risk for banks lies in digital attacks, particularly the more sophisticated ones. These attacks leave financial institutions across the globe at risk, especially medium and small banks in Latin America who are not adequately prepared to combat this threat.
Challenges for financial institutions include ensuring individuals across the whole country have equal access to services offered. Currently, many regions don’t have access to the internet, so developing a service that caters to all will be difficult.
One of the first to adopt digital identity is the banking industry. However, they have not yet implemented solutions to ensure the real-time authentication of the person, this is a crucial step banks need to take so they can trust that the individual authenticating is who they say they are.
Part of the reason why this transition to real-time authentication hasn’t happened is that banks in Latin America are still not aware of the damage that cutting-edge attacks can cause. It is our role to raise awareness of these attacks.
There is a work ethic that comes from being Latin American that is unique. The countries we come from are economically underrepresented, and there is huge financial inequality. But in the face of hardship, people from these countries work extremely hard and are proud of their work.
What makes me most proud to be a Mexican is that we have a rich culture. We have many traditions and beautiful architecture incorporated with Spanish influence. And of course… I’m most proud of our food – we have incredible food! Some of our dishes have over 15 ingredients and take days to prepare and a lot of pride goes into preparing it.
Throughout all of Latin America, you’ll find people’s hearts are full. People here are happy regardless of their material possessions.
Many aspects make me proud to be Latin American including our rich culture, longstanding arts and traditions, the welcoming and positive attitude of the people… and, of course, our food!
To sum up our culture in one word it would be ‘Hope’. Inequalities can be seen throughout Latin America and are more prevalent compared with other countries, but, despite this, we have a strong sense of happiness and belonging.
One aspect that makes me proud of being Latino is that I belong to a culture where there is much love for people, especially family. We are hard-working and honest people who always look for a reason not only to be better and happier but to share this with others.
My main job is to look after the culture of the team. When we come over to the UK, we’ll bring some candy or food from the region as a way of extending our Latin love. I try to imbue that into our team, we are coming into a different culture but we can bring a part of our culture with us.
As a team lead, I ensure I’m developing the right environment for them to grow and flourish, and challenging the people to be their best. Numbers are nice, but having the right balance is important. Learning, growing, and achieving results is really what matters.
Learn More About Deepfake Trends in Latin America Here.
Meet more of the iProov team below.
September 22 2023
Across the globe, governments, policymakers, and regulators are turning their attention to the subject of generative artificial intelligence (AI). This technology greatly reduces the technological barrier to creating highly realistic fake images, videos, and audio.
As generative AI develops, it will make it increasingly challenging to distinguish between real and manipulated content – leading to misinformation, propaganda, and deception on a grand scale. This threatens to erode trust and blur the lines between reality and fiction, ultimately challenging the function of an effective civil society.
In this article we discuss the topic of generative AI, alongside the tools, methods, and technologies available to combat the growing threat.
AI is not intrinsically harmful – there are many beneficial and positive applications. However, a number of factors are leading to increased concern over its vast capabilities for nefarious purposes:
The impacts of generative AI on society are endless: public sector benefit fraud, new account fraud, synthetic identity, fraud, voting fraud, disinformation, deceptive social media bots, robocalls, and more.
The dangers of combining different types of AI – such as imagery, voice, and text – pose a synergistic threat of rapidly evolving technologies that can be used in conjunction for massive impact. You can learn about the critical and urgent risks of voice spoofs in particular here.
Let’s consider a few examples:
Ultimately, there is now an arms race between the destructive uses of generative AI and the tools that we have to defend against them. The potential outcome is an identity crisis in the digital age, where the public cannot trust the media or public officials.
It will become increasingly more difficult for governments, businesses, journalists, and the general public alike to combat or spot fraud, disinformation, and cybercrime. This is particularly pertinent as we approach many major political elections across the globe.
So, what can governments and policymakers actually do? What regulations and technologies are available? In summary:
Ultimately, generative AI poses significant risk to society. Clear policy and regulation is needed urgently in order to set the guardrails, align the moral majority, and guide organizations’ response.
Biometric and identity verification technology offers a critical lifeline for governments and other organizations that need to assure people who they say they are in the age of synthetic and falsified imagery and information.
But not just any verification technology will do. As generative AI advances, defenses will need to keep pace: mission-critical solutions that continuously evolve are essential.
iProov is soon set to release its “Identity Crisis in the Digital Age: Using Science-Based Biometrics to Combat Generative AI” report. Inside, we examine the criminal side of generative AI, discuss the “trust deficit” that threatens to undermine nations’ abilities to reach sustainable development goals, and advise on the technology and processes required to combat this threat. Keep an eye out on our socials for its imminent release.
September 14 2023
In our last article, “Voice Biometrics For Private Banking and Wealth Management: A False Sense Of Security?”, we explored why voice biometrics is being questioned by consumers, governments, and policymakers around the world. The article established that against the growing threat of generative AI, voice is positioned as the easiest biometric modality to clone.
Now, we’re going to dive deeper into the exact disadvantages of voice biometrics. We’ll then explore face biometrics as an alternative authentication method – one that offers enhanced security against the evolving threat landscape while delivering a seamless user experience.
Financial institutions have sought to meet demand for end-to-end, convenient digital experiences in their wealth management and private banking organizations. This has involved a pivot towards remote onboarding, investing, and customer service.
Voice biometric technology has proven to be unreliable with increasingly advanced, effective, and accessible synthetic audio – voice cloning attacks are rampant. Voice biometrics has also come under fire for failing to meet performance and accessibility expectations.
Let’s break down the key issues with voice authentication:
How can facial biometric technology circumvent the various disadvantages of voice biometrics?
Firstly, the face can be verified against government identity documents. The voice cannot. This means you can establish a source of truth to match a remote identity against, and ensure the identifiers associated with that person are endorsed by a legal authority.
Secondly, face biometrics is fully accessible even for visually impaired users. By definition, voice biometrics require users to speak — meaning not all users can use the product.
Additionally, face biometrics is a mature technology and has performance benchmarks by government organizations and standards bodies. There lacks independent, objective ranking for voice biometric performance.
There are a number of key differentiators that iProov employs to stay ahead of other security methods and other vendors. This includes, though is not limited to:
These differentiators are essential to defend against generative AI and the growing threat landscape. The right biometric face verification solution can form the foundational technology for a customer’s entire identity lifecycle, whereas voice biometrics can only play a limited, unreliable role.
Given the above outlined concerns, the risks posed by voice cloning in the realm of financial services demands immediate attention and action. Face biometrics stands as the best alternative.
Because there is such little data inherent in a voice recording, it has ultimately become impossible to distinguish between the real and the forgery. Due to the proven ease of circumventing voice authentication with synthetic audio within financial services use cases, and the lack of assurance the technology delivers, voice biometrics should only be used in very low-risk scenarios.
In pivoting from voice biometric authentication to facial biometrics for onboarding and authentication, or using both technologies, financial services institutions can achieve higher assurance that remote customers are who they claim to be. This can reduce fraud and financial crime, mitigate the risk of regulatory noncompliance, and improve customer satisfaction.
Our next blog will examine how organizations can transition away from voice biometrics, and further details the specific differentiators that separate iProov face verification technology from other vendors.
September 7 2023
Remote onboarding and digital banking has grown dramatically in recent years, and the sector is only set to develop further – market size is projected to surge from USD 8.4 billion in 2021 to USD 19.2 billion by 2028, forecasting a healthy compound annual growth rate of 14.80%.
With this rise in remote onboarding, financial institutions are seeking innovative ways to improve their new customer acquisition strategies while ensuring they are compliant with relevant regulations.
It has therefore become increasingly important for banks and credit unions to ensure that their customers’ identities are genuine, and that customers can lawfully use (and are lawfully using) the services offered by the financial institution. The use of biometric identity verification and eKYC (electronic Know Your Customer) checks have become essential, as they enhance security while simplifying the end user’s journey.
To meet this evolving requirement, Entrust and iProov – two industry leaders in digital identity verification and authentication – have partnered to deliver biometric identity verification and eKYC checks in one powerful, end-to-end solution. This solution revolutionizes how banks and credit unions onboard new users, ensuring a fast, secure, and user-friendly experience for customers and financial organizations alike.
Biometric identity verification is a process of identifying individuals based on their unique biological characteristics, such as fingerprints, face verification, voice recognition, or iris scanning. It is a highly reliable and secure way to verify a person’s identity, and it minimizes or eliminates the need for passwords or conventional authentication methods, which are more easily hacked or stolen.
iProov’s patented biometric solutions suite assures that an online customer is the right person (and not an impostor), the real person (not a spoof), and is authenticating right now (using a one-time biometric). iProov’s science-based biometrics use computer vision technology to detect the genuine presence of a living user. A one-time biometric code tells the device to illuminate the individual’s face with an unpredictable sequence of colors to establish real-time authenticity. The challenge-response mechanism is randomized, making the authentication process unpredictable, impervious to replay attacks and highly challenging to reverse-engineer.
This helps organizations to verify that someone is who they claim to be, rather than a representation such as a photograph or a mask or a generative-AI based spoof like a synthetic identity. The solution also analyzes multidimensional information derived from facial behavior as well as other contextual data for comprehensive identity assurance and identity fraud risk mitigation.
iProov has been successfully deployed by top governments and financial institutions around the world to verify the identity of their users. The technology ensures that the person presenting themselves for identity verification is genuine, physically present, and not a photo, video, screen replay, or digitally injected attack.
eKYC checks are a digital alternative to the traditional KYC process, which is required by regulatory bodies to prevent money laundering, terrorist financing, and other illegal activities. eKYC allows customers to open accounts remotely without the need for physical paperwork or in-person interactions. It’s the most effective way to speed up the onboarding process and improve customer and member satisfaction right out of the gate.
Entrust’s identity solutions portfolio combined with iProov offers identity verification and eKYC services to financial institutions for account opening. It integrates iProov’s biometric solutions suite to provide a seamless and secure onboarding experience. Customers can use their smartphones to capture their biometric data, take a selfie, scan a government-issued ID, and submit the information for verification. The technology can process thousands of identity verifications in minutes, reducing the time and costs associated with manual identity checks.
By incorporating biometric verification into eKYC processes, banks and credit unions can reduce the risk of onboarding illegitimate users with stolen or synthetic identities.
Additionally, eKYC checks enhanced with biometric technology have proven to be more efficient – McKinsey says that the potential cost reduction in onboarding costs by using digital enabled processes is 90%, and If a digital onboarding process takes longer than 20 minutes, 70% of customers completely abandon account opening their attempt to open an account.
Ultimately the benefits of using biometric identity verification and eKYC checks include, but are not limited to:
A critical objective of this joint solution is creating an effortless experience for users, from beginning to end.
Following this, it’s important to prioritize delivering value to customers and members as soon as their account is created. One of the most meaningful milestones is debit card issuance, which provides customers with purchasing power and access to their newly deposited funds. Streamlining the issuance of digital payment cards as a part of the account opening process creates a seamless and valuable experience. By linking the onboarding process with the instant issuance of digital payment cards, banks and credit unions can provide a seamless and convenient experience for their customers and members.
This innovation in digital payment card issuance is part of the joint solution and is particularly valuable, because it eliminates the need for physical cards and the delays associated with postal delivery. Customers can start using their new accounts immediately, contributing to a more satisfying onboarding experience.
This enhanced digital payments experience not only drives accelerated time to value, with a rich set of spend enablement tools, it also provides a more secure payments experience with real-time card controls and alerts. The integrated experience – all housed in a single application – drives a safer, simpler, more valuable end user experience while removing much of the complexity from the implementation and ongoing maintenance of the technology.
The partnership between Entrust and iProov is a game-changer for the banking industry. It offers a cutting-edge solution that combines biometric identity verification and eKYC checks to provide a secure and user-friendly onboarding experience for both customers and financial institutions. As digital banking continues to grow, this technology will become increasingly important for financial institutions to stay ahead of the curve and provide their end users with the best possible service
August 15 2023
Biometric technologies have become ubiquitous in today’s digital-first world, revolutionizing the way we authenticate and verify identity remotely. There are a variety of biometric modalities that organizations are using to confirm the identity of their users.
One popular option has been voice biometrics, which has gained significant traction in the private banking and wealth management sectors. This technology has been adopted to make customer authentication faster and safer – the working principle behind voice biometrics is that people have their voice with them all the time, and that each voice should “belong” to only one individual.
However, voice biometric technology has been making the headlines recently – gaining a reputation for being among the “easiest of biometrics to clone”. Synthetic “voice cloning” technology in particular has become a preeminent risk, as the tools used to realistically dupe voices grow more accessible by the day. A high-quality synthetic voice sample can easily fool the human ear, with MIT and Google reporting that a minute of voice data is all that’s needed to create convincing, human-quality audio.
Cloning is not the only weakness however, as there are additional concerns with the identity assurance, performance, and accessibility that voice biometrics can provide.
This blog is the first part of a series on voice biometrics. The series will detail the performance, effectiveness, and the development of AI-generated synthetic voice technology, as well as the potential for stronger security using biometric face verification. In this article, we’ll examine whether voice biometrics should still play a role in financial transactions.
Voice biometric technology measures the physical and behavioral markers in an individual’s speech in order to confirm their identity. The technology works by comparing features in a given audio sample (or live audio feed) against a template “voiceprint” obtained from previous recording(s).
With the dramatic rise of digital banking, voice biometrics has become a popular form of authentication for financial institutions. Customer service calls have traditionally played an important role in the banking experience, and voice biometrics allow customer authentication within the same communication channel. However, the method is prone to background noise, can be overheard, and can be spoofed by a recording or deepfake.
Generative AI has accelerated the development of voice cloning technology, which can generate a voice that sounds identical to an authentic voice. While the concept of synthesized voice threatens many spheres of life, in this piece we are focussing specifically on the efficacy of voice biometrics for organizational security (i.e. authenticating or verifying identity remotely).
Each biometric modality uses a different unique trait – such as face, iris, or fingerprint – to identify an individual, and decisions around procuring biometric technology are often use-case driven.
Voice biometrics is not generally used for onboarding new customers, but to authenticate customer service access by returning customers when individuals need help over the phone. Their speech patterns are passively analyzed while they speak. Alternatively, voice biometrics may be deployed within a banking app — the app requests the user to tap a button and say a passphrase in order to gain initial or step-up access to further services.
Face biometric technology, conversely, can be used for both onboarding and ongoing user authentication. One essential differentiator for biometric face verification is that the face can be matched against a government-issued trusted ID document, whereas a voice cannot. Voice biometrics cannot secure the highest risk point in the user journey: onboarding. As such, it provides no defense against the most pervasive and damaging identity fraud types, such as synthetic identity fraud. This limits the use of the technology as it cannot provide the necessary identity assurance.
Even for its intended use-case, the security of voice biometrics has been repeatedly undermined. One paper examining a practical attack on voice authentication systems from the University of Waterloo, Canada, developed a methodology that could bypass security-critical voice authentication in its strictest form with success rates of up to 99%.
This study also discovered that voice authentication systems tend to “mistakenly learn to distinguish between spoofed and bonafide audio based on cues that are easily identifiable” – and thus easily spoofed. And while the threats have rapidly grown and evolved, the technology has stayed much the same.
Given that voice authentication is often employed in high-risk, high-value industries – including private banking and wealth management – the use and security resilience of voice biometrics should be examined. Other mature technologies that can prove adherence to biometric performance benchmarks and demonstrate evaluation by government standards should be favored.
To understand why the effectiveness of voice biometrics is gaining critical attention, let’s take a look at some of the headlines from this year:
Ultimately, this raises questions: does your organization have resilient identity assurance protocols in place? Can your security processes stand up against the evolving threat landscape and the reality of increasingly sophisticated cybercrime technologies?
To help, iProov will be releasing findings, research, comparisons and use case examples of voice biometric technology over the coming months. We’ll examine how it’s been deployed, and offer recommendations based on risk appetite and level of assurance.
For more information on the different biometric face verification technologies on the market, alongside their key differentiators, read our Demystifying Biometric Face Verification ebook here.
August 9 2023
Each year, Eurostar faces the challenge of processing 11 million people through a space no larger than 3 tennis courts – a task further complicated by manual ticket checks and UK exit check delays.
iProov and Eurostar have been working tirelessly on a solution that reduces processing time and creates a seamless user experience for travelers – which has now officially been launched under the name SmartCheck.
As Andrew Bud (iProov’s Founder and CEO) articulates: “this is the first time remote enrollment and facial verification have been used in the railway industry anywhere in the world”.
SmartCheck enables contactless travel at London St Pancras International Station by utilizing cutting-edge biometric facial and remote identity verification technology. Eligible travelers can now use a dedicated lane that replaces the traditional manual check-in and border exit check, by making your face your ticket.
SmartCheck is the future of border crossing, enabling travelers to complete the ticket and UK exit checks carried out by Eurostar staff in the station in less than 2 seconds.
In this article, we summarize what to expect with the Eurostar SmartCheck process, explain how the technology works, and bring to life the many advantages of this innovative solution.
In short, Smartcheck enables you to travel without needing a physical ticket– you breeze through the gate using your face!
How does this work? Eligible customers departing from London St Pancras can pre-onboard themselves using their mobile device from any convenient location.
You upload a picture of your passport, complete a brief facial scan to verify that you are the genuine holder of that document, and you’re good to go.
This process links your passport, your face, and your ticket together securely and effortlessly. Doing so ensures that on the day of travel, you can simply show up at Eurostar St. Pancras International station and walk through the designated SmartCheck biometric corridor rather than present tickets.
iProov’s national-grade security technology works behind the scenes to defend against spoofs and other threats, such as presentation attacks and digital injection attacks – ensuring that only the intended user can pass through the dedicated lane.
Essentially, the solution works in two parts: remote enrollment on the user’s device before travel, and then physical access on-site. The result is a contactless, fast, and secure journey that enhances the overall passenger experience.
Ultimately, this means passengers avoid manual checks of tickets and passports by Eurostar staff and enter via a facial verification system. All that’s left to do is go via baggage check and pass through the French Border Control before enjoying your Eurostar journey.
This process ensures exit checks and ticket checks are done in one easy step rather than queuing at each point – it does not eliminate them. With SmartCheck, technology is doing the work, ensuring maximum convenience for the end-user. Additionally, SmartCheck is completely optional. It’s there for those that choose to opt in.
Let’s breakdown the Eurostar Smartcheck workflow into a few simple steps:
Note: The identity verification process can be completed in a matter of minutes at the station. However, we’d recommend downloading the app and completing the identity verification process at least one day before your scheduled departure – at a time when you have a good internet connection. This ensures you are completely prepared for your journey prior to travel.
Travelers can remotely verify without regard to cognitive ability, nationality, or ethnicity. There’s no need for special hardware; travelers can verify themselves on any device with a user-facing camera. However, in accordance with GDPR regulations, SmartCheck cannot be used by children under 16.
SmartCheck is currently available from London St Pancras to all routes covered by Eurostar: Paris, Brussels, and Amsterdam.
The iProov.me app uses the latest encryption techniques and pseudonymizes data, capturing only the necessary information to verify your identity.
Your verified information is securely stored in your smartphone, and it’s only shared with ticket gates and passport control systems when you travel. It will then be stored for 48 hours maximum and deleted after travel. All personal data is processed in compliance with GDPR, with full passenger consent.
Eurostar Smartcheck is entirely optional – travelers do not need to use the expedited process if they do not wish to.
From the technical side, SmartCheck incorporates iProov’s Biometric Solution Suite using Biometric checkpoints and facial verification, alongside Inverid’s ReadID NFC technology, and Entrust’s Identity Verification as a Service (IDVaaS) technology for identity orchestration and digital travel credential (DTC) management.
Eurostar SmartCheck provides a glimpse into the future of contactless border technology. If you have further queries about physical access solutions enabled by biometric facial verification technology, you can contact us here or directly book an iProov demo today.
May 19 2023
As organizations digitally transform to expand access to online services, the challenge moves from enabling access to protecting people from cybercriminals. Threat actors are continually developing, using enterprise level tools and techniques in evermore sophisticated ways to circumvent the security systems protecting them.
Unfortunately, many organizations make a crucial cybersecurity mistake: they pour resources into commoditized security methods, constantly reacting to breaches and compromised credentials rather than future-proofing through preventative measures.
Today we’re speaking with Matt Welch, iProov’s Head of Threat Intelligence. Matt has an extensive history of leading and consulting global Threat Intelligence departments, following 16 years of service in the Canadian Armed Forces. Now, at iProov, Matt studies the evolving biometric threat landscape and the threat actors behind them, while developing frameworks to combat threat types.
We sat down with Matt to better understand the macro state of cybersecurity in the first quarter of 2023.
Q: Matt, what trends and evolutions have you seen in cybersecurity so far this year?
A: There has been a change in tactics observed from one prolific threat actor, the group that has been dubbed Scattered Spider by Crowdstrike. Interestingly, they’re changing their focus to phishing – particularly phishing emails and phishing domains. Phishing is a common and long-established form of threat – which aims to induce individuals to reveal their personal information – but it’s still remarkably effective against organizations that are reliant on credentials for information security. You can read more about this trend in crowdstrike’s latest report here.
The key point here is that threat actors realize credentials are still the low-hanging fruit. And often, they don’t even need phishing; threat actors can easily gain compromised credentials, as many are already scattered across the darknet. They can then use credential stuffing attacks to see what other accounts they can gain access to with this information.
The conclusion here is that because many organizations use multi-factor authentication protocols now, the other authentication types – “something you own” and “something you know” – will naturally come under fire after credentials are stolen. If an organization employs multi-factor authentication (MFA) and threat actors are harvesting credentials through phishing, logically, the other authentication factors will be attacked next.
That is, in part, why biometric technology has become essential: although you can collect and share compromised credentials easily, you cannot capture and use the genuine presence of someone’s live face. So the good news is that “something you are” can be incredibly hard to break, unlike “something you know” or “own”.
Q: So, Matt, credentials are under threat from a renewed focus on phishing. What can be said about the other authentication factors?
A: Yes, threat actors are currently focusing on credentials. But as more and more organizations implement multi-factor authentication, they’ll turn their gaze toward the other factors used to secure MFA.
But a larger point here is that MFA protocols secured with “something you own” factors, such one-time passcodes (OTPs), are not a long-term solution. Cybercriminals have defeated these traditional verification technologies, which has led to the commoditization of what were once deemed secure options (you can read more about the risks of OTPs here, for example).
OTPs are a step up from passwords and often offer a higher level of security than credential-based authentication. However, possession-based factors are increasingly susceptible, and can still be stolen or intercepted. It’s no silver bullet.
More widely, I would say that overreliance on both credential and possession-based authentication has led to a vicious cycle in which organizations are stuck in a state of reaction and detection to threats rather than prevention, creating an “industry” of administrative burden in information security.
Q: Matt, what can be done to combat threats to authentication systems?
A: Generally, organizations are too focused on what hurts them right now – they’re constantly putting out fires burning due to weak passwords and possession-based authentication, so information security professionals are too busy (or don’t have all the information they need) to realize there’s a much better way.
Biometric technology offers a better approach to security. There is a unique efficiency in adopting a mature and reliable product that assures the genuine identity of a remote user.
Cybersecurity can be broken down into preventive and detective controls. Cybersecurity has traditionally focussed on detective controls, which are incredibly expensive.
Think of it like this: it’s the difference between paying someone to walk around your building to see if anyone has broken in, versus simply locking the door. In this analogy, biometrics is the lock – stopping the vast majority of your problems at the earliest stage. In that sense, iProov technology is the ultimate preventative measure.
Additionally, the cost of a mature cybersecurity capability system in a given organization is astronomical; elements such as a Security Operations Centre (SOC), staffing, incident response, outsourcing, APIs, integrations, and threat intelligence platforms all add up. But the cost of a resilient biometric liveness solution is much lower.
iProov offers the iProov Security Operations Centre (iSOC) as part of its biometric solution. Through iSOC, iProov monitors traffic in real-time to detect attack patterns across multiple geographies, devices, and platforms. iSOC provides the depth of visibility and the breadth of control as though you were developing your own in-house technology, with the advantage of no additional overheads. All solutions are supported, enhanced, and upgraded without additional time, cost, or resources.
Additionally, these threat actors are aware that employees leave work for the weekend at a given time on a Friday, so they coordinate their attacks around then. That’s why automated processes are critical.
Ultimately an MFA process that incorporates the right biometric technology to ensure genuine presence takes away colossal amounts of that pain and stress by focusing on prevention.
Q: Thanks Matt! Any closing thoughts?
A: People must understand that it’s incredibly hard to identify generative AI attacks such as deepfakes or, more recently, face swaps – particularly to the naked eye. The fraudulent output can look entirely realistic and very different from the actual input. We can’t just rely on people to spot AI attacks.
Note: In an iProov survey, 57% of global respondents stated that they could tell the difference between a real video and a deepfake, which is up from 37% in 2019. However, IDIAP revealed that in reality only 24% of participants in their study could detect a deepfake. A high-end deepfake can be genuinely indistinguishable from reality to the human eye.
If we look at different biometric solutions, they can provide vastly different levels of assurance that a given authentication is a live human and not a spoof. So, education is needed on the different types of liveness and technologies available – the differences between single frame, multi-frame, passive, active, and so on – and why there’s such a need for a mission-critical solution.
The question of “how can we be sure of someone’s identity online?” is an extremely important and serious topic, and it’s not going away. Weak authentication and verification means weaker borders at the point of travel, compromised online accounts, weaker information security, and more. It worries me that to some people, biometrics is still seen as science fiction – because it’s real, it’s necessary, and it’s needed now more than ever.
Reminder: our latest report, “iProov Biometric Threat Intelligence”, is the first of its kind. Inside, we illuminate the key attack patterns witnessed throughout 2022. It highlights previously unknown in-production patterns of biometric attacks, so organizations can make informed decisions on which technology and what level of security to deploy. Read the full report here.
May 18 2023
Digital transformation has significantly expanded how individuals interact with banks and financial service firms. Technology has made onboarding from a consumer’s couch at home just as viable as their local in-person branch.
On one hand, the development of remote verification and authentication technologies has opened the door for online banking and other digital experiences that are simpler and more convenient for individuals. On the other hand, it also increased fraud liability.
Additionally, sophisticated technology with the power to create synthetic online identities has spawned new challenges. Deepfakes, synthetic identity documents (IDs), and digital injection attacks have given bad actors the tools to wreak havoc at scale.
To keep up with fraudsters, financial service providers must strengthen their onboarding and authentication workflows with effective, accurate verification technology.
While traditional identity theft is on the rise, accounting for $52 billion in losses and affecting 42 million adults in the US alone in 2021, banks also face a new and more complicated threat: synthetic identity fraud (SIF).
Whereas traditional identity fraud typically relies on using stolen information, synthetic identity fraud involves the creation of a “person” – an entirely new identity – who doesn’t exist by mixing stolen, fictitious, or manipulated personally identifiable information (PII).
How synthetic identities are created:
Fraudsters usually build up some form of credit or banking history as part of the process. This could involve maxing out their credit lines, for example, making it nearly impossible for banks or financial institutions to tell whether these individuals are simply facing financial challenges (e.g. job loss) or if they’re a bad actor committing illegal activities – until it’s too late.
This emerging variation of fraud specifically works to circumvent identity documents and biometric verification technology – the current standard for digital identity verification – and is nearly impossible to catch via data checks (e.g. verifying an identity with a credit bureau) alone. Combatting this type of fraud requires a “one-two punch” – an approach of identity document verification and biometric technologies working together to prevent these sophisticated threat types.
As mentioned, one common method of making synthetic identities look real is to use synthetic imagery. Criminals can use technology to create realistic photos or videos that have been digitally manipulated to replace one person’s likeness with another, or to even “create” people that don’t exist. Generative AI and deep fakes are a hugely powerful tool in boosting the success of synthetic identity fraud.
A deepfake is a video recording that has been distorted, manipulated, or synthetically created using deep learning techniques to present an AI-generated representation of someone – like a digital mask. Some of the most sophisticated variations of deepfakes are nearly indistinguishable from a real face, including natural eye and mouth movement. The use of deepfake technology in synthetic identity fraud spans from presentation attacks to digital injection attacks – both of which attempt to circumvent facial verification.
Banks across the globe have rapidly adopted facial verification as it emerged as the most secure method of securing an online identity – over commoditised, weaker, inconvenient methods such as passwords and OTPs. Face verification has become intertwined with the digital banking experience, and according to an iProov survey, 64% of global consumers who use mobile banking either use face verification to access their accounts already or would do so if they could.
That’s why it’s essential that any digital onboarding solution can robustly bind digital identities with real-world individuals. The Microblink-iProov solution confirms that a genuine human is verifying against their trusted identity document in real-time and that the document has not been tampered with. This thwarts synthetic identities during onboarding, before they enter the system.
There are a variety of presentation attacks that criminals can deploy to try and gain unlawful access to a user’s account or privileges. Alongside physically attempting to impersonate a genuine user, presentation attacks can also involve an artifact being held up to a user-facing camera. A bad actor could also create a deepfake and then show that video, via another screen, to the device completing facial verification.
Digital injection attacks leverage the same level of deepfake technology but involve the fraudster either rerouting the feed of verification video to a software-based camera, injecting a deepfake into the data stream of the application, or even leveraging an emulator to mimic a user device.
iProov’s recent threat intelligence report revealed that injection attacks were five times as frequent as persistent presentation attacks on the web throughout 2022. What’s more, liveness detection (i.e techniques to determine whether the source of a biometric sample is a live human being or a fake representation) is relatively reliable at detecting traditional presentation attacks, making digital injection attacks the focus for the most adept fraudsters.
Deepfakes become even more dangerous when they are employed in digital injected attacks, as they can be scaled and automated very quickly to cause significant damage.
While most biometric technology involves some level of liveness detection to verify an individual’s identity, liveness detection alone cannot detect a digital injection attack. To combat the combination of deepfakes and digital injection attacks, financial service institutions need a robust, multifaceted approach – one that leverages the creation of a one-time biometric.
Microblink and iProov’s digital onboarding solution utilizes one-time biometric technology to ensure that anyone attempting to verify their identity is doing so in real-time and not using synthetic imagery.
How? By illuminating the individual’s face with a unique sequence of colors that cannot be replayed or manipulated synthetically. This assures a user is authenticating right now – it’s not a presentation attack using a photo or mask, and it’s also not a digital injected attack using a replay of a previous authentication or synthetic video such as a deepfake. It also analyzes multidimensional information derived from the way the face behaves and how light is reflected off of a face, which can uncover synthetic imagery.
Before the explosion of online banking, traditional identity fraud was limited in scale with one person presenting one stolen identity at a time. The process was slow and the vigilance of internal employees was key to combating fraud and mitigating risks.
With synthetic IDs and the rise of deepfakes, fraudsters can scale the scope of their attempts, and do so at a faster pace than ever before.
Synthetic IDs are especially dangerous as they enable the production of countless “people” that a fraudster can impersonate. In one example from iProov’s report, some 200-300 attacks were launched globally from the same location within a 24 hour period in an indiscriminate attempt to bypass an organization’s security systems.
Attacks from threat actors are becoming more scalable and automated, and the synthetic imagery used to bolster fraudulent verifications is becoming more indiscernible from reality to the human eye. That’s why organizations require the most cutting-edge biometric and identity document verification technologies to combat threats.
With bad actors leveraging a combination of real and fraudulent information to create synthetic identity documents, a simple scan will no longer suffice.
That’s where an AI-driven ID capture, extraction and verification can excel. An AI-based approach can understand the full context of the identity document it’s scanning, providing data consistency and validation checks across the extracted information, and systematically looking for visual defects or anomalies to provide a greater level of assurance.
By taking a data-driven approach that combines non-forensic and forensic inspection of diverse identity documents, as well as liveness detection that creates a one-time biometric, your business can feel confident user identity documents are genuine.
Lastly, the flexibility and continuous learning of an AI-based solution ensures that it can extract and verify a vast majority of ID types and geographic varieties — ensuring you’re not sacrificing flexibility and end user experience or ease-of-use in favor of security and trust.
The combination of synthetic identities and their accompanying IDs, along with deepfakes, are introducing more risk to digital onboarding processes for organizations of all sizes across industries.
Without a tech stack that helps protect against the sophistication of these new and improved fraud methods, the risks to financial service providers include lost revenue, customer goodwill, and regulatory penalties.
Leveraging AI-based ID capture, extraction and verification technologies – like those offered by Microblink – alongside one-time biometric scan solutions like iProov – enables a more secure digital onboarding experience. Combining the assurance and flexibility of these proven technologies can help combat the growing danger of financial fraud.
May 11 2023
Defrauding the government has become a big business for criminals. To give an idea of the scale: the Government Accountability Office (GAO) stated in its 2021 audit report that over $662 billion was lost due to fraud and improper payments alone. Plus, these audits generally do not even include fraud from COVID-related programs. Federal officials state that an additional $191 billion in COVID unemployment aid may have been misspent.
The losses are staggering, and Pandora’s box has been opened: criminals are now equipped with the technology, tools, and expertise to systematically plunder the public sector at scale.
In response to the growing threat, President Biden has promised a major crackdown. At the State of the Union address, he stated that criminal syndicates continue to steal “billions of dollars”, but that “the data shows that for every dollar we put into fighting fraud, the taxpayers get back at least 10 times as much”.
The pandemic caused a scramble to digitize in-person services and provide extensive financial aid to those in need. Government agencies rushed to provide remote access to benefits without having the appropriate time to ensure that these transactions would meet desired security standards.
The massive influx of public funding combined with immature security created an ideal scenario for fraudsters. The resulting levels and cost of fraud have been unprecedented. An estimated $80 billion — or ~10%— of the $800 billion handed out in the COVID Paycheck Protection Program was stolen by fraudsters. And that’s just losses from one specific plan.
Digitizing public sector services is essential, but without adequate security it makes benefits more
accessible to fraudsters too. Ultimately, public sector fraud has become a humanitarian issue wherein public funds are consistently lost to bad actors.
How are vital public programs – such as food stamps (SNAP), unemployment insurance, and the tax system – being systematically siphoned by domestic and foreign criminals?
Cybercriminals today have easy access to generative AI-based technology such as deepfakes, synthetic identities, and digitally injected attacks that are sabotaging traditional online security methods. Read more about the evolving threat landscape in our latest report here.
Most public sector fraud stems from poorly secured remote access to government-issued services and benefits. The solution relies on trusted identity verification – which enables the government to be sure that those receiving funds are the intended recipients. There’s only one way to be sure of this remotely: by verifying a genuine document against a genuine face using biometric verification technology.
How does it work? When a person applies for government benefits or signs up for services online, they would be prompted to complete a brief facial scan. Face verification technology is essential here, as only the face can be matched against a government-issued identity document, such as a driver’s license. This provides a trusted reference image from a government authority. You can read more about the many advantages of face biometrics here.
Investing in robust identity verification technology is essential for tackling fraud – not only to provide the security that’s so desperately needed, but because it will actually be a cost-saving initiative to the benefit of the taxpayer. Investments in fraud technology for detection and prevention can deliver huge payoffs – typically 10 to 100 times ROI.
Given the amount of money at stake, how stolen benefits funds undermine their intended humanitarian efforts, and how these stolen funds can fuel further criminal and nation state activity – a mission-critical solution is needed.
Ultimately, public sector agencies would be well-positioned to adopt best practices around biometric technology from other leading public sector organizations such as the UK Home Office, The US Department of Homeland Security, Singapore GovTech, and the Australian Tax Office, which all have mature facial biometric security strategies in use.
You can request a demo of iProov here or read more about this topic inside our recent report, Using Biometric Technology To Fight Public Sector Benefit Fraud below:
April 26 2023
The world is digitizing at an incredible pace, and traditional authentication methods, such as one-time passcodes, are failing to keep organizations secure. As fraud technologies and methodologies grow in sophistication and scale, facial biometric verification has emerged as one of the most secure and convenient methods for organizations to verify user identity online.
However, organizations must understand that not all facial biometric technologies have kept up with the rapidly changing threat landscape. Not all are equal in the level of security, resilience, or adaptability to novel threats.
Deploying a facial biometric verification solution without having visibility over threats and how they evolve is like building a house without the right materials to withstand the elements. To be effective, solutions must be resilient to the ever-evolving threat landscape and utilize threat intelligence to ensure that they can provide the expected level of identity assurance.
Recently, iProov published an industry-first Biometric Threat Intelligence Report, in which threats to in-production biometric technology were analyzed across the last year. Download the threat report here for all insights and data.
For now, we’ll highlight one key discovery:
Surprisingly, digital injection attacks have dramatically increased and now occur five times more frequently than persistent presentation attacks across web browser verifications.
What is the difference between digital injection and presentation attacks?
Presentation attacks involve presenting an artifact – such as a printed photo, silicone mask, or deepfake video on a screen – to a cell phone or computer. Presentation attacks have a long history and are generally well-understood.
Digital injection attacks on the other hand are sophisticated, highly scalable, and replicable cyberattacks that bypass the camera on a device (or are injected into a data stream). They are far more scalable than presentation attacks and they do not require the manual creation of a physical artifact or any physical presentation. This scalability drives the higher frequency and danger of digital injection attacks.
Many biometric solutions are not equipped to defend against this threat type. In response to the ever-evolving threat of systemized and scalable attacks, security needs to be resilient and adaptive – rather than simply resistant to established and known spoofs.
Given the ever transformative nature of generative AI, and the scalability of digital injection attacks, it is imperative that biometric security be actively managed 24/7.
One key element in our security process is iProov Security Operations Center (iSOC) – the industry-first global threat intelligence and active threat management system. Through iSOC, iProov monitors traffic in real-time to detect attack patterns across multiple geographies, devices, and platforms.
This enables continuous monitoring and learning from attack sources, patterns, and methodologies, keeping our biometric systems one step ahead of the evolving threat landscape.
Having full visibility of threat development is crucial because once attack tools or methodologies are successful in breaching systems, they are often quickly shared – typically on the dark web or within Crime-as-a-Service networks – which means they can scale very quickly. You can read more about real-world examples of this in our LATAM Deepfakes Report.
If you do not have visibility of attack types, it makes it very difficult to prioritize which spoof types to mitigate against and doesn’t allow an understanding of how the attack behavior is changing. Visibility is crucial for long-term, dynamic defenses.
This ultimately helps to protect your users and your organization from future and as yet unknown threats.
Security systems also need to be able to implement fixes quickly in order to outpace threat actors and maintain ongoing protection.
That’s where cloud-based technology comes in:
Sophisticated threats, such as deepfakes, can often successfully emulate a person verifying themselves, which many liveness technologies cannot spot. Advanced verification methods are needed to secure against advanced threat types.
How does our one-time biometric technology work? The user’s device screen illuminates their face with an unpredictable sequence of colors. We analyze the reflections of that screen light from the user’s face. The way that the light reflects and interacts with the face tells us whether it is a real-life, three-dimensional human or not.
The sequence of colors that we see reflecting from the face must be the sequence that we told the device to flash. If it looks realistic, but the color sequence is wrong, we know we’re looking at a spoof.
Once used, it can’t be replayed by a person attempting to use a previous verification to spoof the system. It’s worthless if stolen because the sequence is unique and is obsolete as soon as it’s used. The process is exceedingly user-friendly and entirely passive.
Ultimately, because the threats are constantly evolving, it’s essential to understand the threat landscape and make decisions based on real-world, in-production intelligence. iProov employs the discussed technologies – iSOC, cloud-based verification, and one-time biometric technology, amongst others – to deliver the solution of choice for the world’s most security conscious organizations. You are secured and reassured, active threat management in place to defend against new and yet unknown threats.
To read more about the key attack technologies and methodologies witnessed by iSOC throughout 2022: download our report, ‘iProov Biometric Threat Intelligence”. It highlights previously unknown patterns of biometric attacks that can help organizations make more informed decisions on biometric technology selection. Read the full report here.
April 6 2023
Banking inclusion has skyrocketed in recent years. According to the World Bank, 71% of people had access to a bank account in 2022, up from 42% a decade before. This growth can mainly be attributed to the digital revolution – two-thirds of adults worldwide now make or receive a digital payment, which has risen from just 35% in 2014. Juniper research estimates that the number of remote banking customers is expected to exceed 3.6 billion by 2024.
While there are many advantages to remote banking for banks and customers alike, there’s a serious challenge posed by this trend. Remote banking relies on a level of trust in the identity of the individual accessing the service, and that trust that can be exploited by cyber-enabled crime. As banks expand remote access to digital services and make access easier for users, they often extend an unintended invitation to fraudsters.
In truth, banks are facing pressure on all fronts – consumers expect to be able to open accounts and bank remotely with speed and ease. Meanwhile, fraudsters are siphoning money and undermining security through online channels. Simultaneously, banks face the threat of KYC and AML compliance fines.
In response, many banks are leveraging advanced verification technologies to onboard and authenticate the new era of online bankers – replacing cumbersome manual processes and supplanting outdated authentication methods like passwords and passcodes.
Biometric verification technology in particular can enable banks to deliver an effortless user experience, maximize customer inclusion, reduce user frustration, and provide the security needed to protect against fraud while supporting compliance with regulations. But not all solutions provide the same level of protection.
There are a few key use cases for biometrics in banking:
The first and most critical step is verifying the identity of a new remote customer. This is how banks ensure that they’re engaging with a legitimate individual from the outset, which enables banks to filter out potential bad actors, bots, and fraudulent identities early while supporting compliance efforts (proving they “know” their customers).
By scanning their trusted identity document – such as a driver’s license – and then completing a brief biometric facial scan, banks can check the verified identity of each new customer without ever meeting them in person.
Onboarding is the point of highest risk because you don’t know anything about the user or their risk until you have enrolled them – so it’s important to start off with the highest level of identity assurance in order to defend against threats such as synthetic identity fraud. Trust established at onboarding will carry through the customer lifecycle.
An account could be onboarded legitimately, but then compromised through account takeover fraud, identity theft, phishing, or other fraudulent activity. Biometric face authentication ensures that the person trying to access an account (the ‘visitor’) is the same person that created the account (the ‘owner’) on an ongoing basis.
Once the individual’s identity has been established using the highest level of assurance, returning authentication doesn’t require the same stringent process and can be achieved through a simpler liveness check – unless something has changed to raise the level of risk. Examples of this include the customer asking for a new line of credit, adding a new authorized user to their account, requesting a password reset, or setting up a new device or rebinding an existing device. In these instances, a bank may decide to step up the authentication and require an additional biometric scan to ensure that this is in fact the customer requesting these changes. This enables banks to deliver the required convenience and flexibility for customers.
The two above processes have become absolutely essential for banks to deliver remote services securely and conveniently – and biometric technology is the core.
Biometric technology can be implemented in a number of ways. It can be combined with other authentication methods to create a multi-factor authentication or step-up authentication solution, for example.
In some jurisdictions, banks are required to implement multiple security factors under strong customer authentication laws.
Banking with biometrics delivers a number of key benefits:
Not all biometric solutions provide the same level of protection. This is because they are not created equal in their ability to determine the “liveness” of the supposed person trying to verify their identity, ensuring that the person is who they claim to be and present at that time. This is important when defending against generative AI attack methodologies like deepfakes and face swaps.
Additionally, there can be consequential differences in usability. When reviewing solutions, it is necessary to understand important things like if there are device or technology requirements, and if will the user be asked to perform certain movements as they will lower completion rates.
iProov technology delivers a number of key benefits:
Facial biometric technology…
Ultimately, the future of banking is digital and will owe much of its success in balancing security with customer experience to biometric solutions.
March 30 2023
Department of Motor Vehicles (DMVs) across America are at a critical crossroads. They’re faced with all-too-familiar issues, such as long in-person wait times and a lack of digital services. Meanwhile, Americans are demanding that more in-person services be made available online. In a recent iProov survey, the majority (70%) of respondents confirmed that people want the DMV to provide online identity services.
So the question is not if DMVs will have to modernize, but when and how.
iProov is currently working with the DMVs in some of the largest US states to help them use secure biometric identity verification to increase customer satisfaction while improving efficiency, security, and privacy online. But many DMVs are struggling with how to take the first step.
In light of this, iProov is hosting an educational webinar on April 6 2022 in partnership with the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) to discuss the role identity proofing can play in the day-to-day DMV transactions.
This webinar will examine…
iProov will be joined by Eric Jorgensen, ADOT’s Motor Vehicle Division Director, who will share insights from his digital transformation journey at ADOT. We will also discuss some of the challenges Mr. Jorgensen has faced in moving DMV processes forwards and insights into how modern technologies can improve DMV processes and deliver better experiences for the public.
Read on for some key information surrounding DMVs, identity proofing, and modernization – but first sign up for the webinar here!
DMVs have long provided organizations and individuals alike with a key identity verification tool in the form of a physical driver’s license – which is the primary way to prove identity in the US. So this is about more than just being able to renew licenses online – it’s about the role DMVs can play in revolutionizing America’s digital identity ecosystem.
But to transform DMVs into a digital identity-proofing resource for Americans, implementing appropriate technology will be vital to protect legitimate online users from impostors or fraudsters. The technology needed to securely verify the identity of people remotely is iProov identity proofing.
With iProov technology, DMVs are able to offer effortless and highly secure remote processes to ensure that the person asserting their identity remotely is the right person, a real person, and that they are authenticating right now. It’s secure, convenient, inclusive, and respectful of user privacy. Read more about iProov here.
Governments worldwide — including the US, UK, Australia, Singapore, and Estonia — are already using iProov’s market-leading technology to deliver online secure services.
In short, iProov helps make DMV digitization and modernization possible by enabling the secure verification of citizen identity online.
Americans are calling for digitization, and the DMV is perfectly positioned to be the hero of America’s digital transformation story.
Ultimately, this is about bringing identity into the 21st century in America – and the potential economic and social opportunities this could create for citizens and DMVs alike.
It’s about leveraging technology to enable DMV systems to handle today’s digital-first demands while protecting them from evolving threats and delivering a first-class user experience for people across America.
By leveraging modern technologies, DMVs can offer secure, inclusive, and convenient digital services to those who want to use them. In this webinar, we’ll illustrate how.
So, join us on April 6 for more information on DMVs, identity proofing, and digital transformation – this is shaping up to be a crucial event for DMV leads and stakeholders. Don’t miss out!
February 12 2023
You need to log into one of your online accounts – it’s time to prove that you are who you say you are. At a top level, you’ll encounter one of two options here:
In recent years, organizations have moved away from passwords and towards passwordless options, because password-based authentication is generally cumbersome, expensive, and insecure.
There are many different passwordless options, but they’re not all created equal – some options deliver better user experience, security, and inclusivity than others.
Passwordless authentication is the process of authenticating user access to an online account, software, or service without requiring a knowledge-based password.
A number of technologies can be used to enable secure user access without passwords, such as:
Passwordless authentication is beneficial because it can often strengthen security. Password vulnerabilities are well-known and they can be breached in numerous ways – plus, password management practices are often risky.
So, passwordless options are designed to strengthen security and to reduce the attack number of ways systems can be attacked. A good passwordless solution can also make the authentication process more convenient for users compared to passwords, because passwords are so easily lost, forgotten and breached, leading to lengthy recovery processes.
Quite commonly today, organizations choose to implement two-factor or multi-factor authentication to establish greater trust online under hostile conditions and limit fraud through stronger authentication. This means organizations don’t need to do away with passwords entirely if they don’t want to – instead they can combine them with another factor such as biometric face verification.
But remember: the specific benefits of going passwordless will depend on the solution you adopt. It’s important to strike a balance between security and user experience.
In the early days of the internet, organizations typically relied exclusively on a user ID and password to verify a customer. As more money started changing hands online, fraudsters began to take advantage.
Fraudsters were successful: shockingly, 80% of hacking-related breaches involve compromised and weak password credentials. Passwords intrinsically weaken the integrity of the security process and expose the individual or service to risk. This causes society-wide security risks for users and organizations alike.
Along the way, the attacks bad actors use to undermine passwords became more sophisticated and scalable. They include, but are not limited to:
So, new methods of authenticating customers sprang up to counter the disadvantages of passwords. Some stayed, and some died away. One method that stayed is biometric authentication – not least because it can offer secure access within seconds without the user needing to remember anything.
In 2023, iProov predicts that biometric combined with device will overtake password combined with device as a two-factor authentication solution – meaning we could finally see the end of passwords, even as part of two and multi-factor authentication solutions.
Passwordless authentication is generally split up into two categories:
Possession-based factors, such as OTPs, are sometimes referred to as “something you own”. They attempt to authenticate users through ownership of a device. For instance, if you can fetch and paste an OTP, then this should prove that you are the person who owns the device associated with that phone number and of which you have exclusive access to – thus proving your identity.
One problem with possession-based authentication is that it trusts devices over people. Codes are shareable and phishable, which means they are not a clear-cut representation of someone’s identity.
Inherence-based factors – i.e. biometrics – are sometimes referred to as “something you are”. They attempt to authenticate users by asserting a biological/physical characteristic. For instance, scanning your face using a device’s user-facing camera or pressing your finger against a device’s fingerprint scanning pad.
The third authentication factor is knowledge-based. Knowledge-based authentication usually means passwords, but can also mean secret answers, such your first pet or mother’s maiden name (though secret answers are used less commonly these days).
To put it simply, passwordless authentication works by users authenticating using a possession or inherence-based factor – such as a OTP or a facial biometric scan – rather than a password.
Auto-filling passwords is not passwordless authentication. Neither is using a cellphone unlock code to fill in a password field. Both of these options rely on an underlying password. Passwordless authentication works through bypassing the need for a password by using a different technology altogether.
The simplicity of face biometrics is one of its great advantages. It’s widely accessible, there’s no password to remember, and there’s no device or access token to carry around. This makes biometric face verification one of the most inclusive and accessible methods of security there is — if it’s implemented correctly.
While other methods can deliver benefits over the traditional password, the security still usually falls short of a sophisticated biometric solution. OTPs, for example, are often alarmingly easy to phish. Read more about the risks of OTPs here.
So, let’s consider a few of the areas where biometric passwordless authentication can make a real difference:
In the same vein that some passwordless methods are better than others, some biometric solutions are also better than others.
There are a number of unique propositions that elevate iProov technology above others as a passwordless solution:
Liveness technology is a component of biometric technology that distinguishes between inanimate objects and a human.
Liveness technology is a key consideration for choosing a biometric passwordless authentication solution. When you are considering what kind of liveness technology to use, you have to think about what your threat profile looks like. How hard is the attacker going to try in order to break into your system? How important is it for you to establish that an online user is a real person and not a spoof? And how valuable is the information they are accessing? Different use cases require different levels of assurance – which is why some organizations choose step-up authentication.
Ultimately, not all liveness is created equal. There is a spectrum of liveness technologies. Some of them are very cheap and fast. Some of them are much more substantial and resilient to attackers’ methods that can detect even the most determined attackers. The latter can provide considerable reassurance for organizations and their users.
iProov offers solutions that cover low to high-risk use cases. But when a transaction is mission critical, only iProov Genuine Presence Assurance® (GPA) can ensure that the user is the right person, a real person, and is authenticating in real-time. This is vital in protecting against highly scalable digitally injected attacks. Using patented Flashmark™ technology, a one-time biometric code is created which cannot be replicated.
If you’re interested in knowing more about implementing iProov’s technology to deliver seamless and secure passwordless authentication, please request a demo here.
January 25 2023
Data privacy is critical to the biometric ecosystem. But why, exactly, does it matter?
Protection of user data is built into iProov’s very design. When you procure iProov, you are procuring a technology that maximizes privacy protection, as highlighted by our conformance with many stringent security and privacy standards.
Next, we’ll answer a few questions about data privacy using iProov’s original research.
It’s been suggested that the average person today has over 100 online accounts. Does this mean that consumers are relaxed about sharing data? Not quite – consumers are concerned about privacy:
And here are the results breakdown by country:
Clearly, consumers want control of their data. This could mean two things:
It’s interesting to see how attitudes have changed over time here. We asked consumers the same question in 2020; 25% of respondents “cared”, but did not feel they had much control over their data. In 2023, it’s up to 30% – indicating that consumers feel they are gradually losing control of data.
Aside from their inconvenience, he problem is that knowledge-based security (like passwords) can be shared, lost, guessed, and stolen. 80% of hacking-related breaches involve compromised and weak credentials. This puts data privacy at significant risk.
Let’s take a look at the statistics:
It is difficult to protect the privacy of user data if the only thing standing between a fraudster and your customers’ data is a password. Clearly, they’re easily forgotten. Additionally, they have historically been undermined by large-scale data leaks and the availability of personally identifiable information on social media over and over again,
Biometric authentication replaces problematic knowledge-based authentication with inherence-based authentication. Trust is placed in who the person is, rather than the knowledge they can remember. Biometric data cannot be lost, stolen, or shared in the same way.
iProov’s biometric authentication systems have privacy built in by design to safeguard the user’s confidentiality, and strong encryption techniques protect all user data. Data is never shared with any third party and our security is exhaustively tested regularly by governments and enterprises.
Ultimately, if data privacy is important to your organization – and you want to be seen as taking data privacy seriously – then passwords and other traditional verification technologies are unsustainable.
The truth is that iProov does not receive any biographical data (such as name, address, gender, date of birth) or even a phone number or email address. A firewall is in place so any and all end user personal data that comes to iProov – including facial imagery and the resulting biographic template – is pseudonymized and cannot be associated by iProov with an identifiable person.
A number of technological innovations are at play here:
iProov delivers the most validated face biometric solutions in the world, having been exhaustively tested to national security and privacy standards by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the UK Home Office, the Singapore Government, and the Australian Government.
We are compliant with or conformant to a number of key industry standards and regulations, providing our partners, customers, and future customers with the assurance that their data and users’ data is safeguarded properly by iProov.
You can read more about our Governance here and learn more about conformance testing in our biometric encyclopedia.
If you’d like to discover how iProov can secure and streamline your organization’s online verification, authentication, and onboarding while meeting the most stringent of data privacy requirements, book your demo today
January 23 2023
Many understand how severe the threat of deepfakes is. But in this article, we expand upon a specific, worrisome trend: the role of deepfakes within the Crime-as-a-Service (CaaS) economy.
In this article, we’ll cover:
Let’s define the terms we’re going to use, with help from the iProov Biometric Encyclopedia. First, what actually is a deepfake?
“A deepfake is a video, visual, or audio recording that has been distorted, manipulated, or synthetically created using deep learning techniques to present an individual saying or doing something that they did not say or do.”
Second, a digital injection attack:
“Digital injection attacks are sophisticated, highly scalable, and replicable cyberattacks that bypass the camera on a device, or are injected into a data stream. By injecting replay attacks or synthetic imagery, including deepfakes, into a data stream, criminals can try to impersonate a bona fide user and gain unauthorized access to accounts or systems (or set up new accounts).”
And finally, deepfake Crime-as-a-Service:
“Deepfake Crime-as-a-Service refers to the process of cyber criminals developing advanced deepfake tools and services and then either selling them or sharing the technology across criminal networks, helping criminals to learn from, test, and spread their attacks.”
Picture this example: Inside a data center operated by a criminal network, cloned devices are busy creating thousands upon thousands of manipulated, distorted, or synthetic images. Once this criminal network understands the exchanges between a given device and a targeted organization’s server, they target different organizations with various deepfakes to see which ones pass the security verification process. Once successful, the same software could potentially then run thousands of times in parallel to make it look like the imagery is coming from legitimate devices.
Additionally, once a criminal organization has successfully discovered a way to defraud a particular defense mechanism or organization’s system using deepfakes, they can use it for a variety of criminal purposes – such as account takeover fraud or synthetic identity fraud. Not only can they quickly sell effective tools, techniques, and identities within their network, but also to anyone with access to dark web marketplaces.
This is just one example of how deepfakes can be scaled and tooled as a global threat through Crime-as-a-Service networks. This is not the only example – the mechanisms can vary greatly depending on the delivery method.
The trend is particularly concerning in Latin America. The region is a global growth leader in online banking, but it is currently estimated that 20% of the region’s online revenue is lost to fraud.
To fully understand the issue, we must look at how digital injection attack technology is powering deepfake fraud.
Some liveness technologies can now handle deepfakes that are simply presented to a screen. The process of creating a deepfake and presenting it to a camera can be effective, but it is limited in scope: realistically, the criminal can only do this one at a time.
Digitally injected imagery, though, is scalable. It enables criminals to inject deepfakes, either of synthetic or genuine individuals, directly into the data stream or authentication process. Digital injection attacks are the most dangerous form of threat because they are more difficult to detect than presentation attacks and can be replicated quickly.
As digital injection attacks are difficult to detect and highly scalable, they are particularly appealing to fraudsters who are devising ever more sophisticated cloaking methods making it even harder for advanced liveness technology to detect. They are being rapidly shared and tested from numerous locations worldwide, whether by the same criminal organization or via a Crime-as-a-Service economy.
Deepfakes-as-a-Service is not in its infancy. It is reaching maturity, with increased image quality, additional skills to cloak metadata, and is available more widely than ever before.
Throughout 2021, iProov’s Security Operations Center (iSOC) witnessed clusters of similar methods of digitally injected attacks. At first, the attack took the form of a manipulated image. Eventually, this attack spread and developed into a more sophisticated, digitally injected deepfake. The attacks occurred quickly across the globe.
Whether by the same criminal organization or sold over the dark web, this one example indicates that the attacker (or group of attackers) were organised, and rapidly shared tried and tested attempts from numerous locations. If attacks succeed, they rapidly escalate in volume and frequency, amplifying the risk of serious damage. Likewise, CaaS means that if a criminal fails to break into your organization’s system, they have access to retool and try again.
The iSOC is our global threat intelligence system. It exists to detect, block, and learn from sophisticated cyber attacks (such as the one above) that are attempted every single day against our customers worldwide.
Clearly, the threat is significant and it’s evolving. That’s why it’s essential that you choose the right biometric vendor to help protect you.
But how can you defend against it?
As we’ve established, cybercriminals can be shrewd and will try in an ever-increasing number of ways to probe and exploit weaknesses in security measures put in place.
Many basic liveness technologies can detect simpler attack vectors such as presentation attacks, where photos or pre-recording videos (and even presented deepfakes) are held up to a screen. But in the case of complex digitally injected deepfake attacks – intensified by Crime-as-a-Service networks – organizations need a more robust liveness solution. A solution designed to detect digital injection attacks alongside other advanced and novel threats.
That’s where iProov comes in. Only iProov’s Genuine Presence Assurance® can deliver the highest level of assurance – GPA can detect both presented deepfakes and deepfakes used in digital injection attacks. Patented Flashmark™ technology uses controlled illumination to create a one-time biometric that cannot be recreated or reused, providing greater anti-spoofing across a range of attacks, delivering an industry-leading level of assurance that the person is real and authenticating right now. The emphasis on real-time authenticity is crucial for detecting digitally injected deepfakes and is essential as part of a robust defense strategy.
Genuine Presence Assurance is packaged with iSOC – the technology behind the case study highlighted earlier. iSOC provides continuous and highly responsive defenses by:
Overall, Genuine Presence Assurance is essential for defending against the threats of today and tomorrow. You can read more about Genuine Presence Assurance here and the innovative Flashmark technology powering it here.
In our latest report, ‘How Latin American Banks Can Safeguard Against Deepfakes: The New Frontier of Financial Crime’, we expand upon the contents of this article – with particular emphasis on the deepfake crime landscape in Latin America. You can download the full report here. It is free and available in English, Spanish, and Portuguese.
December 21 2022
As 2022 comes to an end, it’s time for a little reflection. In this piece, we will rank and revisit some of our most popular articles of the year.
Overall, 2022 was another seismic year for biometrics and digital identity verification. Proliferation of cyber attacks, deepfakes making headlines, and a significant acceleration of identity verification programs across the globe.
The iProov blog provided insight into all of that. So, what were people most interested in reading across the year? Starting in reverse order with #10, let’s find out:
Synthetic identity fraud was a hot topic in the biometric space this year. It’s a sophisticated and dangerous type of fraud and is only set to become more of a concern as the technology used to create synthetic identities advances – which can also lower the barrier to entry for synthetic fraud.
There will be an estimated $2.42 billion in fraudulent funds being obtained in the U.S. alone next year. At iProov, we predict that synthetic identity fraud will break records in 2023.
Luckily, the right biometric solution can help to defend against synthetic identity fraud. So, read up on what it is and how you can prevent it as a matter of urgency.
2022 was the year iProov launched its reimagined global partner program, which comes with a whole host of benefits and resources – aiming to help iProov partners to drive more business.
But why pick iProov as a partner in the first place? Ultimately, not all liveness technology is equal, and not all liveness vendors are the same.
We listed the top 10 reasons you should pick iProov as your partner in an easy-to-read article.
Alternatively, you can apply to become an iProov partner here.
The EU Digital Identity Wallet was a huge focus for iProov in 2022, culminating in iProov being chosen to launch the Pan-European payment pilot as part of the NOBID Consortium.
Earlier in 2022, when the pilots were still being developed, we wrote this article to explain why the most successful proposals would need to choose the right biometric solution for secure onboarding and authentication.
Read this article to better understand how biometric technology is critical to digital wallet rollout. In the meantime, we are looking forward to proceeding with the pilot and proving how biometric-enabled Verifiable Credentials can address the emerging challenges of the increasingly complex world of payments.
As more and more people recognized the limitations and risk of passwords throughout 2022, organizations turned to One-Time Passcodes (OTPs). But as you’ll discover in this article, OTPs simply aren’t as secure as they seem – hackers are able to compromise the process.
There’s also a must-read story in here about one particular criminal who used OTP vulnerabilities to defraud over 700 accounts!
Contactless travel will need to become a widespread reality if we are to avoid travel chaos. The ‘border of the future’ will need to become the ‘border of today’ in 2023.
iProov is a pioneer of contactless travel journeys, as highlighted by our SmartCheck Trial throughout 2022. SmartCheck allows travelers to complete secure ticket verification at home and then breeze through St Pancras using only their face.
To share the results of the trial, we hosted an industry event with Eurostar, InnovateUK, and Entrust – providing attendees with a demonstration of how the solution works. Spoiler: it went down well!
2022 has been a volatile year for cryptocurrency, with Bitcoin’s price ranging from a high of $47,498 to a low of $15,787. There were a number of shocking stories along the way – most notably the collapse of leading cryptocurrency exchange FTX, and the subsequent deepfakes and scams that emerged from the aftermath.
Throughout 2022, many cryptocurrency exchanges recognized the risks of operating with weak KYC and AML processes in place, and the importance of assuring customer trust. For many, procuring biometric technology was the solution.
This article explains how iProov technology can help cryptocurrency organizations by verifying the asserted identity as part of an onboarding and authentication process that’s secure, inclusive, and effortless
This blog features a whopping 70 statistics on all things biometrics, ranging from the biometric market size and market demand, to deepfakes and digital identity – and much more.
This is your go-to resource anytime you need a biometric statistic – no surprise this blog had one of the highest return-visitor rates out of all our 2022 pieces.
A few choice takeaways:
Click the link for the full list of 70.
Deepfakes have stolen headline after headline this year. Elon Musk. Sam Bankman-Freid – pranks, scams, and serious crimes.
We’ve conducted a lot a of original research here at iProov around online security and attitudes towards biometrics and the technology surrounding it. This article centralises some of our most important research on deepfakes.
If you’re curious about the answer to any of the following questions:
Then click the link above!
There are so many unique benefits to choosing face biometric technology from iProov that we had to get them all written down in one public resource. This article centralizes and expands upon all of the benefits of our unique technology, with a table of contents so you can easily jump to the areas most important to you.
These advantages include user experience, security, success rates, inclusivity, and more.
Give a read to see what you might be missing out on.
Taking the number one spot is our article on KYC and AML. KYC and AML are complex topics and it’s often easy to trip over the terms. We wrote this article to demystify the two and clarify how they relate to one another.
We also explain how biometric technology can be critical for facilitating AML/KYC compliance.
If you need to brush up on your KYC/AML knowledge or wonder how biometric technology can aid your KYC/AML compliance, then this one is for you.
We like to think that this one does a great job of making something complex, simple. Give it a read and let us know what you think.
And there we have our 10 most popular articles of the year. We’re looking forward to even more exciting developments in digital identity and online user authentication in 2023. Read our predictions for 2023 here – we’re certainly not expecting a quiet year.
And if you’d like to be part of our journey, please check out our open vacancies – we’d love to hear from you.
December 14 2022
A deepfake video of FTX former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) has been circulated on Twitter – fraudsters looking to steal funds from users of the collapsed crypto exchange, lured viewers to a website where they could supposedly get compensated for their losses by sending in crypto tokens and receiving double in return.
The fraudsters, taking old interview footage of Bankman-Fried, used a voice emulator to capture his likeness. This is not the first time a deepfake has been used to scam those in the crypto industry. In July 2022, a sophisticated scam using deepfake technology managed to drain liquidity from Brazilian crypto exchange, BlueBenx, by impersonating the COO of Binance.
The recent high-profile SBF deepfake is the tip of the iceberg. Criminals now have access to the technology and means to create incredibly realistic and convincing deepfakes. And they’re using these deepfakes to launch large-scale attacks at organizations and their users worldwide.
This article will:
The global pandemic accelerated the transition from in-person to remote activities. Thanks to this, the video conferencing market has boomed and is expected to continue growing. Now that many organizations are communicating with colleagues, users, and job candidates remotely, criminals are using deepfakes to exploit this channel.
They’re doing this in several ways. For one, deepfakes are being used to enhance traditional BEC (Business Email Compromise), also known as CEO fraud. BEC is a highly targeted social engineering attack where criminals impersonate an organization’s leader to convince staff to execute actions, such as making payments, switching payroll, and divulging sensitive information. In mimicking the faces and voices of individuals during video calls, deepfakes can make BEC scams far more convincing.
That’s not all. In 2022, the FBI warned that deepfakes are also being used for fraudulent job applications for remote tech roles. Read more about how deepfakes are used in remote working scams here.
Biometric face verification enables users to verify their identity and gain access to an online service by scanning a government-issued ID and their face. They can then use their face every time they wish to authenticate and return to the service.
Automated face verification is a highly secure and usable means of identity verification for onboarding. Other remote methods, such as staff-to-user video calls require costly resources and risk human error. Likewise, as an authentication method, face verification provides organizations with the opportunity to go passwordless and resolves the security and usability issues that come with OTP authentication.
However, as the use of face verification has increased, bad actors have conceived new ways to circumvent these systems to gain unauthorized access to online services. One of these methods is the creation and use of deepfakes. Next, we will explore the ways in which criminals try to achieve this.
A presentation attack is an act of holding up an artifact to the user-facing camera to impersonate a legitimate bank customer, to try and spoof the face authentication sequence. These artefacts can take the form of static images, videos (e.g. replays of previous authentication attempts), and highly-quality masks. A deepfake video played on a device and held in front of the camera is another example of a presentation attack.
Presented deepfakes can be realistic and convincing. A non-reflective screen on a retina display makes images appear extremely crisp so that pixels are not visible to the naked eye or at viewing distance. To defend against presentation attacks, including presented deepfakes, biometric face verification systems must incorporate liveness detection, which we will explore later.
Digitally injected imagery enables criminals to inject deepfakes, either of synthetic or genuine individuals, directly into the data stream or authentication process.
Digital injection attacks are the most dangerous form of threat because they are more difficult to detect than presentation attacks and can be replicated quickly. They carry none of the clues that artifacts do when they are presented to the camera, making the more sophisticated attacks challenging for systems to distinguish and near impossible for humans.
These attacks are also far more scalable. The process of creating a deepfake and presenting it to a camera can be effective, but it is limited in scope. The criminal can only do this one at a time.
Digital injection attacks, on the other hand, can be run from an attacker’s computer. Or they can be done using a thousand cloned devices in a data center operated by a criminal network.
The SBF deepfake was mocked for its poor quality. Some Twitter users clearly spotted that it wasn’t a real video. Be that as it may, research has shown that humans are wholly inept a spotting deepfakes, especially when they’re of a certain quality.
In a study conducted by the IDIAP Research Institute, participants were shown progressively more convincing deepfakes interspersed with real videos and asked, ‘is the face of the person in the video real or fake?’ Only 24% of their participants successfully detected a ‘well-made’ deepfake.
Despite research showing the opposite, humans are unjustifiably confident in their ability to successfully detect deepfakes. In a recent survey conducted by iProov, 57% of consumers were confident that they could tell the difference between a real video and synthetic imagery.
Human inability to tell between a real person and a deepfake poses an issue for organizations that conduct identity verification via video conferencing. This is misplaced confidence, as the human eye can easily be spoofed. Organizations have little assurance that the users they are granted access to an online service via video conferencing are indeed real, and not a deepfake. Specialized software is required to provide this level of assurance.
Liveness detection is incorporated into face verification and authentication systems to distinguish whether the individual asserting their identity is a real-life person and not a presented artifact.
There are a number of ways that a face verification system can achieve this. One is to ask the user to perform actions, such as reading a sequence of characters aloud or blinking or moving their head. Yet, deepfakes can be coded to do these things just as well. It also raises some tricky questions regarding accessibility and inclusivity.
Another approach is to detect liveness passively: i.e not instructing the user to perform actions and instead using clues from the imagery to distinguish between real and fake. This way the technology does the work for the user intuitively.
Liveness detection technology can therefore detect a deepfake if it is used as part of a presentation attack. But as mentioned previously, criminals now have the capability to inject deepfakes directly into the data stream, bypassing the authentication system altogether.
For high-risk use cases, such as opening a new account or transferring a large sum of money, most liveness detection technology does not provide a high enough level of assurance. Deepfakes can emulate a person verifying themselves, which some liveness technology cannot spot. Advanced methods are needed to secure against advanced threat types.
One-time biometrics that assure both liveness and that a user is a real-live person, verifying in real-time, is essential in an organization’s defense strategy against deepfakes
A one-time biometric is an authentication method that takes place in real-time to assure that a user is ’live’ and genuinely present. A one-time biometric is never repeated in a user’s lifetime and has a limited time duration, which cannot be reused or recreated and is worthless if stolen.
One way to achieve this with a standard device is to use the screen to project controlled illumination onto the user’s face to create a one-time biometric. Once used, it can’t be replayed by a person attempting to use a previous authentication to spoof the system.
Another advantage is that if it’s stolen, it’s worthless because it’s one-time and obsolete as soon as it’s used.
Request a demo here to find out how iProov uses liveness detection and one-time biometrics to assure that a user is the right person, a real person, and genuinely present at the time of authentication.
November 28 2022
It’s Cyber Monday, which means online shopping deals for consumers and an important revenue-generating opportunity for retailers and other organizations. 2022 is already off to a record start, with Black Friday online sales topping 9.12bn.
However, two hurdles will prevent consumers and retailers from enjoying Cyber Monday this year:
iProov surveyed 16,000 consumers across the globe earlier this year and found 32% of consumers will have forgotten an online password in the last 24 hours.
The frustration of having to guess a password, see it fail, then request a password reminder, then change the password, then log in, will be too much for some people, and they will abandon the purchase.
In fact, our data shows that 82% of consumers have abandoned a transaction at some point due to password frustration:
Cyber Monday is also attractive to cybercriminals, who will try to take advantage of deal-hunting consumers to steal money and credentials.
It’s more important than ever that payment providers and banks are protecting their customers. iProov data shows that consumers expect online payments to be verified. We found that 71% of consumers expect a payment provider to check that an online payment is genuine if the purchase costs up to $300. According to TransUnion, 15% of consumers say that not having enough security on a site is their top reason for abandoning their cart!
November 25 2022
He spends half his time researching enhanced defense solutions; the other half is spent attacking our systems searching for vulnerabilities – I spoke with Panos, Head of Red Team at iProov, whose role involves identifying and closing potential opportunities for cyberattacks. Read on to find out what happens when iProov encounters a deepfake, find out how the cybersecurity landscape has evolved, and get a piece of advice for cybersecurity wannabes!
Hi Panos! To kick us off, can you share what sparked your interest in cybersecurity?
I enjoyed coding from day one when I was taught programming in high school. I joined academia as a developer and over the years I learnt to focus on working fast. Rapid prototyping is crucial in research where failing is likely, so you need to fail fast and retry until it works, and then evaluate its performance.
This made me fall in love with cybersecurity and I knew it was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I took two security courses at the university – the first was Introduction to Cryptography and the second was Cybersecurity Attack and Defense Strategies. Cybersecurity for me was, and still is, the continuous battle of good versus evil in cyberspace. It will always provide new adventures and challenges as new technologies emerge.
How has the cybersecurity world changed since you joined iProov?
The recent advances in AI have significantly increased the capabilities of attackers. The growing sophistication of deepfakes and the wider availability of the technology needed to create them pose serious implications for security procedures. As a consequence, day by day, we see even more elaborate attacks. This constitutes a reassuringly hard challenge for me to be kept intrigued by my work.
In addition, as the company grows and more customers trust iProov’s face verification solution, attackers are even more motivated to land a successful attack against us. We see that the funds and the time attackers invest in trying to attack us grow alongside the growth of the company.
As you mentioned, deepfakes represent a huge threat that organizations face. Can you tell us a bit about what happens when iProov encounters a deepfake?
We have rigorous systems and processes in place, firstly to detect deepfakes automatically and then secondly to deal with the detected incidents. This is essential considering the huge amounts of traffic that we process and the frequent attempts at malicious transactions that we encounter.
What piece of advice would you give to someone who is looking to get into cybersecurity?
Let yourself enjoy breaking things! Ensure you get rid of any possible engineering mindset you may have. Don’t look for the proper ways and the best practices to do things, but think outside the box.
Remember that the attacker is not developing. Try and put yourself in their shoes – they are hacking and breaking stuff in a fast, probably sloppy, and elusive way.
What do you enjoy about your role?
I enjoy that I am able to play different roles. I can be the red guy, which involves trying to find the vulnerabilities of a system, and I can also be the blue guy, which is when I am trying to make protocol and algorithms more robust. I really enjoy this variety – no two days are the same!
Finally, can you share what excited you about joining iProov – and hopefully persuade others to join?
I liked the fact that iProov is dealing with new and very challenging problems. Covid-19 led to an inevitable surge in the use of digital technologies due to the social distancing norms and nationwide lockdowns.
As expected, the richer the capabilities provided by online services, the higher the stakes accumulated on those services, which can be incredibly attractive for more attackers and fraud attempts.
We’re also using cutting-edge technologies to provide solutions to these services with the sole mission of eliminating fraud. iProov has daily encounters with very sophisticated forms of attacks.
For me, it means that by working here, I will have to deal with new, exciting, and challenging problems and learn something new every day.
Let this blog be a warning to anyone thinking of attacking iProov! You’ll have to get through Panos and his team first!
And meet more of the iProov team below!
November 21 2022
Identity checks are a mandatory part of the financial onboarding process, however many of today’s consumers are reluctant to travel into a branch, join a video conference call, or answer questions about a loan they took out 10 years ago to prove that they are who they claim to be.
UBS, the largest Swiss banking institution and the largest private bank in the world, is not unlike other financial institutions in this scenario. They are constantly evaluating ways to innovate current processes to improve customer experience, but they need to ensure that improving customer experience doesn’t increase risk. One of the most common business processes that financial institutions are looking to modernize is the onboarding process. For both financial institutions and customers alike, it is often a very manual and time-consuming process that relies heavily on in-person interactions. One of the unexpected consequences of the pandemic, however, has been that customers now feel entitled to a wide range of virtual services that had traditionally been performed in person.
UBS has embraced this sentiment, and with iProov, is now offering a service to onboard new customers online in a secure, fast, and convenient process. With iProov, UBS customers are now able to open an account online in minutes, thanks to automated identity verification.
In May 2022, UBS launched UBS key4 for clients who want to carry out their banking transactions at any time of day, entirely digitally. UBS key4 includes personal accounts, savings accounts, debit, and other cards, mobile payment options, and more. Using iProov face verification technology, UBS key4 customers can now onboard remotely 24/7 in only 5 minutes. Clients enroll onto the service simply by scanning their face against a trusted government-issued document, such as a passport with a NFC chip. UBS is the first bank in Switzerland to offer this process for account opening in combination with qualified electronic signatures.
Prior to partnering with iProov, UBS key4 relied on using video calls to verify client identity virtually.
Biometric face verification enables banks and other regulated firms to securely:
This modernizes the onboarding experience to provide a fully digital, fast, convenient service to users that:
But it is important to understand that not all face verification technology is created equal. Financial institutions require the highest levels of resilience to advanced threats and many biometric verification vendors cannot deliver. iProov is different because it offers:
Consumer demand for face biometrics as their preferred online verification and authentication method is already huge, and it’s growing. iProov’s Digital Identity Report found that:
Let’s imagine that a consumer wants to apply for a new financial institution’s account or credit card online. They start the application process on their smartphone, tablet, or computer and reach the stage where they need to prove their identity.
Some financial institutions might insist that the customer visits a physical location to confirm their identity and complete the application. Others might ask for an identity check via video call, where a customer service operator asks to see a customer’s ID document and checks it against their face. While others rely on knowledge-based identity checks, for example, asking the user to provide information about previous loans or mortgages, or other financial products.
Biometric face verification from iProov replaces all of the waiting, manual processing, user frustration, drop-offs, and security risks that are inherent in typical identity check methods.
Instead, the customer simply scans their trusted identity document using their smartphone, mobile device, or computer. Then they complete a brief ‘selfie’ of their face. iProov uses a simple multi-frame face scan using a sequence of colored lights to confirm that the customer is:
The identity verification process takes a matter of seconds and puts the customer in control of the whole journey.
Request a demo of iProov or read more about our work on biometric verification in the financial services sector.
September 8 2022
Here’s a question for you: in the last 24 hours, what percentage of global consumers have had to request a password reminder online?
The answer is C).
Every day, almost a third of consumers go through the hassle of having to request a password reminder from at least one website.
Just think about what that means. At best: frustrated customers. At worst: abandoned transactions, lost revenues, customer support time spent handling enquiries, and so on.
Passwords are not fit for purpose. As well as being a friction point for users, they are not secure – three-quarters of the most popular passwords can be cracked instantly.
iProov’s face biometric authentication provides an alternative to passwords that is more secure and better for users. To find out exactly why organizations should move away from passwords, we surveyed 16,000 people across eight countries (the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Germany, Italy, Spain, the UK, and Australia).
We asked: When did you most recently have to request a password reminder online?
Imagine walking up to a physical store and finding that the door is locked. How long would you knock on the door and try to get someone’s attention to let you in? Or would you immediately give up and go somewhere else? Organizations must make it easy for users to access their services online. Passwords cause a lot of friction and that friction will result in lost transactions.
Passwords are a clunky authentication choice and the risks outweigh the benefits – they are a legacy technology. Biometric authentication on the other hand is more secure and convenient for users (more on why and how further down).
Again: imagine you run a physical store where, every month, 32% of your willing customers get to the payment point but abandon their shopping. That’s a significant amount of lost business.
Money is spent on marketing your services and optimizing your website – only for customers to leave once they’re ready to pay, all because of the clunky and outdated authentication process.
It doesn’t have to be this way. Your customers deserve to log in quickly and complete their purchases without unnecessary roadblocks. With iProov, all you need is a device with a user-facing camera for effortless authentication.
People want to do their mobile banking online because it’s convenient – but there’s nothing convenient about needing to reset your password for a secure service.
Face biometric authentication from iProov is effortless, secure and reassuring, which means that banks and other financial institutions can use it to provide access to the most secure services. It can also be used as part of a multi-factor authentication strategy.
Face verification is already the preferred choice for authentication when consumers want the reassurance of security. It is no longer seen as an advanced or high tech option. Organizations should offer face biometric authentication to build trust with customers.
iProov’s face biometric authentication provides an alternative to passwords:
Organizations and end-users prefer iProov face biometrics to passwords because it:
Read more on the advantages of face biometrics in-depth here.
December 22 2021
As 2021 draws to a close, we thought we’d take a look back at the most popular iProov blog posts of the past 12 months.
This year, the subjects of digital identity, cybersecurity, online identity verification and authentication, and biometrics have been higher on the agenda than ever before. From COVID status credentials to the growing threat of deepfakes, the question of how we can build trust online has been paramount. Our top blog posts provide insight into that.
But our blog is also a place to share some of our more personal achievements, so this is also a great opportunity to relive some of those.
So, without further ado and in reverse order, here are the top ten iProov blog posts of 2021:
iProov’s Founder and CEO, Andrew Bud, was made a CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) for services to exports in science and technology in the Queen’s 2020 New Year’s Honours List.
In August this year, Andrew was able to go along to St James’ Palace for his investiture. Afterwards, we asked him about the whole experience: how did he find out he had been awarded the CBE? What was it like to go to the palace for the ceremony? What led him to this moment? A very interesting read.
At number nine, we’ve gathered up our Meet the Team interviews. These profiles introduce you to the people who spend every day working on ways to protect us all from deepfakes (Jim), build great products (Anthony), or help to make iProov a great place to work (Martina)!
Get to know some of the iProov team:
This post explaining the advantages of cloud biometrics over device-based biometrics proved very popular. If you’re currently evaluating biometric technologies and providers – or are just interested in understanding how online biometric verification works – then this one is definitely for you.
Money-laundering is a major global problem. Regulators around the world are cracking down on banks and other regulated industries to enforce more stringent AML processes. This post looks at the open letter sent by the UK regulator to UK banks earlier this year and explains how iProov technology can help organizations to prevent money-laundering.
To mark National Selfie Day, we asked the question: is it possible to securely verify an individual using a single image or selfie? Spoiler alert: the answer is no. Single frame selfie verification isn’t enough to securely verify a person’s identity – you need a multi-frame solution. In this article, we illustrate how iProov works, and explain the concepts of ‘selfie anxiety’ and ‘selfie perfectionism’.
At iProov, we’re always trying to make complex things simple. In this post, we explain the difference between biometric verification and biometric authentication. The two terms are often used interchangeably but they are separate activities. This post explains what they are and why you need them (just as we also did for face verification vs face recognition).
In August, Tinder announced that it was introducing identity verification to improve security and make its users feel safer. We looked at how they could make this work for everyone.
Back in February, a company called MyHeritage released an online tool that enabled people to reanimate the dead. With just a few clicks, a photo of someone’s great-great-grandma could be brought to life.
iProov has long anticipated the danger of deepfakes being used for nefarious purposes, and our technology has been designed to detect them. In this post, we look at how deepfake technology and deepfake fraud pose a threat to financial services and how it can be mitigated.
It’s fair to say that we iProovers love our UK headquarters. So it isn’t a huge surprise that our second most popular blog post of 2021 is a top 10 of the highlights of working here. From pizza to fitness to free beer and great views, our UK office has a lot to offer. If you’d like to join an ambitious company with a fantastic team in a great working environment, check out our vacancies!
If the world was hoping for an end to COVID in 2021, we were disappointed. As governments and organizations globally scrambled to find ways to keep citizens safe, the problem of fake vaccine certificates quickly became front-page news. Our blog post on how to provide safe and secure COVID Status Credentials and prevent fake vaccine certificates from being used attracted a huge amount of interest.
We’re looking forward to even more exciting developments in digital identity and online user authentication in 2022. If you’d like to be part of our journey, please check out our open vacancies – we’d love to hear from you.
December 21 2021
The recent GoDaddy data breach was a timely reminder of the vulnerability of passwords and the importance of biometric authentication. The data of 1.2 million customers may have been exposed because an unauthorized person was able to access GoDaddy systems using a compromised password.
iProov has long warned that passwords are not a secure method of authentication: they can be borrowed, or stolen and then shared on the dark web.
This is why biometric face verification and authentication are so important to online security. Your face cannot be stolen – it can be copied (for example, with a photograph or mask) but it cannot be stolen. This means that:
The problem: If personal data is stolen during a breach, it can be used by criminals to impersonate a victim for new account fraud. Criminals can build dossiers of data from breaches – one breach of 1.2m accounts could provide the e-mail addresses and home addresses of those victims, for example, while another breach might also provide their date of birth.
By combining this data, criminals can have enough information to steal someone’s identity and create accounts online in their name. This could involve setting up new bank accounts for the purposes of money laundering or applying for new credit cards or government benefits for financial gain.
How face verification helps: iProov’s face verification technology helps to prevent new account fraud by securely verifying a new customer’s identity during online onboarding. A new customer is asked to use their mobile device or computer to scan their trusted identity document (for example, a driver’s license or passport). They then complete a brief face scan using iProov technology. This face scan is matched against the photo in the document to confirm that the applicant is the right person (not someone pretending to be that person). The face scan also confirms that the applicant is a real person (not a photo or video or mask). What makes iProov’s Genuine Presence Assurance™ unique is that it also verifies that the applicant is interacting right now (not a digital injected attack).
The problem: If a criminal group acquires the data of 1.2m people, they can theoretically use that data for account takeover on a huge scale. This can involve gaining access to those people’s bank accounts or social media accounts to steal money or demand ransoms.
If the criminals have been able to access email addresses and passwords, they can use those credentials to try and break into bank accounts, retail accounts and other sites where that email address and password combination may have been used.
Alternatively, they can access the email account and use that to convince the victim’s bank (or other organizations) to replace passwords, phone numbers and other details with their own, so that they have full control over a victim’s accounts.
How face authentication helps: iProov helps organizations to prevent online account takeover by authenticating users online with face biometrics. Because a customer’s face cannot be stolen, a criminal would not be able to gain access to their account, even if they had an email address or password. Face authentication can be used for primary authentication or as part of a multi-factor authentication strategy; if one factor, such as a password, is compromised, then the iProov biometric factor remains secure.
For example; login details from the GoDaddy breach are leaked on the dark web. A bad actor takes these credentials and uses them on a number of online websites. The first few accounts, they’re in luck: the accounts are not secured with iProov, so the bad actor gains access. However, they then try the user’s bank account. They’re dismayed to find that the bank uses iProov to authenticate each login or for every transaction. The bad actor is out of luck: they are not the right person and real person authenticating in real-time, so they can’t gain access to the victim’s money.
The problem: Data breaches continue to be a global problem because any system is only as strong as its weakest link. If a password can be compromised, then any system that relies on passwords can be compromised.
How face authentication helps: If systems are protected using iProov’s face authentication technology, either as primary authentication or as part of a multi-factor strategy, then criminals cannot gain access.
December 2 2021
Blink. Nod. Look left, look right. Read the following sentence aloud…
Sound familiar? If you’ve ever set up facial verification on a new smartphone or downloaded a new app, those instructions may well be recognizable. While some may consider these a minor inconvenience, these actions form part of an authentication process that is actually far more damaging than you might think.
As more people need to use digital services—expedited by the pandemic—and biometric verification becomes increasingly mainstream, this ‘active’ authentication scenario could be preventing people from accessing important applications and information.
Passive authentication, on the other hand, enables people to quickly and easily authenticate themselves online with public and private sector organizations. iProov’s technology delivers a truly passive authentication experience and is helping onboard and authenticate users without cognitive overload.
So what is passive authentication and why is it so important for verifying the identity of individuals online?
Passive and active authentication are defined industry terms. According to iBeta and as referenced in the global industry standard ISO 30107-1, an ‘active’ authentication scenario is one which elicits a voluntary response from the user, such as a movement, smile or blink as part of the authentication process. In a ‘passive’ authentication scenario, the user is not required to perform any actions.
If you’ve ever set up face verification on a new smartphone, you will remember being asked to move your head in different directions, read something aloud or use your eyes to follow moving dots on a screen. That is active authentication. Active authentication follows a challenge-response format, prompting you to do something.
With passive authentication, a user does not have to do anything. They are not asked to follow any complicated instructions or move themselves or their device—they simply look at the camera on the device and the authentication takes place.
Biometric verification technologies are increasingly being used to provide users of all ages and abilities with secure access to online services. Government and public service applications must be inclusive to the largest possible audience, while in the commercial world building a system that excludes people limits the reach and success of that system.
Every additional request during authentication, however minor, risks excluding people. Consider the challenge that lifting and moving a device around may pose to someone with reduced mobility, or the limitations posed by being asked to read from a screen if you have poor eyesight or reading ability. These instructions create cognitive overload, giving the user too much to consider and can result in the authentication either being abandoned or failing. This means frustration for the user and lower adoption of the service.
From a security perspective, active authentication also creates more risk. Asking a user to complete an action means that the action they complete is repeatable. Even if only repeatable for a limited number of times, this ‘repeatable’ nature makes it vulnerable to reverse engineering. In passive biometrics, the security mechanisms are ‘hidden’, so it’s far harder for criminals to create an attack that would trick a system. As fraud attacks continue to rise and become more sophisticated, mitigating these reverse engineering risks has never been more important.
iProov’s technology delivers a truly passive authentication experience. A user is asked to iProov themselves during an online onboarding or authentication process with a government department or bank or other business. The user simply positions their face in front of the camera on their mobile device or computer and a short biometric face scan is completed. There are no complicated instructions to follow, making it effortless for the user. And because the authentication processes are hidden, this makes it more challenging for criminals to attack.
Liveness detection solutions provide checks that help verify if a remote user is real and alive rather than, say, a photo being presented to a camera.
Some liveness solutions, like iProov’s Liveness Assurance, deliver passive authentication. Others are active and require the user to move themselves or their device or read out words or numbers. Some liveness solutions use actions such as eye movement, which may be unprompted and unknown to the user.
It’s important to note that not all liveness solutions are equal. Generally, liveness solutions offer protection against known attacks, such as presentation attacks, but they cannot verify that the remote person is present in real time, nor can they react and respond to new and emerging threats.
Therefore, although some liveness solutions may offer a passive user experience, they do not provide the security that can be found in the passive authentication delivered by Genuine Presence Assurance.
iProov’s Genuine Presence Assurance (GPA) is an industry leading passive authentication solution that offers greater security than liveness detection. GPA uses iProov’s Flashmark technology—a one-time sequence of colors that illuminates the user’s face during verification or authentication. This light sequence confirms a user is the right person, a real person and that they are authenticating right now. It is also equipped to respond to scalable, digital injected attacks and unknown threats.
Genuine Presence Assurance offers a reassuring ceremony to the user. Authentication processes that are too quick or invisible can make us feel unsure of the security levels—especially if the speed of the process doesn’t align with the sensitivity or importance of the scenario, such as when we are making a sizable transfer of funds online. The brief light sequence offers reassurance that additional security is taking place, without creating the unnecessary friction of requesting us to complete other actions.
Improving security often comes at the cost of the user experience—and vice versa—but truly passive authentication demonstrates why this needn’t be the case. Biometric verification and authentication are already bringing huge benefits to consumers all over the world in numerous applications. As technologies like facial verification continue to be rolled out more widely, it is imperative that organizations implement passive authentication experiences that champion truly accessible, inclusive biometric authentication.
November 30 2021
Today, we’re celebrating our 10th birthday at iProov. For the past decade, we’ve been working to keep organizations and individuals safe online through the use of biometric face verification, working with governments, banks and other enterprises around the world. To mark the occasion, we asked our CEO, Andrew Bud, to answer 10 questions about iProov’s story so far. You can watch the full video here—below are some of the highlights.
I set up iProov to solve a problem, a really big problem. About 10 years ago, I was running a large business in the mobile sector and we got involved in a huge case of payments fraud, which affected millions of people.
I realized that the key to this was about authentication and identity. And with the march of technology, the problem was getting harder. In 2011, I invented a way of of of solving one of the really big problems of the internet: that of creating trust in people. That was big and exciting enough to excite me, but also to excite the team that I knew we would have to build to make it a reality.
We assure that a person on the other end of an internet link is the right person, is the real person, and is there right now. You can have all the facts and information that you like about a person, but in the end, trust depends upon the living, breathing, human being on the other end of the screen.
Our task is to make sure that it is the right human being and a real human being, and not some sort of physical or digital forgery—not a mask or a piece of sophisticated synthetic imagery, but that a real person is engaging with the enterprise right now. And it’s important also that this can be done on any user’s device, on any smartphone, or any laptop without distinction of cost or brand. That’s our challenge.
Very simply, we have cracked the problem of creating a solution that is both highly secure and extraordinarily usable, and that was very much what we set out to do. When you come from the mobile content industry, as I did, you learn that usability is absolutely the key to success. Every action you ask a user to do reduces your completion rates by tens of percent. So usability was fundamental to everything that we did. And the question was how could we be sure that a user was real and right there right now, without asking them to do anything? And to do so using the technology that was available on all personal devices?
The answer was light. We use the screen of the user’s device to illuminate their face with an unpredictable sequence of colors. We send a video of their face back to our servers while that’s happening and we analyze the reflections of that screen light from the user’s face. The way that the light reflects off their face and interacts with the complicated and unpredictable ambient light tells us that these are real-life, three-dimensional human, face-shaped objects. And the sequence of colors that we see reflecting from the face has to be the sequence that we told the device to flash. If it looks realistic, but the sequence is wrong, we know we’re looking at a pre-recorded video or deepfake.
Our technology is absolutely unique, and it brings with it a number of benefits—principally usability. The user doesn’t have to do anything. They look at their device, it looks back at them.
Because we do all of this in the cloud, we’re then able to continuously analyze all the attacks that are mounted against us—and there are a lot of them—to learn about what the attackers are doing and how we can continuously make our system better, and all of this without impacting the user at all. By using this multidimensional technology that we have, we can make a perfectly passive experience and make it the strongest in the world.
The first was probably the day that we heard that we had won our first grant from Innovate UK back in 2013: getting money to found a brand new business based upon an unproven technology to solve a hard problem when there were just two or three of you is incredibly difficult.
Another huge highlight was in March 2017, when iProov competed with another 19 UK cyber security startups for the National Cyber Security Center. We were competing in a competition called the Cyber Den, and we won. It completely transformed iProov’s profile both within the British government and also internationally. People suddenly realized that we were a very serious international player in the cybersecurity sector.
Another great highlight was in November 2020, when it was announced that iProov was the fifth fastest-growing technology company in the Deloitte Fast 50 UK. For a decade, the iProov team worked together solving great problems kind of in darkness. Nobody had really heard of us. We had dreams. We wanted to build a large, fast-growth company, and that award said that we had accomplished the first stage of our journey. It said that we were of substantial size and we were growing. The rocket ship had lifted off the tarmac.
There will be many more highlights to come.
One very striking evolution has been the dramatic transfer of all sorts of activities from in-person or letter-based to online. Ten years ago, it was still unusual to think that you could begin and complete secure transactions online, especially on your phone. Now, we absolutely take it for granted. Therefore, the whole question of digital identity, which was very much theoretical 10 years ago, is now something that national governments talk about, invest in, and execute in many parts of the world. So we’ve seen the rise of digital identity in those 10 years.
There has been a revolution in the understanding of the intensity of the threats that society faces. Now, everybody understands that the real adversaries are highly resourced teams from serious organized crime and the security services of national state actors for whom fraud and money-laundering are a significant source of revenue to finance their nation states.
So perhaps the biggest change has been an awareness that cyber is not just a risk, and identity verification is not just a nice to have—it’s a deadly serious requirement.
Firstly, we judge it by how well we’re defending against attacks. Remember, we see all of the attacks mounted against us by any organization, anywhere in the world at any time. So we are continuously monitoring the threat and our ability to resist those attacks is an absolute cornerstone for how we judge ourselves.
At the same time, we also monitor and measure how well good people are able to successfully authenticate and how many attempts it takes to for them to do so. And our metrics in that area are industry-leading and we are determined to keep them industry-leading to have them continuously improving. So one measure of our success is how well are we delivering service to good people? How well are we defending against the bad guys?
A second measure is how motivated, comfortable, strong, confident, and together our teams feel. iProov is a very team-driven organization. We work together. It’s one of our core values and therefore one of the things that matters most to me is the wellbeing and team spirit of all of our staff.
A very important metric is what our customers and partners think of us. A few recent quotes that I can share:
That’s the sorts of feedback that we use to judge whether we’re doing a good job.
We’re in the business of assuring genuine presence—that is a huge, technically demanding, vital problem, and it isn’t going away. In fact, it’s going to get harder. So what we’re going to do in the next 10 years is to grow much bigger by solving that problem on a truly global scale, keeping billions of people safe. And we have to continue running fast. Our business is a little bit like a high-performance jetliner: we have to travel fast in order to stay at the altitude, to keep up and ahead of the attackers.
So we’ve got to continuously innovate, continuously develop new technology, continuously research and implement. We have to achieve vast scale. We have to continuously improve our cost parameters. We have to continuously improve our performance and we have to reach every corner of the online economy so that everywhere in the world people iProov to keep themselves safe and know that iProoving is a marker of their safety.
The reason why so many fantastically bright people have come to work at iProov, and stayed working at iProov, is because we have a purpose and we have a mission. Our mission is to keep people safe online worldwide to prevent bad things from happening to people and to give them freedom. And to do that, we have to achieve the remarkable. One of our key values is we achieve the remarkable. So it’s an exciting business to work in. I want people at iProov to be able to brag about their time in this company to their grandchildren.
I want iProov to provide the birthright of trust to billions of people worldwide to enable them to lead full, rich, and safe lives online.
iProov values are a guiding star for us in the business, and they were developed together with the staff who had contributed so much to our growth. What are they?
We live our values at iProov and they’re the guiding star for how we do things.
November 26 2021
This month we’re introducing you to Martina Mingolla. Martina works within our People & Ops team as our People Operations Coordinator.
Hi Martina! Could you tell us about your journey so far and what brought you to iProov?
I joined iProov last December, initially within the Human Resources department. I joined during a particularly busy period and was only the second member of staff in the HR. I took on a lot of responsibility immediately, and looking back now can’t believe how much I’ve done, learned, and grown.
Joining a smaller, fast-growing company means you’re exposed to so many different sides of the business and can really forge connections with the rest of the company. Although I’m not sure how much longer we can claim to be a ‘small company’; I’ve already watched us go from 60 to over 100 people!
On a personal note, I graduated last year with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business. Initially, I only wanted to do a one-year exchange in the UK to experience London and improve my English. But then I fell in love with the city! I never feel judged here and there’s a lot of freedom. It’s very different from life in the small Italian town where I grew up. In my free time, I’m a big tennis fan and am always trying to get in as much traveling as I can.
What do you do day-to-day and what do you most enjoy about it?
I handle the day-to-day operations of the People function at iProov. This can mean many different things on different days: answering queries and helping people settle in, onboarding new hires, training staff, and helping with project management. I need to wear a lot of different hats! It’s fast-paced and every day there’s a surprise.
To give a concrete example, we recently moved the entire company’s payroll and holiday application from one system to another. This was a colossal task but it was necessary to streamline our internal operations. Along the way people had questions and concerns—answering those and supporting our people is all part of my daily routine.
What I like the most is the variety and scope of projects I can be involved in—everything from implementing systems to changing our healthcare provider, and improving the benefits and perks offered to staff.
iProov is currently going through change and a lot of focus and investment is happening in the people and operations side. We’re making sure that our values stay consistent and our culture remains supportive.
How would you describe the culture at iProov?
Friendly, welcoming, supportive. The HR team was small when I first joined iProov but I didn’t feel like I was in a silo—from day one, people from other departments invited me to their lunch plans and have gone the extra mile to help me feel part of the company! There’s a saying at iProov favored by our CEO, Andrew Bud: “People are our most important asset”. And you can see why when you look across the company: everyone is driven, enthusiastic, and motivated.
In my opinion, Andrew plays a key role in iProov’s culture. Despite being a busy CEO, he puts in a lot of time to speak to people individually and we get time each week to ask him questions on standup about the direction of the business and what’s coming next. Rather than shying away from difficult questions, he seems to enjoy them!
As we soar past 100+ employees, some of whom work across the globe, it’s part of my job to ensure that this culture remains strong and that people feel connected and supported. I’m currently working on our employee handbook, which will optimize the new joiner experience. I’d finally like to say that the office culture at iProov is great—while many still opt to work remotely, I encourage any new joiner to come into the office and experience it. (You can read more about iProov HQ here).
You’ve recently made a change from Recruitment & HR to People & Operations. How did this change happen and what has it been like?
I started my career in HR and was more of a generalist—partly because there was just so much to do! I was involved with recruitment, people, events, and even payroll. It really was a lot of work but was what I wanted at the time in my career: to try and learn everything so that I could decide where I wanted to specialize.
As my side of the business has grown, Recruitment & HR and People & Operations have expanded quickly and become far more clearly defined. This also opened up opportunities for me. A few months ago, I officially became People Operations Coordinator.
I think my story goes to show how fast things can change at iProov. Nothing’s fixed in place and you shouldn’t be scared to ask about changing or reshaping your career direction. There’s space for everyone here to grow as your teams expand within the company.
What would you like to say to a person thinking about joining iProov? What should they know?
Let me first say that you won’t regret the iProov experience! It’s anything but a boring environment. But you need to be ready to take ownership of your job and at times it’s challenging, so an ability to work under pressure is valued. But overall it’ll really teach you how to handle fast-paced environments, and now I’ve realized I can handle anything if you approach it in the right way.
At iProov you can say what you think and how you feel—that’s another interesting part of the culture. Proposals are taken on board rather than ignored. You can make things happen and make a difference, develop your skills, and be valued for what you do.
Finally, I’d like to touch upon the excitement of working in the biometrics and technology sector. It’s fast-paced, innovative, and you’re surrounded by these talented people all day. I also think that—especially now—there’s this energy at iProov because we all know we’re going places, but we don’t know exactly where we’ll be in, say, two years. We’re all strapped in for the journey, but we don’t have a crystal ball. That’s not how change works. But that’s also what makes it so exciting.
There’s a reason people enjoy working here. Come and find out! Apply to work at iProov today.
And meet more of the iProov team below!
November 19 2021
At iProov, we value our partners and are deeply committed to our joint success. To ensure that we provide you with all of the support you need, we’re expanding our partner team.
This month we introduce you to Darren Hughes, Sachin Masade and Henry Walsh. Together they are responsible for running our partner program, onboarding partners, providing partner sales enablement and training, and running joint marketing activity.
Darren, could you tell us a bit about yourself?
I’ve spent over 25 years in marketing, business development, and partnership management. Before that I actually always wanted to be a policeman! I think I just have a strong sense of curiosity and problem solving, so it appealed to me. As part of the iProov partner team, I’ve got different problems to solve: essentially how do I work with the partner to best enable their teams? How can we tell a shared and mutually beneficial story? And what is the most effective way to engage the partner teams so they clearly understand our key market differentiators? If I can get the message across clearly then they are well placed to answer detailed questions on our technology themselves and ultimately sell effectively.
When I’m not working you’ll normally find me on the river bank. Whether that’s carp fishing in summer or pike fishing in winter, being alone with my thoughts gives me an opportunity to unwind but also just think. It’s where most of my best ideas come from!
What does your role as Product Marketing Manager involve?
I’m constantly thinking about how iProov’s key differentiators can help each partner individually. It’s important not to overwhelm partners, but to give enough to make their interactions and experience with iProov easy.
iProov technology is about solving a problem, so really each product is a story in itself. I tell those stories to our partners, explaining why iProov works the way it does. For example: why do we have face abstraction? Why do we use a controlled illumination of colors on the user’s face? There’s a reason behind it all. When I explain these things as a story, it all seems to fit into place. When people “get” what we’re doing and it clicks, it’s rewarding.
At the end of the day, I’m showing our partners why they can trust us with their business. And in doing so I get to see how collaboratively we are combining some of the best cutting-edge products and technologies in our industry. Our partners are uniquely brilliant and it’s exciting to see how together we are solving many problems.
What do you have planned for our partners moving forward? What can they expect?
One thing I’m quite excited to talk about is our upcoming Partner Hub. This will be a dedicated partner area online where partners can get access to all of our resources, messaging, and collateral.
This self-serve portal will provide brochures, info sheets, and regular marketing collateral but also easy access to ask questions and request more support. Essentially this joint area is where we can collaborate and make sure the partner has the right type of material, meaning they can answer any question they get, or know how best to present iProov technologies themselves. All the essential iProov material will always be at their fingertips, which just makes everyone’s life as easy as possible.
And of course, should the partner need something unique or bespoke then I can work with them to ensure they are fully supported.
Sachin, could you tell us a bit about yourself?
I have spent the last 10 years working with channel partners across emerging markets. Before joining iProov, I worked for Xerox where I was involved in the launch of their new partner portals.
On a more personal note, I started my career in India, which is where I grew up, then I went to the USA before settling in the UK. I actually always wanted to be a professor and teach postgraduates! In my free time, I keep up with all things cricket…I’m a bit of a superfan!
What does your role as Channel Marketing Manager involve?
Day-to-day, I’m constantly thinking about and planning how iProov can best communicate with our amazing partners. I’m creating marketing and communication plans to drive momentum with our networks, creating engaging content that can be shared with our partners and supporting the wider marketing team with partner onboarding and enablement.
As a relatively new member of the iProov team, a lot of my work is still researching. When I truly understand an organization’s unique challenges and their individual needs, I can establish exactly where iProov can help them best. What are the problems we’re facing in the industry and how are we best posed to solve them together?
My main project at the moment is creating the iProov partner newsletter—which is likely where you found this blog post! Moving forward, the newsletter will act as a hub: a place where our partners can find out about new content and keep up to date on iProov product releases and updates. Please continue to look out for our partner newsletter at the end of every month.
What do you have planned for our partners moving forward? What can they expect?
Next year—COVID allowing—I’m really looking forward to meeting a lot of our partners in-person to build better relationships and closer methods of working together. I’d like to set up regular catch-ups, and also plan for a partner summit.
A lot of this is in view of running shared campaigns. It’s going to be a huge focus for me and for iProov moving forward. This might include shared whitepapers or joint marketing campaigns. Part of this will be supplying those partners with the messaging, co-branded resources and graphics. It’s all about making partners’ lives easier to meet our shared goals.
Henry, could you tell us a bit about yourself?
I studied History at Cambridge and joined iProov straight after I graduated in 2019. It’s been an amazing place to start and develop my career.
I was drawn towards partnerships because it involves fitting pieces of a puzzle together. I enjoy running discovery calls and finding out exactly what our partners need so I can fit iProov’s products to those needs.
I was a rower at uni and I think those early mornings prepared me well for working with our partners in Asia-Pacific! I’m also a big scuba diving guy and am looking forward to getting back into that more seriously post-pandemic, possibly on some APAC visits!
What does your role as Partnership Manager involve?
While Darren and Sachin all work within the Product & Marketing team, I sit on the Revenue side of the business. This means that I’m usually involved with our partners at the earliest stage of the relationship: discovery calls, for instance, where I establish which iProov product they’ll benefit from most and why.
I also take care of partner onboarding. I connect people on the partner side with their relevant counterpoints on the iProov side and set out the processes that will underpin our relationship. This step is vital in ensuring that the partnership gets off on the strongest footing.
I enjoy my role because the interactions are always collaborative. Working with partners is a really positive experience—I think it’s because we’re doing something immediately mutually beneficial. We know we can help each other and my job is to make that as easy as possible from day one.
Also, I love that my job has a global remit. That means that it’s varied and at times unconventional: sometimes early mornings talking to Australia and New Zealand, sometimes late evenings speaking to American partners. But it’s exhilarating to work across those geographies and cultures at this stage in my career—and I always had something to do during lockdown!
What do you have planned for our partners moving forward? What can they expect?
As mentioned by my colleagues, we’re building out a more concrete partnership system with a focus on co-marketing. I’m excited that the program is being strengthened across the business. There will be more updates soon in the upcoming newsletters.
We’ll continue to be flexible and go the extra mile when working with our partners. We’re all very easy to get along with in the Partner team… and if you’re not a partner yet, then I’ll be your first point of contact!
If you’re curious about partnering with iProov, then you can submit a partnership enquiry here. Henry will be happy to take you through a discovery call.
November 11 2021
The demand for online biometric authentication is soaring. Consumers love the convenience of using face verification to prove their identity online. Organizations are recognizing that biometrics offer security and other benefits far beyond what passwords and other authentication methods can deliver.
But there are many biometric systems and different biometric companies and vendors. So how do you know which one is right for your organization?
The right vendor will depend largely on your use-case. For some organizations, especially in government or financial services, finding a system with the highest levels of security will be the deciding factor. In other cases, organizations will be looking for flexibility in how they handle different levels of risk. There are numerous factors that must be taken into consideration, including security, scalability, performance, privacy, and cost.
Let’s walk through your top considerations when evaluating biometric authentication vendors.
Before you begin the evaluation of the biometric authentication systems available to you, establish what levels of security you need and where the risks lie for your organization. Ask yourself the following questions:
Usability and inclusivity are crucial. Your biometric solution should be usable by the largest section of the population possible. When considering a vendor for usability, ask the following questions:
Make sure you compare the accuracy of the solutions you’re evaluating. Accuracy plays a large part in the user experience; if an authentication fails, for whatever reason, a user’s frustration will increase. This, in turn, affects your brand image and customer satisfaction as well as cost. It’s important to establish the vendor’s false rejection rates (FRR) as well as their false acceptance rates (FAR).
A key metric of performance to consider is the average number of attempts good users need to pass. Ideally, every honest person would pass on the first attempt. However, it is likely that some legitimate authentications will fail, and an average number greater than one is inevitable. How much greater than one is a good measure of usability and your likely conversion rate. Ask your vendor for this number, as well as the size of the sample it was based on and how they calculated it. Ask existing customers for their experience.
Many organizations do not have a clear idea of how great the adoption of biometric authentication will be among their users. Expected levels of demand can vary enormously from actual outcomes over time. You need to ensure that the solution you choose will scale quickly and cost effectively. If you host the solution yourself, can you provision and afford the servers needed to cover all outcomes? If you choose a cloud-based provider, do they have a track record of supporting high levels of demand?
Addressing privacy from multiple angles—your users’ concerns, your organizational needs, and the requirements of any regulators or other organizations that might need to be considered—is important. When selecting a vendor, ask the following questions:
Biometric systems can be priced in different ways and can include different components. For example, some cloud vendors include hosting costs in their pricing structure while others expect the organization to bear these costs directly. Build a few models of potential uses so you have options and can work with the vendor to find the best possible model for your budget requirements. You can read more about cloud versus on-device biometric systems here.
How do vendors process all their authentications? When a vendor’s technology isn’t good enough, some rely on manual checks—and manual checks affect privacy and accuracy. In addition, manual checks don’t scale—if your volume doubles unexpectedly, the vendor is unlikely to be able to double the number of manual checkers.
Is the vendor easy to work with? Do they have customer-focused people and processes? What do their other customers and partners say about them?
If you’d like to learn more about how iProov can secure and streamline your organization’s online verification, authentication, and onboarding, book your demo today.
November 8 2021
Facebook is the latest organization to join iProov in drawing an important line between the use of biometrics for face verification versus face recognition.
In a press release, the company now known as Meta announced that it will no longer use face recognition to automatically recognize people’s faces on the Facebook platform.
But they also confirmed that the use of face biometrics for identity verification will grow in importance, seeing it as an important tool:
“Looking ahead, we still see facial recognition technology as a powerful tool, for example, for people needing to verify their identity, or to prevent fraud and impersonation.”
Although Facebook refers to ‘face recognition’ in the above paragraph, they are describing face verification. So what’s the difference? Let us explain:
Face verification takes place when a user needs to verify their identity or authenticate themselves. For example, if you want to apply for a driver’s license or a credit card online, you need to be able to prove that you are who you claim to be and that you are not an imposter that is attempting to impersonate you. Then when you log back in to pay off your credit card bill, you will need to authenticate and prove that it is genuinely you that is accessing your account.
At the same time, online dating services like Tinder and social media networks are increasingly worried about users being defrauded by criminals using fake profiles of people that don’t exist at all. Face verification enables organizations to be certain that a user is the right person and a real person so they can protect their customers from fraud.
How does face verification work? With iProov, a user completes a brief, effortless face scan on a mobile device, computer or kiosk. The user knows it is taking place, they participate in the process, they get a direct benefit from it and their privacy is protected.
Face recognition is different. It often takes place when a user is unaware that it is happening—for example, a CCTV camera in a public place could be matching faces that it spots on the street with a database of criminals. The user is often not aware that it is happening, they don’t participate in the process or directly benefit from it, and their privacy is not protected in the same way that it is with iProov.
This is a useful summary:
Until now, Facebook would store a ‘faceprint’ of any user who opted in to the use of their face recognition system. This then enabled Facebook to identify that person if they appeared in any photos or videos that were uploaded to the platform. The user could then be alerted so they could tag themselves.
Facebook will no longer be providing this option to users and the faceprints of users that opted in will be deleted.
Meta says that it will be looking at face verification for a number of use cases: “This includes services that help people gain access to a locked account, verify their identity in financial products or unlock a personal device. These are places where facial recognition is both broadly valuable to people and socially acceptable, when deployed with care.”
This announcement from Facebook demonstrates that:
iProov’s face verification technology is being used by governments and enterprises around the world to verify the identity of users online.
Our Genuine Presence Assurance technology delivers the highest levels of security, usability, inclusivity, privacy and scalability:
November 3 2021
Earlier this year, following a string of cyber attacks on US infrastructure, President Biden met with over 35 private sector CEOs. He announced plans to enhance cybersecurity across the country, vowing to prioritize and elevate cybersecurity “like never before”. The White House also published an executive order mandating organizations to improve their cybersecurity. Among other things, this order stressed the importance of multi-factor authentication and cloud-based architecture.
But organizations need to be mindful about how they plan and execute a multi-factor authentication strategy. So much is at stake if it goes wrong.
iProov’s cloud-based biometric technology is used by the world’s most security-conscious organizations to assure the genuine presence of an individual during multi-factor authentication. Genuine Presence Assurance can be used as part of a strong MFA strategy by providing the form of inherence—something the user is.
The bottom line? America is going multi-factor, and iProov can help get it right the first time around.
When you log on to an online service, such as a social network or bank, you’ll usually get asked for a password. If the password grants you immediate access, you have completed single-factor authentication. If the system asks you for a second security check—for example, you’re asked to type in a one-time passcode sent to you via SMS, or double click the side button on your iPhone—this is multi-factor authentication.
Multi-factor authentication aims to verify that you are who you say you are. To complete true MFA, you’ll need a combination of two or more authentication factors:
Importantly, if the bank asks you for a password and then for the answer to a security question, it might improve security but this isn’t multi-factor authentication—both the first step and second step are knowledge-based.
In short: America needs to protect its government, enterprises, citizens, and economy against the financial losses and disruption caused by cybercrime.
Identity theft is a huge problem in America. iProov data shows that a staggering 29% of Americans have been a victim of identity theft, compared with just 15% of Brits and 13% of Australians.
If a relative, roommate, or a criminal steals your identity by getting hold of your passwords or personal and authentication information and pretending to be you, they can do a lot of damage. They can access your bank or other personal accounts to steal money or demand ransoms (this is account takeover). It’s not always about money—they can also be aiming for disruption or reputation damage.
Multi-factor authentication helps to prevent identity theft and other forms of cybercrime through inappropriate account access. It ensures that the person trying to access their account is the genuine owner of that account and not an imposter or criminal. 80% of data breaches could be eliminated by the use of multi-factor authentication.
A recent example: The hack that shut down the US’ largest fuel pipeline—the Colonial Pipeline—happened because just one employee’s compromised password was leaked on the dark web. This password then granted the attacker remote access to the company’s entire computer network. No damage to the pipeline was caused, but Colonial paid out a $4.4 million ransom to the hacker.
How would multi-factor authentication with iProov have prevented this: Imagine, as in the Colonial Pipeline example, that a bad actor manages to get hold of a federal government employee’s password. But this time, the federal agency has set up multi-factor authentication using iProov technology. The bad actor enters the password, trying to gain access to government systems. They’re asked to complete a brief facial scan to authenticate. The criminal is thwarted: even if they had imagery of the defrauded employee’s face, iProov’s Genuine Presence Assurance technology would detect that the real individual was not present and the access request would be rejected. iProov detects images, videos, masks, deepfakes and other synthetic media that can be used in presentation attacks and digital injected attacks to spoof a system.
If you’re building a multi-factor authentication strategy, face biometrics should be part of your plan. Let’s look at some of the benefits of using face biometrics in your MFA strategy.
Ease of use:
You can read more about why face authentication is the best authentication method here.
Multi-factor authentication is just one of several important points covered in the executive order. Cloud technology was also underlined as a necessity; agency heads were given 60 days to show how they will “prioritize resources for the adoption and use of cloud technology.”
This means that iProov’s cloud-based biometric face authentication technology enables you to accomplish two things at once. First, you deliver the best possible multi-factor strategy for your users and organization. Second, you’re prioritizing the use of cloud technology.
iProov is already used by the world’s most security-conscious organizations, including:
October 19 2021
A key question for anyone evaluating biometric technologies is: should the authentication take place on-device or in the cloud?
At iProov, we believe that cloud-based, or server-side, biometric authentication is a great option for securely authenticate users remotely. We use the cloud because:
In this article, we’ll discuss the advantages and applications of cloud-based versus on-device authentication.
Scenario 1, cloud-based biometrics: You need to send a large sum of money to a friend. You access your bank via your mobile device or computer. First, your bank needs to double-check that you are the genuine account holder so it can authorize the transaction. To do this, it prompts you to iProov with Genuine Presence Assurance. You present your face to the user-facing camera and a short sequence of lights illuminate your face. The imagery and unique sequence of lights is sent to the server to be analyzed and verified against the image you provided at onboarding. This ensures you are the right person, a real person, and are authenticating right now.
The entire authentication process happens server-side, independently from the device. This means that a device affected by malware, for example, will not compromise the authentication process.
Scenario 2, device-based biometrics: You begin the process of transferring money via your mobile device. Again, your bank needs to confirm that you are who you say you are, so you authenticate using biometrics (such as by presenting your face to the camera or fingerprint to a sensor). Only this time, the entire authentication process takes place on the device, which means it is dependent on the device being secure. If the device has been stolen or hacked, the bank or other organization would not be able to detect this and the transaction could potentially be fraudulent.
So, the former processes the authentication on a cloud server, while the latter processes the authentication locally. The main difference is the additional security that cloud-based authentication can deliver over device-based authentication, but there are also many other advantages to using the cloud.
Before we move on to look at the advantages of cloud in more depth, let’s consider when organizations use biometrics for online identity verification and how the cloud is used in each one:
Cloud-based verification forms an essential part of the online customer lifecycle – critical for onboarding, authentication, and identity recovery.
Why is cloud-based biometric authentication more secure than on-device?
On-device authentication can be trusted if — and only if — the integrity and identity of the device and its user can be trusted. If a device is compromised through malware or a digitally injected attack, then the user’s biometric data could be extracted or spoofed.
This means that, for an organization, each device is a source of risk, which is a potential insecurity.
The bottom line is: with cloud-based biometrics, organizations can protect themselves against the risk of fraudulent authentications taking place on compromised devices. This is a huge advantage as cybersecurity threats evolve.
The privacy of data depends on the company collecting it and the operational environment.
For instance, at iProov we use a privacy firewall and strong encryption techniques to protect highly sensitive data to safeguard the user’s confidentiality. The biometric imagery is stored as an encrypted biometric template, which is referred to using an anonymous pseudonym. This is not associated with anything that could reveal the users’ identity.
Ultimately, privacy of data comes down to how it is used, the company using it, and the laws and regulations they adhere to. Cloud-based identity verification providers, such as iProov, are regularly audited and comply with ISO 27001 and 27701 certifications, validating the security and privacy capabilities of the cloud for managing data securely.
It’s easier for cloud-based applications to be deployed across a wide range of platforms and hardware. iProov technology in particular can be deployed on any device with a user-facing camera, including:
Once the user is ‘iProoved’ with a particular organization, they’re immediately able to access the service or account on any device.
With an on-device solution, a user would lose access to that organization’s online services if the device they had verified on was lost, stolen, or damaged. Identity recovery would be necessary to get them up and running again. This is because the device ID will be linked to a user’s ‘profile’, and if the device ID changes they would need to re-onboard and reverify. However, with iProov, once you’ve verified you can simply authenticate on any device, even if the original device was lost, broken or stolen.
The cloud can also enable organizations to reach the widest possible audience online. With iProov, you can ensure that users have access to your digital services even if they don’t have access to a smartphone, computer, or tablet.
iProov’s cloud-based technology can be extended to kiosks to ensure that people are not excluded from securely accessing services. These kiosks can either be offered unsupervised in shopping malls or travel hubs, or situated in banks or government offices where staff can be on-hand to offer support.
And across all of these devices, iProov ensures a consistent user interface — designed to combat selfie anxiety — to reassure customers.
iProov’s cloud-based technology also makes identity recovery simple. Data shows that people replace their phones around every three years, which means many people need to recover their identity on services or apps every year. This poses two main problems:
Because iProov authentication occurs on the cloud and not on the device, recovering identity on a new or replacement device is simple. iProov creates trust in the person holding the device rather than the device itself. All that’s needed is a brief Genuine Presence Assurance face verification on each device, rather than resubmitting all of your documentation or needing to speak to a customer service representative to prove your identity.
This also means that, if required, user journeys can be started on one channel and completed in another.
Here’s what it looks like in practice: A bank’s customer is travelling abroad and loses their mobile phone and credit cards. To access cash and arrange for replacement cards, they use a friend’s device. They authenticate themselves in the same way they would have done on their own device — an effortless biometric face scan processed on the cloud. This simple process enables the user to access the required services with a recognisable, reassuring customer experience. No biometric information is left on the shared device, reducing risk and protecting privacy.
This is why iProov is trusted by some of the world’s most demanding organizations — such as the US Department of Homeland Security, the UK Home Office, Knab, and Rabobank — to provide secure online user verification and authentication.
If you’d like to know more about how our cloud-based biometric technology can help your organization to verify and authenticate users, click here to book a demo.
September 30 2021
Since 2011, iProov has focused on controlled illumination as a means of assuring genuine presence of a remote user. This technology has proven to be unrivalled in its usability and the robustness of its security.
iProov has also been interested in motion as a biometric and signal of genuineness since 2014. In that year, iProov won a grant from Innovate UK (the UK government’s innovation agency, known at the time as the Technology Strategy Board) for a project looking at the feasibility of using hand movements as a biometric.
In 2014, iProov also won Innovate UK funding to study the way changes in images resulting from device movement, in itself a weak indicator of liveness, could be combined with motion sensor data to provide an adequately strong signal of liveness.
This project was very successful and in 2015 iProov filed patents, subsequently granted in US and overseas, covering this innovation.
The Innovate UK project also addressed the case where motion sensors were not available. This gave rise to some innovations on which patents were filed in 2014 and subsequently granted in many countries worldwide.
iProov was aware of the potential security vulnerabilities that affect liveness technologies based on device motion. This led iProov to focus instead on developing the much higher integrity solution made possible by iProov’s patented Flashmark technology. This was subsequently launched as Genuine Presence Assurance and has won many international awards for its exceptional security and usability.
In the first half of 2020, iProov was able to use the wealth of liveness technology that it had already developed to bring a product to market to meet low risk applications where traditional levels of liveness would be sufficient. This product could continue to provide extremely good usability and high conversion rates (in contrast with competitive offerings). This has earned it significant success in the commodity liveness assurance market.
iProov was also able to combine its Liveness Assurance product with its unique, market-leading Genuine Presence Assurance technology to create another unique offering in 2020: Flexible Authentication. This enables organizations to select the level of ceremony/security trade-off appropriate to each transaction, on a transaction-by-transaction basis, using a single SDK, a single integration and single commercial contract.
Now processing large volumes of liveness assurance, iProov continues to develop its technology and to educate the market on when its use is appropriate. There are many use cases, particularly in government and financial services, when liveness simply does not offer adequate security and Genuine Presence Assurance is the only robust way to safeguard the citizen, the organization and society. Today, Genuine Presence Assurance is the only solution available on the market that adequately defends high value or high profile targets against the full range of attacks launched by determined adversaries. It is also the only solution that has been approved by several national government testing programs.
iProov continues to devote the energies of dozens of research scientists in its rapidly growing Science team to focus on this area. By developing new techniques to defend against tens of thousands of real world attacks against high value targets, iProov can keep its customers and their customers safe through assuring the genuine presence of online users.
September 28 2021
This month we introduce to you Will Morgan, our Head of Development. Will talks us through his career journey so far, recounts a day in the life of his role, and shares his biggest achievements at iProov.
I started building websites as a teenager and built up a great network of friends as we all learned to write software. Although, it must be said that some of the people I encountered weren’t quite so friendly — a few of our sites were repeatedly hacked! It was a great learning experience though, and when you’re setting out with a self-built tech forum the stakes are much lower, so you can pick up a lot while having fun along the way.
I learned a huge amount about web technology and software in general — more than I could have got out of college. So I went into the industry full time at quite a young age, with freelancing paying the bills. This is how I met Joe Palmer—now the President of iProov Inc. We worked on some projects together before our paths diverged for a few years.
I then helped to run a web agency in my early twenties with friends, which was a formative experience. It provided a rich variety of opportunities and challenges, both on the tech and business side of things. It set me up with a lean and iterative mindset to development. The teams would take products from ideation into high quality, production grade deployments in under 100 days without compromising on quality, then carefully maintain and iterate as requirements emerged or the customer’s needs pivoted. I really appreciated the pure innovation and optimism there.
After 10 years and no university gap year, I took a month out to decide what to do next. I did consider trying to race bikes, but a series of crashes made me think again, although pedalling fast is a great way to clear the mind.
Joe reached out and asked if I was available to help extend and test part of an early iteration of iProov’s technology.
From the beginning, iProov was a welcome change from the caricature of startup life — no money wasted on ping pong tables; just a dozen or so really driven people focused on breaking new ground. That being said, I’d never worked at a place with a robotic vacuum cleaner that would crash into everyone’s chair on a Monday morning.
Given my background in smaller companies where people wear many hats, and recent experience in moving ‘good and fast’, things just clicked. It’s been five years and I’m still learning a lot from my colleagues here.
It’s a really diverse remit, touching most technical areas of the iProov system. I’m jointly responsible with the various tech leads and heads of department for how we build new things and maintain our services. These days I’m involved with web technologies, iPortal, our data warehouse, and security.
Team development is really important. As iProov has grown, it’s been very rewarding to see my teams develop and specialize in their areas, and do ever-cooler things that solve problems or improve a tangible metric. This allows me to spend more time looking at logs, dashboards, and encouraging people to experiment with novel technologies and techniques to improve the products.
It’s fast-paced and no day is the same. A lot of time is spent context-sharing and brainstorming how things come together and work end to end through the iProov system. I’m spending a lot of time experimenting, researching and sharing findings with various people across the business, then gluing my eyes to a dashboard to see how things improve when that feature or patch is released.
It’s also important for an engineering team to be commercially informed — both in what the industry is doing, as well as understanding our existing customers’ integrations. There’s a lot of collaboration with our Product Team and our Customer Success Team. And then there’s hiring — the company is also growing, so recruitment. Lots of that.
Identifying the reasons behind a particular user action or behaviour is always a fun puzzle to solve. This could be anything from trying to troubleshoot a user experience issue during accessibility and usability improvement work, to analyzing an attempted attack on the system and watching the steps the attacker took before they gave up.
Hearing from our solutions consulting team on the potential new use cases for iProov is exciting, especially learning about other companies that we can partner with to combine technologies for a particular industry.
On a lighter note, it’s been hilarious reading fraudsters complain online about our customers moving to iProov because they know their game is over!
Besides the obvious growth and acquiring many happy customers, we’ve started to really fly the flag for our service and tell our story worldwide. We’ve become more self-assured but without the hubris.
One of our values at iProov is that we ‘achieve the remarkable’. What would you highlight as the most remarkable achievements of the Development team?
I have a fabulous and driven team. However, it’s actually three teams so here’s a remarkable achievement for each one:
If you feel inspired by Will’s journey and are interested in joining the iProov team, check out our current vacancies. Follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter to keep updated with new openings. We are always looking for new talent.
And meet more of the iProov team below!
September 7 2021
Each relies on a different factor to establish trust:
In recent years organizations have started to move away from knowledge-based authentication. Passwords are not secure, because they can be shared, guessed or stolen. Passwords also cause user frustration, because they are easily forgotten. This ultimately leads to drop-off and poor completion rates. You can read more about the end of passwords here.
Instead, organizations are moving toward passwordless solutions. Biometric forms of authentication use something you are to prove your identity. These are convenient—you always have your face with you, for example—and while they can be copied (using a photo), they cannot be stolen. And in the case of iProov’s Genuine Presence Assurance, biometric authentication technology can deliver the highest levels of security and inclusivity.
Authentication is needed to securely identify your online users. It’s most commonly used when logging into an account or authorizing a financial transaction remotely, for example. Ultimately, authentication is needed to restrict and allow access to personal information and accounts. As the demand for remote services grows, and cybercrime increases, so does the demand for secure authentication online.
Secure user authentication…
But which authentication method is the right or “best” authentication method for you?
For your users, the best authentication method will be something that offers convenience, speed, and reassurance. For your organization, the best solution will deliver the appropriate level of security, high completion rates, and will be inclusive to the largest number of customers or citizens.
The things you need to consider include:
Next, we’ll review some of the most popular authentication methods that organizations employ to secure their systems.
Facial authentication uses a face scan done by a human on any device with a front-facing camera to prove they are who they say they are. For face authentication to be secure, it needs to verify that the user is the right person, a real person, and that they are authenticating right now. This is what iProov’s Genuine Presence Assurance technology delivers.
Some other forms of face authentication use single images to match a physical face to a trusted image, but they can be spoofed by “presentation attacks”, including photographs shown to the device’s camera. iProov technologies use multiple frames to securely determine the authenticity of an individual.
Facial authentication has many advantages over other biometric methods. One is that everyone has a face, and most government-issued ID documents have a photo but don’t include fingerprint or other biometric data. This means that a user could scan their identity document using their mobile device and then scan their face to prove that they are who they claim to be—completing an entire verification process all from the comfort of their couch.
Face authentication can also be done on general-purpose hardware. Any smartphone or computer or other devices with a user-facing camera can support face authentication, while fingerprint or iris scans need specialist hardware.
This transforms the way that governments and enterprises can securely verify the identity of online users. Citizens can apply for bank accounts, credit cards, healthcare, tax, or any other secure service without needing to visit a physical building for an identity check.
Face authentication and verification are sometimes referred to as “face recognition”—but these are completely different technologies. Learn the difference between verification and recognition here.
Fingerprint authentication compares a user’s fingerprint to a stored template to validate a user’s identity. Fingerprints are complex and unique, which makes them impossible to guess. They are also convenient to use on a smartphone or other device that has the capability to read a fingerprint.
There are limitations with fingerprint authentication. Firstly, because not everyone has a fingerprint scanner on their device, fingerprint authentication is not an accessible and inclusive method for all. It’s a method limited to those who own more expensive devices.
And, just like passwords, there are security concerns. Fingerprints can be copied using silicon rubber, plus they can be hacked on most devices in around 20 minutes. Fingerprint authentication can be good for low-risk scenarios where quick access is needed but it lacks the accessibility of other methods such as face authentication.
Voice authentication measures the physical and behavioral markers in a user’s speech to confirm their identity. Using all the information in human speech enables an effective means of authentication that works on a phone or video call.
Voice has become a popular form of verification with financial institutions but is prone to background noise, can be overheard, and can be spoofed by a recording or deepfake.
SMS One-Time Passcodes (OTPs) are unique, time-based codes that are sent to the phone number tied to a user’s account. OTPs prove possession of a device/SIM—something you have—because only one person should have access to their SIM and text messages.
There are a number of issues with this form of authentication.
Passwords are ubiquitous, and the authentication method we’re most familiar with. But they’re not secure. They’re often forgotten, stolen, lost, or shared—as we highlighted in our flagship report, The End of Password. Plus, our research has found that consumers are growing increasingly frustrated with passwords, causing them to abandon their baskets when they forget them.
Passwords, and knowledge-based authentication in general, suffers a fatal flaw: the more secure you make it, the less accessible it is for users. The passwords that fraudsters cannot guess or hack are also harder for people to remember. And as we create more and more accounts, it becomes harder and harder to remember them all. Other threat vectors such as brute force attacks and credential stuffing are a big concern too.
Our previous research also found that over 50% of users have abandoned purchases because they forget their password and retrieving it took too long, so there’s a clear commercial penalty here.
This ubiquity makes passwords the common choice for authentication. But the truth is that passwords are better used in conjunction with other more secure and effortless methods of authentication, such as face authentication. These applications include multi-factor authentication and step-up authentication. However, one strong authentication is better than two weak ones.
Here at iProov, we provide biometric face verification to some of the world’s most secure organizations to enable them to authenticate online users.
Consumers prefer methods that do not add additional complexity or effort to their services, transactions, and accounts. So, we eliminated the complexity—while still retaining national-grade security. This enables you to onboard and authenticate customers and users, with the minimal number of steps for users.
iProov’s biometric authentication provides:
And that’s why some of the world’s most security-conscious organizations, including…
…choose iProov to verify, authenticate, and onboard their users.
If you’d like to see the benefits of using face authentication to secure and streamline user authentication for your organization, book your demo here. You can read up further on our customers and case studies here.
August 27 2021
Andrew Bud, iProov’s Founder and CEO, was made a CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in the Queen’s 2020 New Year’s Honours List. Andrew’s award was for services to exports in science and technology.
A CBE is the highest-ranking award below a Knighthood of the Order of the British Empire, followed by OBE and then MBE. It is awarded to people who have made a distinguished contribution to the nation in any field. Recipients must also meet the highest standards of probity and integrity.
Congratulations on your achievement, Andrew. What was it like to go to the palace for the investiture? Can you tell us what Princess Anne said to you?
The investiture itself was a striking experience because it was deeply formal, yet very unstuffy. There was a relaxed majesty combined with perfect manners and an effortless sense of poise. The whole occasion had a sense of being very intimate and I felt very intensely the privilege of being there.
Princess Anne was extremely well briefed on who I was and what iProov is doing. She asked me several questions that showed real knowledge – she asked about my personal trajectory from engineer to entrepreneur, and we also talked about other industry and technical matters, including the threat of deepfakes. She also made me laugh!
St James’ Palace is also one of the most beautiful of English Baroque buildings. It was marvelous to have the opportunity to visit and admire it.
How did you find out that you had been awarded a CBE and what was the process behind it all?
I received a letter from the Cabinet Office at the beginning of November 2019. Nothing really prepares you for that letter. It said that the Prime Minister was recommending me to be appointed Commander of the British Empire. My wife said that my hands shook as I read it.
It remained the deepest of secrets until the nomination was published in the Official Gazette a few days after Christmas. I told my children about it a few hours beforehand.
Soon afterwards, I received the invitation to Buckingham Palace for the investiture at the beginning of April 2020. Of course, that was then canceled due to the pandemic. By the time it could happen, Buckingham Palace was undergoing building work, so it took place at St. James’ Palace instead. That meant I could bring only my wife and no other family member, but also that she could participate in the investiture, which is unusual.
How did it feel, being nominated? What does this mean to you?
I can’t overstate the wonderful strangeness of it all. I’ve been a struggling entrepreneur most of my life. I’ve been involved in some great things, and it’s true they brought recognition from my peers, which was extremely welcome and gratifying.
But as an entrepreneur, you can tend to think of yourself as that guy way off the mainstream doing his best with a large responsibility unnoticed by the wider world. Then when something like this happens, a very public recognition, it’s a very startling experience.
I was particularly delighted to see my children’s responses. It really surprised them – I think they too have an image of me as a dedicated entrepreneur laboring away in the dark, so discovering that their Dad’s contribution to technology had been recognized at the highest level was special for them. And the greatest thing you can possibly do, I think, is to make your children proud of you. That’s one of my metrics for success in life.
You were made a CBE for services to exports in science and technology – can you tell us a bit about your career and what led to this?
I was very proud that the CBE recognized my work in building exports in science and technology. I started out as an engineer, which led me to lead a project to build the world’s first consumer digital wireless telephone, and subsequently to pioneer wireless data and mobile phone networks with Olivetti in Italy.
I then spotted the enormous opportunity of SMS and set up mBlox, which became the world’s largest provider of SMS transmission for enterprise applications.
I think the CBE also recognizes my 20 years with the Mobile Ecosystem Forum (MEF), an international trade association I helped found. I’ve been the chairman of that for 13 years.
Almost a decade ago I embarked on a new challenge with the search for trust in digital identity. This is perhaps even bigger and more vital than anything I’ve done before.
You’ve established iProov with a mission to bring trust to the internet through biometric authentication. What’s next for you and for iProov?
The CBE also recognizes the scale of iProov’s achievements in winning major business right across the world – in the United States, Europe, Africa, Singapore and Australia. Now I have an added obligation to ensure that iProov builds further on the worldwide impact that this award recognizes.
We have made great strides on our journey to keep people safe online around the world, but it’s a multi-year mission spanning many countries, different sectors, and billions of people. The challenges from cybercriminals will only increase, so we have to continually exert ourselves to stay ahead of the brilliant and well-resourced people who are trying to do harm online.
Ultimately, to fulfill its mission, iProov will have to become a very large global company employing thousands of people worldwide. The next step for me is making sure that happens.
To learn more about Andrew, read more about his CBE here, his fellowship with the Royal Academy of Engineering here, or listen to his interview with the Mobile Ecosystem Forum here.
To learn more about iProov, you can visit our About Us page, read our record-breaking growth in the first half of 2021, or apply to work with us. If you’d like to learn more about iProov’s technology, book a demo.
August 26 2021
We were very interested to see that Tinder will be introducing ID verification to its dating app. They’re aiming to make users feel safer and provide “more confidence that their matches are authentic”.
iProov predicted this back in December 2020. Dating apps and websites are increasingly being targeted by fraudsters who use deceptive dating practices, such as catfishing, to steal money or cause embarrassment to victims. In 2020, record losses of $304m were attributed to romance scams—up 50% from 2019.
So the reasons for more security are clear. But Tinder is famous for its swipe left/right simplicity. How can they, and other social networks, make the ID verification process as effortless as possible for users?
iProov isn’t providing the technology for Tinder, but we know how online dating apps and social networks can achieve security with simplicity: Genuine Presence Assurance. With Genuine Presence Assurance, service providers can achieve security, usability, inclusivity, and privacy to make ID verification as strong and hassle-free as possible.
Scenario: A man sees he has a “match” on a dating app. They make introductions and exchange messages, eventually moving their conversation onto another messaging platform. The identity of the two individuals is not verified at any point during this process, beyond names and photos.
After a few weeks, the match says that they’re struggling to make their rent payment and asks if they could borrow money until the first of the month. The man sends the money. He then never hears from the match again—it was a fake profile, created using pictures easily found on social media, and the story was fabricated. The man uninstalls the app.
This is just one of many ways in which people are vulnerable on dating apps. Other threats include predators and account hijackers. Some people have been scammed by accounts using celebrities’ photos, and one woman even encountered a deepfake video created to support a fake profile on a dating site.
Tinder has realized that many of its users want some protection from these threats: they want to know who’s on the other side of the screen. Of course, ID verification can’t stop someone from transferring money to a scammer. But with the right identity verification solution, like iProov’s Genuine Presence Assurance, you can enable users to take extra precautions against fake profiles.
A number of things can be achieved using biometric face verification:
Accountability is the most important thing that biometric face verification brings to an online dating platform or social network. If you have to use your real face and identity to register, it could discourage criminal or antisocial behavior because users understand that their actions can be linked back to them.
Accountability helps with three types of users that people will want to avoid:
Users can feel safer talking to or meeting with someone if their identity is verified. There have been many cases of predators using fake profiles, with the number of recorded sexual offenses involving online dating sites doubling over four years. Users are also less likely to be targeted by fraudsters or trolls.
Enabling users to be confident that they are talking to a verified, genuine person reduces the likelihood of someone wasting their time on the platform, leading to increased engagement and brand trust.
Online dating services and social networks have a responsibility to protect their users from harm, whether physical, emotional, or financial.
For something as important as dating, which often leads to real-life meetings, you want to be sure that people are who they say they are online.
Liveness detection enables online dating services to authenticate the identity of an online user. It uses a biometric face scan to verify that a remote individual is the right person and a real person. This process can help to defend against the creation of fake dating profiles, which can then be used for fraud, catfishing and trolling. Read more about iProov Liveness Assurance.
iProov’s Genuine Presence Assurance delivers all the benefits of liveness detection—it provides greater accuracy that a user is the right person and a real person. It also verifies that the user is authenticating right now—this protects against the use of digital injected attacks that use deepfakes or other synthetic media.
How does it work?
When a user onboards to an online dating app or social network, the service can ask the user to iProov. They verify their identity by scanning a trusted document, such as a driver’s license, and then scanning their face to confirm that they are the owner of that identity.
iProov Genuine Presence Assurance delivers four benefits:
The additional benefit of implementing Genuine Presence Assurance is that it can be used for ongoing authentication. Whenever users return to use the app again, they present their face and prove they are the right person, a real person, and that they are authenticating right now. This means that nobody else can ever access that account, or send messages, or carry out any activity that they then insist they had not done.
If you’d like to know how iProov technology could secure and streamline identity verification for your online dating app or other social network, book your iProov demo here today.
August 18 2021
In 2017, French police made a grim discovery: in an old freezer at the bottom of a woman’s garden, they found the body of her 90-year old mother who had died 10 years earlier.
The daughter was concealing the death so she could claim a pension worth $2400 a month.
This story is an extreme example of a global problem: how can insurance companies establish proof of life in a digital world? How can pension and annuity providers be certain that a person claiming from a fund is the genuine holder of the account?
iProov’s Genuine Presence Assurance technology is the answer. iProov provides online biometric face verification to enable insurers confirm that a remote user is the right person, a real person, and that they are authenticating right now. This helps providers of insurance products and services to:
Proof of life is just the start. Insurance companies can use online face verification in a number of ways. You can read our full guide to the benefits of Online Face Verification in Insurance here.
Here are two more examples:
Insurers can use online face verification to protect against account takeover. This is particularly important for high-value insurance products, as many people check their pension or annuity accounts infrequently.
The scenario: a policyholder has a pension that they pay into regularly through their paychecks. They rarely check or access their pension account. A fraudster gains access to the account. The fraudster could have obtained a password and username from a data breach on an unconnected site, or used social engineering.
The fraudster then poses as the policyholder and logs onto the online portal, where they change the holder’s address, phone number, and email address. After that, any security checks, such as one-time passcodes sent to a mobile device, are compromised as the genuine holder is no longer receiving the alerts. When the true policyholder tries to access the account, they find that they have been locked out. When they do get access, the funds are missing.
By impersonating the policyholder, this fraudster can access large amounts of money. Because the true account holder may only check their account once a year or less, account takeover fraud could go undetected and unreported for some time.
Criminal networks can use insurance policies to ‘launder’ ill-begotten financial gains by depositing large sums that they then drawdown, turning dirty money into clean money. Insurance companies must protect against this.
The scenario: a criminal wanting to launder money through the international financial system buys a life insurance policy using funds from one or more bank accounts. The account is based overseas, and the amounts are small enough to avoid attracting the attention of the insurer’s fraud teams. The criminal can then cash in the policy early and request for the funds to be returned to another bank account, often in a different country.
Download our full guide to the benefits of Online Face Verification in Insurance.
Liveness detection enables insurance companies to authenticate the identity of an online user. It uses a biometric face scan to verify that a remote individual is the right person and a real person. This process can help to defend against cybercrime, such as account takeover or new account fraud.
Liveness enables organizations to verify that a user is the right person and a real person. Genuine Presence Assurance verifies that they are the right person, a real person and that they are authenticating right now. The latter is very important as it protects the insurer against digital injection attacks, which use synthetic media such as deepfakes in a way that is highly scalable and capable of causing a lot of harm.
Insurers need to ensure that their customers have secure, effortless access to services online. More people than ever before are buying insurance on their computers and mobile devices, as data from a recent iProov survey shows:
Insurers need to make digital services more secure, more convenient, and more inclusive for all. Defending against fraud, building customer and reputational trust, maximizing customer inclusion and accessibility, and complying with regulations—that’s the why. iProov face biometric verification technology is the how.
To read all of the data and more insights on how biometrics help prevent online crime in the insurance sector, download the report. We cover the following topics in full:
If you’d like to learn more about the benefits of using biometric face authentication to secure and streamline your digital services, book your iProov demo here today.
August 6 2021
Banks across the world realise that failure to maintain tight anti-money laundering frameworks may result in potential regulatory action. Many need to take urgent steps toward securing their AML and financial crime management.
iProov can help banks with AML and other fraud protection. Our remote facial biometric verification technology enables banks to verify that an online user is the right person (i.e, that the user matches the image from a trusted photo ID), a real person (not a photograph or video used in a presentation attack) and that the authentication is taking place right now (not a digitally injected attack).
Part 1: Customer verification during online onboarding
Verifying the identity of a new remote customer is the first and most crucial step in a bank’s online anti-money laundering efforts. It’s how banks ensure that they’re engaging with a legitimate individual from the beginning, which enables you to filter out potential bad actors, bots, and fraudulent identities straight away.
The UN estimates that the amount of money laundered globally each year is 2 – 5% of the world’s GDP. Fines are common: in total, global penalties for non-compliance with AML regulations totalled $36bn between 2008-2020. Verifying and enrolling your customers in a way that complies with regulatory guidelines is essential.
iProov’s simple-to-use, inclusive facial biometric technology enables you to verify each and every remote customer with the highest level of assurance. With Genuine Presence Assurance, retail banks can ask new customers to complete a brief and effortless facial scan during the online onboarding process. This confirms that a remote individual is who they claim to be, by verifying their physical face against the image in their photo ID.
This helps banks to:
Part 2: Ongoing authentication
Once you have verified a customer during onboarding, the customer will also need to authenticate themselves on an ongoing basis when they access their account online or make transactions.
An account could be created and verified legitimately, but then be compromised through account takeover fraud, identity theft, phishing, or other activity. Biometric face authentication ensures that the person trying to access an account (the ‘visitor’) is the same person that created the account (the ‘owner’).
iProov also provides banks with flexible authentication. A returning online customer that wants to check a balance or complete another lower-risk activity can use Liveness Assurance to authenticate. A brief face scan verifies the person is the right person and a real person.
But if that customer wants to complete a higher risk transaction—for example, transfer money to a new payee, change a PIN or request a new debit or credit card—iProov Genuine Presence Assurance can be used to provide additional security against fraud.
When criminals need to ‘wash’ dirty money through financial systems, they’ll use a number of methods to try to avoid detection. A few examples:
A criminal gains access to a legitimate bank account. They may have gained access to a real person’s account in a number of ways, such as credential cracking, phishing, or malware. Once they have full control of the compromised account, the fraudster then uses it to channel or ‘layer’ transactions, which obfuscates stolen money and conceals their criminal origins by passing money through multiple ‘legitimate’ transactions. The legitimate account owner may never notice, as the money simply passes through. Or when they do notice, it’s likely too late.
Rather than taking over an existing account, a criminal creates a completely new account with a bank. They go through the entire onboarding process using a ‘synthetic identity’. This is done by creating identities using a blend of fake, real, and stolen data — such as an address or phone number, or a utility bill — to create a ‘person’ who doesn’t exist. Criminals can then launder money through this new account, which for all intents and purposes looks like a real account to the bank, with real transactions.
A foreign university student sets up a legitimate bank account in the UK. When their studies finish, they return home. They are then contacted by a criminal who offers to purchase the account from them. The fraudster then uses this legitimate account to move money from account A to account B. In return, the student gets a monetary reward. This is a serious offense and form of money-muling: people agreeing to transfer money in and out of a legitimate bank account on behalf of criminals, either knowingly or unknowingly. This type of fraud has grown exponentially during COVID-19, particularly targeting younger age groups.
These are just a few of the ways that criminals and fraudsters can use financial institutions to launder money.
iProov’s remote face verification technology helps banks to mitigate against these risks of money laundering in several ways:
We’re working with a number of banks around the world to verify and authenticate customers online, helping to deliver AML and KYC compliance. These include:
You can view all of our case studies here
If you’d like to see how iProov’s Genuine Presence Assurance technology can secure and streamline your customer onboarding and authentication processes, book an iProov demo here.
July 7 2021
Face authentication and verification have become ubiquitous in the lives of consumers globally. Apple Face ID, launched in 2017, has enabled millions of people to unlock their phones several times a day using a simple face scan instead of a passcode or fingerprint. Those same people are also using their face to access mobile apps — face biometrics is used for mobile banking, payment, shopping, and other services. (Read more about the difference between face verification and face authentication here.)
It’s important to note that on-device face authentication services like Face ID are useful, but they don’t provide the security that many banks, governments, and other organizations need. Device-based authentication authenticates the user so that the device is satisfied that the person is who they claim to be. With iProov’s cloud-based authentication the organization can be satisfied that the user is who they claim to be, but also that the user is authenticating in real-time.
The problem with on-device biometric authentication is that the organization is having to depend on the device’s face authentication technology. If the device has been compromised, the service provider would have no way of knowing and imposters could be given access. This is why secure processes require cloud-based face authentication with Genuine Presence Assurance (GPA).
One thing is for sure: millions of consumers are now very comfortable with using their face for online security. So how many people are using face authentication across the world?
We asked 1000 consumers in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, Spain, and Italy if they currently use face authentication to access their mobile banking app on their devices.
We found that 38% of people are already using face authentication to access their mobile banking app. An additional 32% of people would use it if they could. Combined, the results look this:
We also found that around 30% of people do all of their banking remotely on their mobile devices, meaning that a significant proportion of all banking is now accessed using facial biometric technology.
The takeaway here? Consumers are comfortable using facial biometrics on their device, and they are happy using it to access their bank account remotely.
This means that the opportunity for banks and other organizations is huge. By implementing secure biometric face authentication from iProov, banks can enable customers to complete even the most secure processes online, such as adding a new payee, transferring a large amount of money, changing a PIN or requesting a debit card. This reduces costs, minimizes customer frustration and provides a truly secure, inclusive, and convenient mobile banking experience.
So what do people like about face authentication?
We asked people to tell us why they like using face authentication, allowing them to choose several options. Speed and convenience were the top reasons selected:
iProov’s reassuring ceremony takes just a few seconds to authenticate users. To use your phone you have to look at it, so authenticating just by looking at it requires the least effort from the user. iProov’s solution is truly passive, as there are no steps for the user to take: just look into the front-facing camera and you’re done.
Face authentication is incredibly convenient. Standard solutions like passwords are often forgotten, requiring a lengthy recovery process. SMS one-time passcodes (OTPs) either require the user to switch between apps and copy a code, or sometimes even require two separate devices. Face authentication is consistently convenient for the user.
Users always have their face right there — you don’t need to remember anything, carry a security token, or do anything. You just present your face to the device’s front-facing camera. Plus, there is no special hardware required, unlike with a fingerprint reader.
iProov’s Genuine Presence Assurance can be used on any device — including mobile devices, desktop computers, tablets, and kiosks — affording additional convenience. An important additional benefit of iProov’s cloud-based technology is that if your device is lost, stolen, damaged, or out of battery you can easily access your account from any device (unlike on-device biometrics).
iProov is already trusted by leading organizations, such as the US Department of Homeland Security, the UK Home Office, and leading banks to deliver secure face authentication. Genuine Presence Assurance is crucial for organizations looking to deliver national-grade security without sacrificing the user experience.
If you’d like to see the benefits of using face authentication to secure and streamline online services for your organization, book your demo here.
July 2 2021
Biometric verification and biometric authentication both use unique physical characteristics (a biometric) to prove that a person is who they say they are securely online. But each has a different process and different use cases.
Biometric verification is the act of matching a unique biometric characteristic (i.e. a face) against a trusted identity document (such as a driver’s license). This is typically used when an individual is onboarding or enrolling for a service online for the first time.
Biometric authentication validates the unique biometric characteristic (i.e. the face) against the biometric template created during the verification process. This is used when an individual is returning to use an online service after they have onboarded or enrolled.
The best biometric solutions do more than just match biometric data: they must also ensure that the person presenting their biometric is a real person (not a photograph or video used in a presentation attack) and that they’re presenting right now (not a digitally injected attack).
Let’s take two real-world scenarios to further clarify the difference between the two…
Scenario 1: You’re signing up remotely for a new online bank account. To onboard securely, you complete the application and are asked to verify your identity. You scan your driver’s license (or other trusted identity document) using your mobile device. You then scan your face using your device’s user-facing camera. The biometric technology matches your live face against the face on the license. In this scenario, Genuine Presence Assurance is needed to ensure that you are the right person and a real person, verifying in real-time. The process proves that you are who you say you are – your identity is approved and the bank opens your new account. This is an example of biometric verification. Your face biometric is verified against the photo in a trusted identity document to confirm you are who you say you are.
Scenario 2: A week later, you want to check your bank balance online. The bank asks you to authenticate by presenting your face to the camera, which is then matched against the biometric template that you created during the onboarding process. In this scenario, biometric authentication can be delivered using liveness detection, which confirms you are the right person and a real person. If you wanted to transfer $5000 to a friend, the bank can use Genuine Presence Assurance instead of liveness for additional security. This is an example of biometric authentication. You reconfirm your face biometric against the biometric you provided during onboarding to confirm that you have the right to access the account.
Both biometric verification and authentication are integral parts of secure, convenient online security processes. The right biometric solution can help your organization to prevent fraud or other cybercrime without inconveniencing your customers.
iProov’s cloud-based facial biometric technology provides the most secure and convenient way to verify remote users (…and we explain why below!).
Biometric verification should prove three things:
Step 1 ensures that the biometric data matches a real-world, verified identity. This usually happens by verifying the presented biometric against government records, using a trusted identity document such as a passport or driver’s license. Biometric verification is not just about two pieces of data matching each other – it must also match a government-verified identity.
Step 2 ensures that the person presenting their biometric is a real person – many solutions are caught out by attacks that use artifacts, such as masks or photographs.
Step 3 is where iProov’s Genuine Presence Assurance technology is unique. Liveness solutions cannot guarantee that the face being presented during the onboarding or authentication process is actually being presented right now. This leaves them vulnerable to digitally injected attacks, which inject media directly into the data stream and bypass the camera and other device sensors. Digitally injected attacks can use synthetic media such as deepfakes, where a fraudster creates a fake person or takes a photo of a real person and animates it. iProov’s Genuine Presence Assurance supports you across all three steps.
The onboarding of an online user is critically dependent on that person being the right person, a real person, completing the process right now – fraudsters using stolen or fake identities can do a lot of damage if they are not spotted at the onboarding stage. You can read more about the patented Flashmark technology behind this here.
Once you have all three, you can safely and securely identify users during onboarding. Biometric often verification forms a part of organizations’ regulatory processes, such as Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) compliance. These regulations set out that organizations must be able to prove that they’ve verified the identity and assessed the risks of those they’re doing business with.
Biometric verification eliminates the need for lengthy manual processes during onboarding, such as scanning and signing documents. There’s no need to travel and verify your identity in person. Biometric verification allows your users to verify their identity no matter where they are, and enables them to do it in an effortless way.
Without the security that biometric verification provides during onboarding, you leave the door open for scammers and fraudsters to abuse your online services. One 2021 report found that 1 in 7 new account creations are fraudulent, and another found identity theft in the US rose by 72% between 2018-2019.
Biometric authentication reconfirms that a person is who they claim to be every time they log in or make a transaction. This ensures that the person attempting access ( the ‘visitor’) and the person who created the account (the ‘owner’) are the same person, by matching biometric data.
iProov offers Flexible Authentication to enable organizations to apply the right level of security to each authentication, using either Liveness Assurance or Genuine Presence Assurance. If an individual wants to access their bank account to check a balance, for example, Liveness Assurance offers effortless convenience with the appropriate level of security. If the user wants to transfer $5000, then Genuine Presence Assurance delivers the additional reassurance that the request is not part of a digitally injected attack.
There are scenarios in which you can have authentication without verification: for example, Apple’s FaceID does not require you to verify your identity to set up the authentication which locks your device. But most applications require verification before authentication.
Biometric authentication is crucial because verifying a person’s identity once is not enough. You must also regularly ensure the account has not been compromised. Authentication enables you to continuously ensure that the person onboarded with your organization is the same person attempting to log in each time.
It’s like creating a password for your bank account: you enter it again every time you log in or make a large transaction. The difference is that biometric solutions, such as face verification, achieve this with greater ease for the user and stronger security.
iProov technology is being used by organizations around the world for verification and authentication. Some examples:
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June 28 2021
The iProov Science function is made up of multiple teams, with each team playing a key role in iProov technology innovation. This month we caught up with Jim Bremner, Head of AI. Jim talks to us about his journey at iProov, from Research Scientist to Head of AI, and shares his insights into what it’s like to tackle the increasing threat of deepfakes.
Hi Jim! Can you tell us about your journey to iProov?
I studied Physics at Imperial College London because I thought physics was really cool. I liked that I could work on something technical that had so many unusual and interesting aspects to it. I graduated with a Physics MSci and like a lot of physics graduates, I enjoyed the studying but felt a yearning for something more applied. My degree supplied all the theory I needed to start my journey with artificial intelligence and machine learning. So I started working on small projects to get me up to date with where the field was at the time. I was then involved in a Machine Learning Fellowship where I was able to nail down the practical aspects of applying my theory to real-life projects. I learned a lot about computer vision problems, involving interesting ways of visualizing and making sense of image data. Which was how I became interested in iProov and face biometrics…
So why did you choose iProov, specifically?
iProov face verification is solving a problem that is really interesting – how does one tell whether someone on the other side of a smartphone isn’t an attacker trying to steal someone’s identity? How can you tell they are real? A solution wasn’t obvious to me at first, so that gave me the sense that there was actually quite a lot of open ground – as opposed to an established industry where the techniques weren’t as disruptive. I knew iProov and biometrics had a great balance of these qualities. iProov also has a really big reach, so I knew that I would be making a difference across a lot of people’s lives.
How has the battle against deepfakes changed since you started working here?
The battle against deepfakes has been my main focus through my time at iProov. Yet when I started at iProov, ‘deepfakes’ wasn’t a commonly known term. So the idea that I’d be working on trying to protect against them was maybe quite novel because they’d only been around for a couple of years at that point. I remember telling friends and family about my new role and they were interested to discover there was actually a need for it.
Fast forward a couple years and not only is it really easy for anyone – even with the basic understanding of technology – to go and generate their own deepfakes from a mobile app, but the tools themselves have become a lot more powerful and work in an increasingly difficult environment. So nowadays you only need a single image of someone (which you can get from social media) to create a pretty convincing deepfake, whereas that wasn’t really the case when I started in the industry.
So you are now ‘The Deepfake Guru’! Walk us through an average day in the fight against deepfakes.
The Science team at iProov is focused on staying many steps ahead of the attackers. So we have to keep our ear close to the ground in terms of what’s happening out there with new deepfakes or synthetic media creation techniques; reading a lot of literature and academic papers and getting ideas from them on detecting different types of attacks.
Post lunch, there’s time for intensive thinking through the problems we’re trying to solve. A lot of the problems aren’t straightforward (which I suppose is why we’re trying to solve them!) and they require a bit of solitary thought. I actually do my best thinking on my cycle home. It gives me that forced time where I can’t actually do anything else apart from think (and maybe think about where I’m going with my bike as well).
So tell us, what’s the best kept secret about working in the AI team at iProov?
Hmmm, I will schedule this into my cycle-home-think-time and get back to you.
Ok, ok. But can you tell us why we should be so worried about deepfakes?
People should be worried about them, especially in digital identity, because we’re seeing deepfake attacks all the time. They’re at the stage now where the quality is so good that if you’re not working hard to stop them, they’ll quite easily pass as real. This is why we invest so much time and effort into them.
I feel we are slightly turning the corner in terms of fake news, deepfakes and misinformation. I think more and more people are realizing they can’t trust what they read online. I’m hoping that the same happens with visual media. By showing people concrete examples again and again e.g. a deepfakes of Trump declaring war, they understand what is possible with technology then hopefully it becomes clear these are a threat.
I hear there are a few opportunities opening up to join iProov’s cutting-edge AI Team! What three qualities does someone need to work in the AI team?
I’d say firstly it is important for someone to be very inquisitive. We have to make sure that we protect ourselves against a multitude of attack types which requires exploration of all different possibilities to try and break your own system. If you’re not curious about certain situations that might arise, then we will leave ourselves open to certain types of attack. So having a natural curiosity is key.
Creativity is really important, because a lot of the answers to the problems we are trying to solve don’t exist. We need to create those solutions ourselves. That requires a lot of creativity in terms of concepts, but also how you might implement these concepts as well.
A third one would be empathy. Empathy in a different context to how it’s normally used: this would be empathy towards the attackers. We have to put ourselves in the attacker’s shoes and try to think like an attacker. This gives you a good sense of what we need to look out for because in truth there are many ways people can attack and understanding their motive means we can stay ahead.
If you feel inspired by Jim’s iProov journey and are interested in joining the iProov team – check out our current vacancies. Follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter to keep updated with new openings – we are always looking for new talent.
And meet more of the iProov team below!
June 21 2021
The word ‘selfie’ was first added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 2013.
It’s since become a globally recognized term—you’ll rarely go a day without seeing one or hearing them mentioned.
We often hear about selfies being used to verify identity online. But there are three important considerations when talking about verification by selfie:
Picture the scene: you want to open a new bank account or make a large payment online. The bank needs to verify your identity. Would you be comfortable if the bank only required you to send in a selfie as proof of your identity? Of course not—because we understand that a single, simple selfie is not secure method of verification. Images of our faces are often widely available online, and anybody could go to our social media profile and get hold of one.
The same goes for single-frame liveness. Single-frame liveness is the term used for technologies that use a single image, or selfie, to determine the authenticity of an individual.
Single-frame liveness can carry out basic face matching—for example, to determine that the person in a selfie matches an image on their ID document. But single-frame selfies do not guarantee that an image is a real person presenting their face right now—it could be an individual using somebody else’s photo.
In short: you can’t.
You need multiple frames to guarantee authenticity. This is why iProov uses Genuine Presence Assurance (GPA) and Liveness Assurance. These solutions analyze multiple frames from a user-facing camera to determine that a human is the right person, a real person, and — in the case of GPA — that they’re authenticating right now. Only once you have the assurance of all three conditions, can you use face verification as a secure method of verifying identity.
But security isn’t the only concern here…
Selfie anxiety is when people experience a negative emotion upon seeing their own unedited, mirrored image—such as discomfort, shock, and unease.
So while consumers love the convenience and speed of face authentication, suddenly seeing an image of yourself can be unpleasant to many people. A user could shut down the app or website and abandon the process. Alternatively, they could start to fix themselves up—the problem here is that biometric face authentication doesn’t need tidy hair or perfect mascara, so the delay is unnecessary.
This is why iProov’s user experience has been designed to avoid the ‘jarring’ experience and maximize completion rates. See below for more on this.
We asked users in six countries if they ever suffered from selfie anxiety. While 39% of Americans said yes along with 30% of Brits and 31% of Australians, only 15% of Italians agreed:
We also asked: ‘If you were taking a selfie of yourself to post on social media, how many times would you likely retake it before you were happy with it?’
Of the users who took selfies, we discovered that:
How you look during a biometric face authentication is entirely inconsequential. So, how can enterprises and governments encourage users to complete face verification without delay or postponement?
iProov face verification uses face abstraction technology to ensure that the user experience is optimized for all. A line drawing greets the user, rather than a standard selfie, delivering a more respectful experience – no front-facing-camera-look-at-the-state-of-my-hair shocks. You can find out more about our abstracted image here.
Whether users dislike seeing themselves, like seeing themselves, or sit somewhere in the middle, iProov delivers a respectful user experience that maximizes completion rates.
To see how iProov can help your business to deliver biometric verification and authentication with outstanding usability, high customer completion rates and top-level security – book your demo here or contact us.
May 6 2021
We’ve all been there. After hours of searching online, you find that perfect pair of shoes. You’ve made your decision and it’s time to head to checkout. Trouble is, you can’t remember your password. The site recognizes your email address, so you must have a password. You request a reminder, but it goes into spam and you can’t find it. You give up on the purchase.
If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. Our latest consumer survey data shows that password frustration and abandoned transactions are global problems. In Spain and the US, over half of consumers have abandoned a purchase because of password frustration and Australia, the UK, Canada and Italy are not far behind.
Note that this graph only represents the people who completely abandon their purchase—there are likely countless others that get frustrated yet persevere.
The bottom line? Businesses are losing money because of passwords, owing to increased abandonment rates.
So, on World Password Day, let’s consider why passwords are no longer fit for purpose. Because this is just the tip of the iceberg…
To try and make passwords more secure, consumers are asked to make them more complex, by using numbers, uppercase letters, lowercase letters and special characters. This makes them hard to remember. And if people can’t remember them, they write them down or use the same password on multiple websites…which makes them less secure.
Passwords can be shared, guessed or stolen, which means they aren’t secure. Over 50% of young people admit that they share their log-in details with friends, and 59% of respondents admitted to reusing the same passwords across multiple sites.
Balancing security and usability is difficult: a memorable password is insecure, but a secure password is hard to remember. So, what’s the alternative?
Face biometrics enable organizations to balance security with an effortless user experience. iProov’s face biometric technology is extremely simple for the individual to use while offering the highest levels of security to protect governments, enterprises and individuals against fraud.
iProov provides two technologies to enable organizations to onboard and authenticate customers.
For more information on how iProov can provide your organization with secure online facial verification for remote authentication and onboarding, please email us at email@example.com or fill in our demo form here.
Alternatively, if you’d like more stats and information on the limitations of passwords, download our report The End of the Password here.
April 29 2021
From implementing tech policy at one of the largest American tech companies, to fighting identity fraud at iProov; the young Canadian who read TechCrunch every night is now sitting at the FIDO Alliance table. Anthony Lam, Head of Product, Biometrics at iProov, has always been passionate about tech policy and he’s bringing that passion to iProov. Anthony is now representing cloud-based face verification and working with the leaders in the identity space: FIDO Alliance.
How would you describe your journey to iProov?
I’ve always been a geek about technology. I used to read up on the latest technology blogs and TechCrunch was my most visited website in one year. During university, an incredible role opened up in the policy team at a big American tech company. So I applied, I got accepted, and I just absolutely fell in love with the world of tech policy. I realized tech policy was always behind technology. Technology always comes first, but tech policy cares about the people. Tech policy is the one that regulates and says, no, you can’t do this to citizens, you can’t take all their data and sell it. Tech policy brings ethics to innovation. A few months into the job I realized I knew nothing about technology but wanted to be in a tech role. When I looked at the roles that were available to somebody who didn’t have a tech background, Product seemed to be a great fit. It was sort of a sweet spot between the commercial, the technical and also the policy.
I moved from Canada to London during Brexit, so I was used to working in EU policy and I was quite familiar with the EU world. When Brexit happened, there was an opportunity for the UK to redefine a lot of their terms, renegotiate some of their contracts and their digital portfolio. I noticed cybersecurity, and biometrics specifically, was a space that was very lowly regulated. This was exciting for me and I wanted to get in on it. So I started writing about cybersecurity and that’s when I came across iProov.
What attracted you to iProov?
During Brexit there was a lot happening in tech legislation and internet safety. Then when the coronavirus pandemic hit in March 2020 a lot of companies were also moving remote and the concept of identity fraud was picking up. As mentioned, I love to read up on cybersecurity and I came across a video interview in Startup London, where the CEO of iProov was being interviewed and I fell in love with his passion for making the internet a safer place. And so I Googled roles at iProov and saw a Product Manager role had opened up and I was like, oh, hell yeah!
Nearly a year has passed since I joined the Product team at iProov and I’m in a company where it’s all happening. We’re leaders in a space that people don’t know a lot about. There’s a chance to educate and inform people. From the policy side, we get to establish what that protection looks like. We’re protecting people from being defrauded and hacked. The work we do at iProov is to make the Internet a safer place – that’s our company mission. We’re very driven by that mission and our work with FIDO stems from that.
Tell us a bit about your work with FIDO Alliance!
FIDO Alliance is an industry association focused on authentication standards and helping to reduce the world’s over-reliance on passwords. They’re leaders in the identity space. We joined the FIDO Alliance to help drive some of the standards they were trying to modernize around biometrics – specifically in face verification, where we’re leading the field.
We have nearly a decade of experience under our belt in fighting identity fraud, by using image verification for the face. We’re working with some of the most demanding organizations in the world – the Australian government, the UK Home Office, the NHS, the US Department of Homeland Security and the Singapore and Estonian governments. That experience is proving useful in our work with FIDO.
How is iProov working with FIDO Alliance on establishing standards in the industry, specifically face verification?
Upon joining, we took a leadership position in their working group dedicated to face verification – which is a subgroup of the overarching identity and verification working group. One of the benefits of being a company that produces face verification products is that we work with the latest technologies. So not only are we using the latest models and latest machine learning capabilities, we are also identifying the latest attack vectors that hackers across the world are using to break verification systems. So we’re bringing this expertise to the table when we’re helping to build standards. We’re focused on making sure these standards are modern and they take into account the things that would become fundamental tomorrow or in the future.
Speaking of the future of face biometric policy, what excites you about the future of iProov?
I mentioned at the start that I am in the sweet spot in the company – that also comes with a really big NDA!
And meet more of the iProov team below!
April 28 2021
iProov, the world-leader in cloud-based biometric face authentication, is one of the companies that has been awarded G-Cloud Supplier Status by the UK’s Crown Commercial Service (CCS).
The G-Cloud framework enables public sector departments and organizations to source cloud technology services easily and securely.
iProov’s inclusion in the marketplace further solidifies our position as the leading supplier of online biometric authentication, facial verification, and digital onboarding services to the government and public sector.
The UK government’s G-Cloud initiative has been active since 2012 as part of the wider “Cloud First” policy. It was created so that public sector bodies could access cloud computing technology while shortening the procurement process.
The G-Cloud framework governs the relationship between cloud suppliers and the Crown Commercial Service. The Digital Marketplace acts as an online catalog of the suppliers that have been approved. Government employees can search through the marketplace for trusted providers, and teams can be sure that suppliers listed on the G-Cloud meet UK Government standards.
Being approved on G-Cloud requires a stringent submission process and only certain companies are allowed to appear on the marketplace. Just 5000 suppliers made it into this year’s G-Cloud framework.
The government releases a new version of the G-Cloud framework around every 9 months. More than £7 billion worth of cloud services have been purchased using the G-Cloud framework since its inception.
iProov can be found on G-Cloud for a number of services. These include:
iProov’s inclusion in the framework further builds on our position as a trusted service provider to public sectors and governments. We work closely with governments and public sectors across the world, including the Australian government, the US Department of Homeland Security, and GovTech Singapore. Genuine Presence Assurance is trusted by government and public sector organizations because it provides the utmost security, without compromising user experience or inclusivity.
G-Cloud also reflects continued support from the UK government; we have been working with the UK Home Office since November 2019, working with Worldreach Software to support the EU Settlement Scheme.
This is the third year iProov has been included on the G-Cloud Digital Marketplace – we have been a verified supplier on both G-Cloud 10 and 11, offering cloud technology services to the UK public sector for several years. We have four products currently listed on G-Cloud:
Find an in-depth focus on iProov products here. iProov can be found on the G-Cloud digital marketplace under the following categories: Application Security, Information and Communications Technology, Operations Management, and Software Development Tools.
We look forward to working with customers in the UK government and public sector, both old and new!
March 23 2021
iProov won three gold awards at the Cybersecurity Excellence Awards, picking up accolades for the best industry solution in the Financial Services, Government, and Identity Proofing & Corroboration sectors.
These wins provide further validation both of iProov’s growth and the value of its mission: to bring trust to the internet. As recognized by the Cybersecurity Excellence Awards, iProov had a stellar 2020—we announced a number of new customers, delivering security and trust particularly to government and financial services organizations. For example:
With iProov, Singapore residents can now securely access government services using biometric face verification. Residents can complete a range of tasks, such as filing tax returns, accessing over 500 different services.
In 2020 the US Department of Homeland Security announced it was moving into pilot phase on a project to enable border crossings to be streamlined while also maintaining a high degree of security and identity status.
iProov announced in June 2020 that we would be providing biometric face verification technology to Knab, the Dutch challenger bank. This means that customers who want to authenticate sensitive transactions online can now do so safely and securely.
What are the Cybersecurity Excellence Awards?
The Cybersecurity Excellence Awards seek to recognize companies that display excellence, innovation, and leadership in digital security.
The awards are run by Cybersecurity Insiders, an organization followed by over 400,000 infosec members and cybersecurity professionals online. The awards have a global scope, honoring the top companies and solutions in cybersecurity across the world. These awards are selected through the strength of each nomination and by public popular vote.
This was the 6th annual installment of the Cybersecurity Excellence Awards.
If your organization requires world-leading biometric technology for onboarding and authenticating remote customers, iProov can help. Book a demo today. Alternatively, here are two pieces of content we think you’ll enjoy:
March 18 2021
The BBC recently reported on a new technology that is raising the dead.
OK, maybe not literally. But, using deepfake technology, a company called MyHeritage allows visitors to upload a photograph of deceased family members, which can then be animated into video.
The company says that it’s intended “for nostalgic use…to bring beloved ancestors back to life”. But once again, it reminds us that deepfakes can pose a threat to society, governments, and enterprises.
Deepfakes are videos or images created using AI-powered software to show people saying and doing things that they didn’t say or do. They have been used for pranks and entertainment, but also for more malicious purposes. The number of deepfake videos posted online is more than doubling year-on-year.
This is why iProov Genuine Presence Assurance is so important. iProov verifies that a user is the right person, a real person, and that they are authenticating right now. This unique capability enables organizations to authenticate customers using face verification while protecting against the use of deepfakes and other synthetic media.
Let’s take a quick look at the ways that deepfake technology could be used by fraudsters to commit financial crime:
Ghost fraud refers to the process of using the data of a deceased person to impersonate them for financial gain. Ghost fraudsters can use a stolen identity of an individual to access online services, savings, and credit scores, along with applying for cards, loans, or benefits. Using deepfakes of the dead, criminals could make ghost fraud far more convincing.
New account fraud, also known as application fraud, is when fraudsters use fake or stolen identities specifically to open bank accounts. Fraudsters can max out credit limits under the account name or take out loans that are never paid back. New account fraud is growing, accounting for $3.4 billion losses, and deepfakes of the dead could be used by fraudsters in their crimes.
Synthetic identity fraud is a sophisticated and hard-to-spot form of online fraud. Fraudsters create identities using information from multiple people. Instead of stealing one identity—such as a recently deceased person’s name, address, and social security number—synthetic fraudsters use a blend of fake, real, and stolen information to create a “person” who doesn’t exist.
Fraudsters use synthetic identities to apply for credit/debit cards or complete other transactions that help build a credit score for non-existent customers. A deepfake of a deceased person could be used to bolster a synthetic identity.
Another potential use of deepfakes of the dead is in annuity/pension, insurance, or benefit fraud. A deceased person could continue to claim a pension for years, whether by a professional fraudster or a family member. Genuine Presence Assurance from iProov can provide insurers and governments with the proof-of-life assurance that is needed to avoid such fraud.
Financial crime is estimated to cost around $1.4 to $3.5 trillion in the US annually. Crucially, Mckinsey found that forms of synthetic identity fraud are the fastest-growing types of financial crime. And this was before Covid-19, when the use of digital channels to complete everyday tasks increased.
Deepfake technology is, ultimately, a form of synthetic media. It’s powered by artificial intelligence and deep learning. AI neural networks are trained on a dataset of images and video, learning to generate a person’s likeness onto another. The more data it has, the more accurately it can generate a likeness, match mannerisms and expressions, and the more realistic the fake videos can be.
Deepfakes have been garnering increased attention in the public eye. You may have seen fake videos of celebrities circulating social media without even realizing it. Think back to the Zuckerberg video of 2019, which was followed closely by Facebook’s sitewide ban of synthetic video in January 2020. More recently, a computer-generated video of Tom Cruise on TikTok went viral across the web. There was also Channel 4’s infamous deepfake of the Queen, who delivered an alternative Christmas message in the UK.
But what about regulation and legislation? There must be some restrictions, right?
Well, not quite. Regulations are coming. The US government approved a bill in November last year, ordering further research into deepfakes. The UK government is currently evaluating legislation to ban non-consensual deepfake videos.
Enterprises and governments need to protect their citizens and customers. Consumers are already concerned about deepfakes. We found in our report, The Threat of Deepfakes, that:
The use of deepfakes is growing, as is synthetic identity fraud. Retail banking, regulated insurance, and payment gateway providers are key targets for deepfake crime.
Many deepfake videos are low quality. At the same time, there are ways of spotting if a video is likely to be a deepfake—changes in eye color, inconsistencies around the hairline, and other visual strangeness. However, don’t be misled: deepfake technology is becoming more and more sophisticated. Deepfakes that can’t be detected with the human eye are already out there.
iProov’s Genuine Presence Assurance technology protects organizations and users against the threat of deepfake fraud. Our patented solution uses a series of colors in light to verify that a person is the right person, a real person, authenticating right now. This means that banks, governments and other organizations can use face biometric authentication to securely verify the identity of users.
Find out more: The Deepfake Threat
March 11 2021
iProov has been crowned the Gold Winner of Best Biometric Solution at the 2021 Cyber Security Global Excellence Awards. We won the award for our patented Genuine Presence Assurance technology, which enables organizations to onboard and authenticate customers securely and effortlessly.
2020 proved that online identity verification is a necessity in our digital-first world. And so, iProov rose to the challenge: last year, the number of people authenticating with iProov grew by over 549%.
We were recognized for our role in providing services for organizations such as the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the UK Home Office, GovTech Singapore, and the UK National Health Service (NHS).
iProov replaces the need for an in-person identity check, enhancing security and convenience. Our technology defends against a wide range of biometric attack vectors, from presentation attacks (the use of photographs, masks, or replayed video presented to the device to spoof the system) to more sophisticated and highly scalable threats (like digital injection attacks using replayed or synthetic video, including deepfakes).
What are the Cyber Security Global Excellence Awards?
The Cyber Security Global Excellence Awards are run by the Globee Business Awards to promote outstanding achievement in digital security and information technology across the world. In the Biometric Solution category, the judges search particularly for advanced and ground-breaking products that are setting new standards in biometric technology.
This was the 17th annual installment of the Cyber Security Global Excellence Awards, and iProov’s first time winning (but surely not the last!)
Want to know more about how your organization could benefit from iProov’s face verification technology? Book a demo today. Alternatively, here are two pieces of content we think you’ll enjoy:
March 8 2021
It’s International Women’s Day and we decided to celebrate by hearing from some of the talented women that work here at iProov. We asked them two questions:
1: What’s your favourite thing about working in the technology industry?
Sital: The technology industry is incredibly fast-paced. At iProov we’re on the bleeding edge of technology innovation – what we’re doing has a material impact on keeping my friends and family safe online. We make something incredibly powerful and sophisticated easy to use for those that aren’t so tech-savvy. It also means that I get to work with incredibly talented people in domains I never knew existed.
Susannah: I’m exposed to job functions that I wouldn’t usually come across in my day to day life. I love being surrounded by innovation and intelligence which fuels my creativity as a marketer.
Freya: There is an amazing community of technology professionals. Though women aren’t equally represented (yet) in all areas of tech, the strength of them is mighty. They’re always willing to share their stories, experiences, and insights to help others.
Bilyana: The technology industry is focused on breaking new ground and it’s the place where new inventive ideas and things are created. It’s exciting working in an environment full of variety, challenge, growth and advancement.
Lynne: Technology underpins so much of what we do in the world. Being part of something meaningful and that can have a material impact on everyone’s daily lives is hugely exciting.
Martina: Every day is a new challenge and a good opportunity to learn something new. It’s great to work in such an innovative and fast-paced environment where everyone supports each other to solve problems and achieve goals.
Reena: It’s the way forwards. To know that I am a part of this fast paced and innovative industry excites me and makes me even more passionate about my contributions and the value my role adds.
Mirielle: No two days are the same. There’s always new technology and innovations around the corner that fuel my ideas. It’s great being on a journey where you are contributing to making a difference on how people interact with technology in their everyday lives.
Sarah: The technology industry is full of very bright people, which means that you’re challenged (in a positive way) every single day.
Trupti: I’m the only person in tech and science from my banking family. I enjoy working in tech as well as teaching. My interest began in tech and teaching more when I trained visually impaired students with customised ORCA in 2009. Working in tech is making someone’s life better with innovation. I like attending meetups and I was an active volunteer for PyLadies Mumbai and Drupal meetups. Lockdown did not stop me – I organised and conducted the first online PyLadies meetup in March 2020. I always keep myself updated in tech by reading, listening to healthy debates and keeping myself open to learning from everyone around me.
Aarti: Technology is one of the very few industries that shifts the way the world lives and people behave. Technology work environments are often cradles for new concepts to take shape. It touches many other sectors. You can work in technology and play a part in healthcare or agriculture or entertainment! The variety, constant evolution and an opportunity to leave a good legacy behind are some of the reasons why I love working in tech!
2: What advice would you give to a young woman starting out their career today?
Sital: Do something that you enjoy and plays to your skills, as career choices today are much wider and varied. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and don’t doubt your capabilities.
Susannah: Believe in yourself and your capabilities. Trust your instincts and use your voice. There’s a place for you at the table – take a seat and join us!
Freya: Take your time and trust yourself. You absolutely don’t have to know what you want to do or feel like you’re behind because you’re not an expert by age 25. And don’t be afraid to ask questions (yes, even the ones that you feel stupid asking); you’re learning, it’s allowed.
Bilyana: Try to learn as much as you can, don’t be shy to ask questions and show confidence in your work. Life is full of obstacles that you will overcome but also with opportunities to be taken.
Lynne: Learn as much as you can about whatever type of work you choose to do. Look for inspiring people and learn from them. Be curious, interested and passionate and be prepared to get things wrong and learn from your mistakes.
Martina: Don’t be shy! Express yourself. A positive and passionate mindset is the key to success.
Reena: Don’t let anyone hold you back. You can do and be whatever you want. Believe in yourself, set realistic goals, network with others, ask questions, learn from your mistakes and those of others. Write down your strengths and achievements in a book and keep adding to this over the years. If you ever find yourself doubting yourself or just feel like it’s becoming too much to handle, go back to that book and remind yourself of what you have achieved and your success so far. Keep going.
Mirielle: Determination to succeed. Don’t be afraid to share your ideas no matter how insignificant you think they are. Work with your colleagues to build on those ideas and create something amazing!
Sarah: There’s a famous quotation – “Whether you think you can or can’t, you’re right” – so be courageous and believe in yourself. And always work for a good boss.
Trupti: Just be yourself, enjoy your work and never compare.
Aarti: Adapt, pivot, learn, grow! There is no such thing as “career for life”. Don’t be afraid to change career tracks. Never second guess yourself! Trust your instincts and follow your vision 🙂
December 15 2020
In December 2019, everyone at iProov met in our office and discussed predictions for 2020. We talked about digital transformation, particularly in financial services, government, and health. But nobody predicted a pandemic.
By December 2020—after a year of living, learning, and working online—digital transformation had accelerated beyond all expectations. On what was surely the 10,000th iProov Zoom call of the year, we debated our predictions for 2021 and agreed that it is going to be another big year for digital identity and biometrics.
So, without further ado, here are the topline predictions we think 2021 will bring for the future of biometrics and digital identity…
We can expect to see an explosion in the quality and quantity of deepfake usage in 2021. Some of it will be for light-hearted pranking, like Joe Biden turning up to family Zoom calls. Some will be for entertainment—like the makers of South Park are using deepfakes for their weekly online satire show, or creating AI-generated deepfakes from photographs of the dead.
But we’ll also see deepfakes being used for disinformation and fraud. Celebrities, politicians, and experts will be shown saying things that they’ve never said. Armies of ‘fake people’ who look and sound real will share disinformation on an enormous scale online, making people believe that thousands of people hold a contentious opinion, when in fact none of those people even exist.
It has become increasingly simple to create a very high-quality, sophisticated deepfake. What was once a very complicated process, only really possible in Hollywood movie studios is now something that any teenager sitting in their bedroom can execute proficiently. The arms race between misuse of convincing deepfake technology and the technology companies, governments, and businesses that are protecting society and democracy will intensify as a result.
Within the next 12 months, banking regulators in global territories—including Europe and the far East—will authorize the use of automated biometrics instead of video calling for remote Know Your Customer (KYC) processes. Just as in 2019, when a well-publicized voice fraud scam duped a high-profile CEO, by the end of the year there will have been several criminal money-laundering scandals arising from the use of deepfakes in video calls. Countering this could very well mean that several countries, including the United States, also take concrete steps towards instituting government-backed digital identities. This will be an important step towards enabling financial institutions and government departments to verify identity and mitigate fraud in bank onboarding and government support programs.
Goodbye, anonymous trolls. To curb abuse and rebuild trust, social media platforms will offer additional capabilities to verify their users. Like the blue checkmark on Twitter, online identities will become easily recognizable as genuine. Currently, this type of confirmation is a manual process reserved for high-profile accounts in the public interest. To automate verification and extend a badge of trust to more users, social media platforms will need to deploy strong, irrefutable authentication that a user is a real human being.
Biometrics offers the effortless usability and accuracy of authentication that will be needed to do this at scale. Informed choice and consent will help to ease privacy concerns and objections.
Video doctor visits, same-day prescription home deliveries, and online symptom checks are just some of the emergency measures put in place in several countries to provide safe patient access to medical services during the pandemic. Laws were temporarily relaxed to allow for quick innovations that will most likely become a permanent fixture of modern healthcare. But these conveniences cannot become commonplace without putting some additional safety and privacy measures in place. One example is using remote biometric identification to protect patient privacy, verify identity, and prevent abuse of services, such as prescription management.
One of the reasons that the US is lagging in digitization is that there is no centralized, trustworthy source of online identification. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted two significant issues with this: first, the dependence on physical document checks to open bank accounts or access government services, when technology can now verify identity better than humans. Second, the inability to prevent fraud when government support programs are ramped up to cope with crises. Government-backed digital identities will allow banks and other institutions to securely verify the identity of customers and citizens online, giving those individuals access to a broader range of services, while cutting back on the risk of fraud.
Contactless travel and curb-to-gate self-service will make border crossings safer and faster. The Department of Homeland Security plans to pilot an integrated solution from iProov to enable travelers to quickly transit remote border ports using their personal devices to report their entry and exit to CBP―without requiring the direct engagement of a CBP Officer in person or online―with a secure, privacy-focused mobile application.
In Europe, as part of its railway innovation initiative, Eurostar is planning deployment of iProov biometric technology to authenticate tickets via an optional walk-through biometric facial verification corridor. Transportation experiences that offer contactless checks allow travelers to more easily practice health guidelines to maintain physical distance from others and minimize contact with high-touch surfaces.
The pandemic is pushing everyone online, whether they like it or not. This should be treated as a real opportunity to provide older generations and technology newcomers with access to services that they wouldn’t otherwise have had.
In 2021, this will result in three things:
Matchmaking sites will adopt biometric authentication to make it easier to distinguish deceptive dating practices such as catfishing. More than a quarter of dating website users were duped by fake personas over the past year. With face-to-face interaction greatly diminished in the pandemic, people of all ages are going online, not just to find love but also to socialize and connect with other humans at a safe distance.
Find out more about how iProov is helping customers such as the Singapore Government, the National Health Service, the UK Home Office, Rabobank, Knab Bank, and Eurostar by viewing our case studies.
…And read iProov’s predictions for 2022 here!
December 2 2020
2020 has been an online year: we’ve had to socialize online, work online, learn online, and do our admin, shopping, banking, healthcare and everything else online. It’s not surprising that online crime has also increased.
More than ever before, we need to be able to check that an individual online is who they claim to be. Governments need to check the identity of people applying for support programs, banks need to check the identity of customers who can no longer come into branches, organizations running secure conference calls need to make sure that they’re not being infiltrated by the wrong people.
The answer to all of the above is biometric Genuine Presence Assurance.
We thought we’d share some of the year’s most newsworthy examples of when Genuine Presence Assurance would have been helpful:
It’s a big price to pay for leaving your laptop open: Mohammad Faraji ended up with a bill for £19,000 after his six-year-old son bought a monster truck on eBay. Mr Faraji had been using PayPal for years for small payments and was shocked that the huge amount was processed without any security check. Genuine Presence Assurance would have enabled a quick ‘step-up authentication‘ to check that Mr Faraji was indeed the person agreeing to pay £19,000.
It was audacious but they nearly got away with $58m. A group of fraudsters pretended to be Jean-Yves Le Drian, now French foreign minister but at the time the minister for defense. The criminals targeted 150 people and organizations, requesting funds by phone and video call for secret missions. In the Skype calls, one of the gang wears a custom-made mask of Mr Le Drian in a fake office, complete with flags and a portrait of the French President. Genuine Presence Assurance can verify identity on conference calls, ensuring that sensitive conversations are held in total confidence that the individuals are who they say they are. Secondly, as the name suggests, Genuine Presence Assurance detects that a user is a real human being – it recognizes masks and other presentation attacks, such as photographs.
Another example of audacity: the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) reported this year that the email address of a Premier League football club’s managing director was hacked during a transfer negotiation. It was only the intervention of the club’s bank that stopped £1m being paid to the criminals. Transfers are often done under intense time pressure – even if you’re not a Premiership football club, time pressure creates a perfect opportunity for criminals to dupe your employees. Genuine Presence Assurance can ensure that only certain individuals can set up new payees or authorize large payments on bank accounts.
Imagine wrapping up a work call and suddenly Elon Musk appears, apologizing for accessing the wrong meeting and complimenting you on your hair. This scenario, demonstrated by the team at Avatarify, went viral earlier this year showing the power of deepfake technology. It might not have been seamless but it demonstrated the potential of being able to take any face and make it say anything. Genuine Presence Assurance has been designed to detect deepfakes and other synthetic media – as deepfakes become more sophisticated, it is becoming impossible for people to tell the difference between real and fake. Only technology will be able to protect against their malicious use on conference calls, or for accessing devices or secure services.
This final example shows what’s at stake with insecure conference calls: a journalist managed to guess his way onto a confidential video conference of EU defense ministers when the Dutch defense minister accidentally posted some of the login details on Twitter. “You know that you have been jumping into a secret conference?” EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell says. “You know it’s a criminal offence, huh? You’d better sign off quickly before the police arrives.” It’s easy to blame over-enthusiastic tweeting, but the responsibility lies with the people running the conference: if it needs to be secure, Genuine Presence Assurance is the only way to ensure that only the right identifiable and verifiable human beings are joining the call.
Genuine Presence Assurance verifies that an individual is:
Read our Genuine Presence Assurance case studies, showing how banks, governments, social networks, healthcare providers, travel organizations and more are protecting their customers and organizations from online fraud and other cybercrime.
November 24 2020
Earlier this year, iProov published data showing that the average American abandons an online purchase 16 times a year because they can’t remember their password. It’s not much better in the UK; the average Brit abandons 15 purchases a year.
Think of all the frustrated customers trying to remember their passwords. Think of the millions of dollars of lost sales. Think of all the marketing budget invested in getting a customer to the point where they’re ready to pay…and then an unnecessarily clunky log-in process that hasn’t changed much in 20 years sends them away.
Biometric authentication provides two things that passwords cannot offer: security and usability. Passwords can be stolen or guessed. Your real face cannot be stolen. Liveness detection enables customers to complete a face scan lasting a few seconds, which confirms that they are the right person (replacing the need for a password) and that they are a real person.
This means that customers get a simple, convenient, hassle-free way to log into a website within seconds, which prevents abandoned purchases. Retailers, on the other hand, can increase their security against fraud.
Consider the difference between passwords and Liveness Assurance from iProov:
Using iProov Liveness Assurance:
It’s time to bring authentication into the 21st century. Let’s aim for a Black Friday without the password frustration and abandoned purchases in 2021. Read more about passwordless authentication from iProov.
November 19 2020
iProov CEO, Andrew Bud, talks to the Mobile Ecosystem Forum about his career – from engineering a faster chocolate Flake machine to creating iProov and Genuine Presence Assurance.
November 10 2020
A big thank you to everyone who joined our webinar on Face the Challenge: Singapore’s Solution to Digital ID Verification.
We were honored to have Quek Sin Kwok, Senior Director of National Digital Identity at the Government Technology Agency of Singapore (GovTech), as our guest on the panel.
He was joined by iProov’s founder and CEO, Andrew Bud, and by Dr Foong Wai Keong from systems integrator, Toppan Ecquaria.
The webinar kicked off with a presentation from Dominic Foon at GovTech. He talked about Singapore’s Smart Nation initiative and the role that national digital identity plays in growing the economy. He also provided an overview of the SingPass platform, which is used by 4 million Singapore residents to transact with over 400 digital services.
Dominic also explained the importance of GovTech’s biometrics-as-a-service platform. This enables private enterprises to take advantage of the government’s National Digital Identity (NDI) infrastructure, offering simplified face authentication to customers without the business needing to invest in biometric systems. A local bank using the NDI platform has already seen thousands of authentications with a high success rate.
A panel discussion followed the presentation. Some of the points covered on the webinar include:
You can watch the on-demand webinar here.
October 23 2020
Barnes & Noble, the US bookseller, has become the latest brand to notify its customers about a data breach.
Customer email addresses, billing and shipping addresses, telephone numbers, and order histories may have been exposed during the breach.
But does anybody care? Does ‘data breach fatigue’ mean that most people take little to no notice of such occurrences? When iProov completed a consumer survey earlier this year, it showed that 39% of UK consumers and 36% of Americans who had experienced a data breach have now taken the attitude to “just put up with it” when it happens. 10% and 12% respectively went even further and said the breaches “don’t bother me”.
Why is this? Is our assumption that nothing really bad can happen – the database was stolen, criminals might now know our names, addresses, email addresses and what books we bought. It’s a retailer. As long as my bank account is secure, I’m OK – right?
Wrong. It doesn’t matter if a criminal steals your email address from your bank or from the tiny website that you used once to buy a Hallowe’en outfit for a pet dog – an email address is an email address and chances are that you’ve used it elsewhere. If criminals can break into enough weak databases, they can acquire pots of data that can be pooled. That pooled data can then provide enough information on you to give your own mother a run for her money.
1) We ensure that stolen data cannot be used to create bank accounts or apply for credit cards.
Stolen data is always a means to an end, whether that’s money laundering, theft, or malicious intent. Money laundering relies on being able to open bank accounts using stolen identities or fake names.
But criminals cannot steal your physical face. Genuine Presence Assurance from iProov is used by banks and other enterprises to make sure that online accounts can only be opened by a live human being, whose face matches the image held in a trusted identity document and who is genuinely present at that very moment to complete the authentication. If banks are using Genuine Presence Assurance, stolen identity data cannot be used.
2) We ensure that ongoing authentication is secure.
If a criminal attempts to take over a consumer’s existing account using stolen data – a bank account, an Ebay or other retail account, or any kind of account – they can’t do it if the business or service in question insists on an iProov verification for sensitive or flagged transactions. Again – the criminal can’t steal a physical face, so iProov stops them from taking over the account and doing any damage.
“Data breach fatigue is a worrying trend, because as consumers are losing interest in data theft, criminals are getting better and better at it,” says Andrew Bud, CEO of iProov. “The implications of breaches are severe: global crime is being facilitated through money laundering, while consumers, businesses and governments are losing millions of dollars through fraud due to identity theft every year. We need to stop seeing it as an occupational hazard of living and working online.”
“With Genuine Presence Assurance, banks, governments, healthcare providers and other organizations can protect themselves and their customers against fraud, while also playing their part in preventing money laundering and other organized crime.”
60% of consumers have had to change a password after a breach
37% of those have had it happen 3 times or more
51% get annoyed about it but 37% say they ‘just put up with it’ and 11% say it doesn’t bother them
36% have had to cancel a debit/credit card because of a breach.
October 8 2020
Trolling is a growing issue for social networks, forums, news sites, and any online site where someone can anonymously comment without any real repercussions. 71% of people don’t feel like social platforms are doing enough to fight the problem of virtual harassment.
Social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter are working to reduce trolling. When fake or abusive accounts get reported, what efforts do they actually make to ensure the troll doesn’t just set up another account under an anonymous or fake alias? Twitter recently banned high profile celebrities for their abusive tweets, such as Katie Hopkins and Wiley for breaking the conduct rules. But how can they prevent future abuse?
In a recent interview with the i, iProov CEO Andrew Bud, CBE said: “The scope for minor key forms of terror that can be injected into social networks if you don’t have good accountability of people’s behaviour is huge, and face verification is the way in which you can identify and stop trolls. iProov has the capability to do that on a very large scale, very reliably.”
At iProov, our mission is to make the internet a safer place, by building trust online with our biometric authentication technology. There is great potential for the introduction of biometrics to verify users on social platforms and safeguard communities from abusive behaviour. In early July we helped launch the first use of biometric safeguarding with an intergenerational mentoring platform, bloomd. The launch of the platform, originally planned for later this year, was brought forward to help support those impacted by loneliness or isolation during the pandemic.
bloomd uses biometric authentication as a ‘virtual doorperson’ so that anyone who violates the code of conduct will be banned, even if they attempt to sign up with a different name or email address. Not only does this safeguard the users within the community, but it will hold people accountable to misuse or trolling.
By integrating iProov’s Genuine Presence Assurance into the registration process, social platforms will ensure that users are real humans and not bots. Our biometric authentication confirms in a short ceremony that the user is the right person, a real person, and authenticating right now. The one-time biometric prevents account takeover from cyber criminals. iProov provides a secure way of preventing trolls from signing up under a different name to continue their abusive behaviour, as their iProov authentication will confirm if they have been banned previously.
So how long will it take for more social networks to protect their users from trolls and fake news? We hope platforms like bloomd will set a precedent for change. To find out more about how bloomd works, watch the webcast here.
Read more on how iProov can be used for safeguarding here.
October 5 2020
iProov’s SVP Revenue, Luke Moore, spoke with Mvine’s Director of Communications, Joseph Spear to find out more. First, we asked Joseph about Mvine’s unique background and how they got to where they are today. We delve into exactly what is included in the antibody test status digital passport and how it will work for users. And finally, how Mvine and iProov collaborated to ensure the project was delivered on time, in just two months, and to budget, with the help of the customer success team at iProov.
Watch the webcast below, and to learn more, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
September 30 2020
iProov’s partner, NorthRow recently reached its 10 year anniversary, which is a significant milestone. Congratulations!
We took the opportunity to speak to NorthRow’s CEO, Adrian Black, to find out more about the history of one of the UK’s leading RegTech firms, understand the services they provide, and more importantly, why the NorthRow-iProov partnership is a powerful combination for remote onboarding.
My last corporate job was at the Daily Mail Group. They run a lot of online businesses which means that online fraud has been a continuing problem. At the time of working there, the Metropolitan Police had set up Operation Sterling, which was an anti-fraud initiative. They created industry-specific forums to share intelligence and fight online fraud. For three years I helped establish, and then chaired one of those fraud forums, working with the Police, the Information Commissioner’s Office, and other leading players in online automotive classified advertising. I was keen to get involved and influence the fight against online fraud.
We developed an active and effective means of intelligence sharing which resulted in blocking fraudulent advertisements with a face value of around £250m in the first few years of operation. This success, in helping tackle automotive classified advertising fraud, led to meetings with other industry sectors and helped me identify an opportunity to tackle the fraud challenges that they also faced.
It was clear that technology could provide an improved solution by automating intelligence sharing. So in 2010, I decided to start a new venture to use data to tackle this area of financial crime. I wrote the business plan, financial model, and prototype software aimed at a range of classified advertising sectors, which then grew into the broad service we offer today to regulated businesses.
NorthRow provides technology to digitally transform complex client onboarding, monitoring and KYC remediation processes to improve the customers’ experience, reduce compliance spend and help to ensure regulatory obligations are met.
By automating much of the onboarding process NorthRow simplifies the complexity of compliance, enabling clients to perform Know Your Business (KYB) and Know Your Customer (KYC) verification efficiently.
A key differentiator for NorthRow is that we deliver our highly configurable solution via a single API that can be plugged into clients’ onboarding and monitoring systems, to support different stages and processes. One size doesn’t always fit all for this type of process so our single API is easily customized to help drive operational efficiencies and compliance obligations.
We offer a fully remote verification service called RemoteVerify that captures and verifies the biometrics and ID documents of the end-user for our clients. To ensure we offer our clients the best remote onboarding experience, we integrated iProov’s market-leading Flashmark facial verification technology. By adding Genuine Presence Assurance to RemoteVerify we have further enhanced the user experience and enable regulated businesses to know that each individual checked is not only a real person but also the right person and that they are genuinely present.
I think there are three main reasons:
Companies that view client due diligence as a simple tick-box exercise are not just at risk of failing to fulfill their compliance obligations to the regulators, but also the broader moral, economic, and societal efforts.
Society should care about the reasons why we have regulations in place, and business leaders should build a culture within their teams that promotes a better understanding of the importance of compliance.
Yes, I have seen a number of examples where businesses have tried to tick a box or undertake the bare minimum requirements. Thankfully there have been improvements in awareness and enforcement so there are fewer cases. But just collecting identity documents is nothing like sufficient.
In the past, I have seen businesses that have adopted the ‘I’ve been sent a document, taken a copy and stuck it in a digital filing cabinet, so I’m fine’ mentality. Unfortunately, these businesses have been exposed to fraud which has not only cost them financially in fines but also loss of revenue through reputational damage.
Once a criminal gang finds an organization that has left itself exposed, they sweep in and systematically attack over a longer period of time. And before they know it, the business has been exposed to fraud or has facilitated massive money laundering without even realizing it.
Fortunately, the clients we work with have taken a proactive approach to protecting their business and want to benefit from the digital transformation of their compliance processes.
At NorthRow we prevent that exposure to fraud by collecting and verifying all required documents, electronically and automatically in order to make the process more efficient. It’s not just about onboarding, but the entire process of periodic reviews, remediation, and monitoring.
Regulated businesses should learn from past mistakes and place the entire lifecycle at the heart of their compliance strategy
An important part of the process is to have the capacity to complete an expert review only when you need to. Not all clients require review – just those that are high risk. By using a digital solution that can be tailored to the requirements of the organization costs can be kept to a minimum and resources allocated to the right areas with an amber management approach that flags high-risk clients.
It’s not enough to collect documents. It’s also about asking: where has this document come from? Is it definitely associated with this individual? And therefore you need to see the individual. And to ‘see’ an individual who isn’t physically in front of you, you need to carry out a ‘Genuine Presence Assurance’ check. That’s why we partnered with iProov.
At NorthRow, we have to be experts in what we do. That means we want every one of our suppliers and partners to be class-leading in their own specialty. So we need high-performing, robust technology from our partners. But just as importantly, we want partners that care. We want partners who share values and enjoy working with us, where we can genuinely grow together. That was an early appeal of iProov, even before the technology. We like the company. We like the approach. We like the people and the tech’s great as well.
How does iProov enhance your service?
We can collect documents and images of people through our app. But we also need the Genuine Presence Assurance checks to enable us to deliver the additional level of verification to protect against sophisticated cybercriminals. iProov has really clever, patented tech that identifies impersonation attacks. The technology arms race is developing as cybercriminals continue to invest in clever tech. so we need to ensure we stay one step ahead.
In the future, I think there’s going to be an increasing need for protection against those more sophisticated replay or injection attacks, which iProov helps protect against. Really risk-averse clients, of which there are many, really care about that.
Remote onboarding is just going to accelerate in my view. Demand has been steadily increasing and now it’s seeing exponential growth as a result of Covid-19. Initially, larger companies were reluctant to adopt, but now they have little choice as consumer demand is driving the market to deploy even more services online.
I can hear the organized criminal gangs cheering as that makes their life so much easier – online activity facilitates increased crime. In our partnership with iProov, we can jointly meet the growing and accelerating demand for remote onboarding with a safe and robust solution that reduces the options for cybercriminals. And together, we can support our clients adapt to the current challenges and allow them to digitally grow their business and operate safely and remotely. That’s really important.
September 22 2020
iProov is proud to announce today that Andrew Bud, our founder and CEO, has been made a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering.
His election comes in recognition of his outstanding and continuing contribution to the engineering profession.
“I always wanted to be an engineer. It was such a miraculous idea that by the power of thought and action you could conjure into being objects that worked and did clever and useful things.
“And then it was my parents’ dream – they could conceive of no higher calling. That was also my rare good fortune: to be supported by values that valued engineering.
“It wasn’t that common. As a student, I would go to parties and admit I was an engineer. If I was lucky, girls would ask me what kind of lawyer that was. Fortunately, the mood changed suddenly in the early 1980s, and for a period it became glamorous – a little like “building a start-up” nowadays.”
After completing his Masters degree in Engineering at the University of Cambridge, Andrew started his career at the UK Atomic Energy Authority Culham Laboratory for Fusion Research. He then moved to PA Technology where, in his words, he “designed a new catflap, spent time on an oil rig and wrote the software for the fastest chocolate Flake machine in the world.”
It was there that he got involved in the project to build the world’s first digital mobile phone and fell in love with telecommunications. During his time at Olivetti in Italy he led the project to design the Omnitel network, followed by a series of other pioneering and ground-breaking mobile technology projects.
Having spotted the opportunity of SMS, he set up mBlox, which became the world’s largest provider of SMS transmission for enterprise applications. He also helped found a new trade association, which became the Mobile Ecosystem Forum and continues to support vendors from every part of the mobile value chain
At mBlox he recognized the need for remote identity verification and the threat of replay attacks. This led to iProov.
Andrew sums it up:
“I believe that the career of an engineer is defined by the nature of the challenges they choose to face, rather than by a specific sector of technology.
“In the 1980s I took part in the microprocessor revolution, during which products of every kind were completely reengineered to respond to the disruption of microelectronics.
“In the 1990s I was privileged to be a pioneer in the dawn and flowering of the mobile communications revolution, which then evolved in the 2000s into the mobile applications revolution.
“The new challenge – the search for trust in digital identity – is perhaps even bigger and more vital than its predecessor.”
“I hope that many bright young engineers forge their careers in the excitement and challenge of the journey, and just as many can treasure their time in start-ups, scale-ups and, ultimately, the great corporations they build, and say ‘We conjured into being things that worked and did clever and useful things, for the benefit of our fellows and of all mankind’. As my parents believed, there is no higher calling.”
Andrew was also made a CBE in the 2020 New Year Honours.
September 9 2020
iProov recently announced its launch of the world’s first global threat intelligence system for biometric assurance. The iProov Security Operations Centre (iSOC) is fundamental in detecting, blocking, and learning from sophisticated cyber attacks that are attempted every single day against our customers worldwide.
So to explain exactly why the iSOC is needed, and what it does for our customers using iProov Genuine Presence Assurance technology, we spoke to iProov CTO, Dominic Forrest.
In the ten minute webcast, Dominic takes us through three key points:
To learn more about the growing threat of Deepfakes, download our latest free report here.
August 26 2020
Do you suffer from selfie anxiety? If so, you’re not alone. According to our survey, 34% of people in the UK and US class themselves as having selfie anxiety – either they don’t know how to take a selfie, or they don’t like how they look in them, or they just don’t like taking pictures of themselves.
In fact, 63% of the people we surveyed said that they don’t like how they look on mobile video calls, which is selfie anxiety in all but name.
Let’s be clear: iProov’s face verification doesn’t use selfies. An individual sending a selfie (sometimes known as single frame liveness) to prove their identity online is not secure. iProov uses a brief facial scan that allows you to confirm that you are the right person, a real person, authenticating right now when you use your mobile device or computer to access a service online. The short ‘ceremony’ as we call it lasts a few seconds and gives you the reassurance that your identity and privacy are being protected online.
So we don’t use selfies. But selfie anxiety still matters to us, because we care very much about user experience. If 63% of people don’t like seeing themselves on a mobile device, then that would make the face biometric authentication experience unpleasant for a very large number of people.
This is the interface that a user sees when they authenticate themselves with iProov Genuine Presence Assurance:
Why did we use a line drawing instead of a mirror view of the user’s face? How did this user interface come about?
Stage 1: It Started With Real Images
It happens to us all: your phone switches to camera mode and you realise with horror that your hair is sticking up. You immediately start fixing it. The problem here is that users don’t need to look their best for biometric authentication, as sticky-up hair or smudged mascara don’t affect the accuracy of the result at all. But our natural instinct when faced with a full image of ourselves is to delay the authentication process while we make adjustments, when those things are actually completely inconsequential.
The other risk is that the user might not complete the process at all if they don’t like what they’re seeing. If their hair won’t play ball or they’re in the 63% who flinch on seeing themselves, they could just shut the whole thing down. This is why we decided that the process of iProoving should not involve a mirror image of the user’s face – it’s potentially not an enjoyable experience for a lot of people and could impact the chances of success.
Stage 2: What Happens If You Show Nothing
We briefly experimented with showing nothing at all on the screen during the authentication. It didn’t work: users weren’t able to line their faces up and it became very hard to complete the process. We also felt that it wasn’t fair to scan people’s faces without sharing that fact with them, visually through the use of their face image, as well as in written form.
Stage 3: Meet Mr Canny
It was then that we found our answer, which is now part of several global patents and unique to iProov. The Canny edge detector, developed by a man called John Canny, uses an algorithm to detect a wide range of edges in images. Using this edge detector, we provide a simple outline of the user’s face that gives enough guidance on how to line the face up and complete the process without scaring the user off. We then did a lot of work to develop exactly the right shading to add depth, and fading to soften the edges, resulting in an authentically pleasing filter akin to those found on social media platforms:
The moral of this story is that user experience and security go hand in hand at iProov. Each and every moment of the authentication journey presents an opportunity for the experience to jar with the user and those snags have to be removed to ensure maximum completion rates. iProov has 19 patents and a number of them relate to this line drawing and ensuring a happy user experience.
What does selfie anxiety mean?
Do you ever have selfie anxiety?
Do you like how you look like on mobile video calls?
If someone says to you “let’s take a selfie”, what is the first thing you do?
iProov Genuine Presence Assurance is used by governments, financial institutions and other enterprises all over the globe. To find out more, contact us at email@example.com today.
August 19 2020
In the 10 minute webcast, Andy speaks to Tom Whitney, our Global Head of Solutions Consultancy, about Evernym’s story and the problem they are trying to solve. Andy also explains the concept of SSI, why it’s important for enterprises and users wanting to manage their digital identity, and what the future holds for Evernym.
There are also plenty of insights into the partnership between Evernym and iProov and what iProov’s Genuine Presence Assurance technology will bring to Evernym customers.
August 13 2020
iProov has been identified as a Representative Vendor in Gartner’s 2020 Market Guide for User Authentication. iProov was named in the Biometric Authentication category.
The 2020 Market Guide for User Authentication takes a close look at the current user authentication landscape as the market continues to grow.
Used for customer onboarding as well as ongoing authentication, iProov technology is being used by the US Department of Homeland Security, UK Home Office, NHS, Rabobank, ING, Knab Bank, and more. iProov’s biometric authentication technology won Best Authentication Software at the 2020 SC Awards.
The biometric authentication technology provided by iProov is unique in that it delivers Genuine Presence Assurance to individuals and enterprises online. This checks for three key attributes when authenticating a user:
iProov CEO and Founder, Andrew Bud, CBE said “Digital transformation has been high on the agenda for many regulated sectors, and now is the time for online biometric authentication to help drive innovation forwards. A successful user authentication system must offer security, usability, and privacy to its users. iProov provides all three in a very unique way, and this is why governments and enterprises around the world are using our patented technology to onboard and authenticate customers.”
Access the full report here (Gartner subscription required).
Gartner, “Market Guide for User Authentication” Ant Allan, Tricia Phillips, David Mahdi, Kaoru Yano, 26 June 2020.
Gartner disclaimer: Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in our research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.
August 3 2020
Scenario 1, face recognition: You’re walking across Times Square, or sitting in your seat at Wembley Stadium. Facial recognition technology, combined with CCTV, is scanning the crowds and matching faces against a database of known or suspected criminals. You do not know if or when face recognition is being carried out on you. You are not able to opt-out of it. There is no direct personal benefit to you from it. You do not know how the images are being used, shared, or stored.
Scenario 2, face verification: You’re sitting at home. You want to apply for a visa for an upcoming vacation. You open your laptop, or pick up your mobile phone, and log on to the government visa service. You use the device camera to scan your driver’s license or passport to prove your identity. You then scan your face. Facial verification technology confirms that your physical face matches the one in the ID document, and that you are real and completing this application right now. You know facial verification is happening. You choose to do it. There is a direct personal benefit to you (you get to go on your vacation). And with iProov’s face verification technology, you know that the images are kept behind a privacy firewall and are subject to strict GDPR rules.
There is also face detection, which is the process of identifying when a human face is present in a video or image, without identifying that person in any way. iProov specifically uses face verification.
Face recognition and face verification are often lumped together and used interchangeably to mean the same thing. But the truth is that the two technologies and the purpose of their use are completely different and need to be considered separately. Questions about the ethics of facial recognition for surveillance, and the call for clarity and limitations on its use, are matters for serious public discussion. However, face verification is not the same thing.
Put simply, face verification is needed for your online security.
Traditionally, we have verified our identity by walking into a bank or a government office and handing someone our documentation, which they then confirm matches the physical face that they see in front of them. But how do we transfer that process onto the internet? How do I prove to you that I am who I say I am if I’m sitting on my sofa using a mobile device?
Your face is the most secure way of verifying your identity online, and it’s the only way that businesses and government services can be assured that you and only you have access to your data:
Online crime is growing, both in the number of attacks and in the sophistication of the tactics used by international criminal gangs. We all need a way to secure ourselves against identity and financial theft. Face verification enables us to do this, and iProov face verification allows us to do so with maximum security and simplicity.
There are many occasions when we as individuals need to confirm with enterprises, banks, and government services that we exist and that the physical being asserting the identity is the rightful owner of that identity. Here are a few examples of when online face verification makes processes easier, faster and more secure:
A user simply looks at their mobile device or laptop screen. Their face is illuminated by a series of colors. This brief ceremony detects that the user is a real human being and not a photograph or mask. It also assures that they are genuinely present in real-time, and not a deepfake or replay attack. And finally, as a “one-time biometric” it cannot be reused and is therefore secure against being used in a replay or other criminal attacks.
With iProov facial verification the user has:
As well as being the most secure way to verify your identity online, iProov is also the easiest to use. We firmly believe that security without usability is worthless. As passwords become more complicated, users simply find workarounds to remember them. Those workarounds, such as writing passwords down or using the same one for multiple accounts, are often not secure. iProov technology requires no effort from the user.
Face verification offers us security, safety, simplicity and privacy in a digital world. It is quite different to face recognition and the two should be treated differently.
July 20 2020
Online banking continues to grow. According to the latest EY Global FinTech Adoption Index, 71% of UK consumers and 46% of US consumers had used at least two digital financial services in 2019, up from 14% and 17% respectively in 2015. Savings, payments, borrowing and budgeting are all moving online.
The challenge for financial institutions is how to make the online onboarding process as simple as possible for customers, while complying with Know Your Customer guidelines and protecting against fraud. Our latest report Top Considerations for Online Onboarding in Financial Services sets out ideas for how this can be achieved.
One example of financial digital onboarding success is Rabobank. They had realized that asking 18-year-old digital natives to come into a branch with their documentation to open a bank account was not very appealing.
So the innovation team at Rabobank looked at how they could improve the onboarding journey for their customers. The solution included:
If you want to know more about how iProov can streamline your customer onboarding contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
July 20 2020
It’s been a very busy six months here at iProov.
The growth of Genuine Presence Assurance – the ability to confirm that an individual is the right person, a real person, and engaging right now when you’re dealing with them online rather than in the physical world – was already underway when the pandemic struck.
The COVID-19 crisis accelerated the need for remote authentication. Firstly, more people needed to complete more processes online, which meant that verifying identity digitally became essential. Secondly, online fraud increased considerably, with criminals taking advantage of the crisis. The ability to combat machine-driven online crime, which iProov provides, is needed more than ever before.
So what’s been achieved at iProov over the past few months?
Stay tuned for more innovation, exciting new developments, and customer and partner news from iProov over the next six months. We’re just getting started.
June 8 2020
The headline says it all: Has the UK Just Quietly Seen One of the Most Successful Government IT Projects Ever?
Following the UK’s decision to leave the European Union, the Home Office set out to create a simple application process allowing 3.5 million EEA nationals to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.
Applicants need to complete just three key steps – prove their identity, show that they live in the UK, and declare any criminal convictions. To make this as simple as possible, the Home Office sought out new innovative capabilities to create an optional end-to-end digital application channel.
iProov worked with WorldReach Software and InnoValor to deliver a scalable, secure, and usable solution. The details of the project can be seen in this excellent case study from WorldReach.
The highlights of the project:
The app enables EEA nationals living in the UK to complete an application in under 10 minutes, using the following innovations to ensure high levels of identity assurance:
“There has never been a more crucial time for highly trusted, proven-in-use remote identity verification services given the Covid-19 situation, especially for government digital on-boarding and essential services delivery,” said Gordon Wilson, WorldReach CEO. “The EUSS is a very successful, scalable proof-point of what’s possible and achievable with the right end-to-end processes, technology and collaborative team.”
June 3 2020
iProov was named Best Authentication Technology at the SC Europe Awards yesterday.
The judges said: “Great to see technology which is able to prove the actual identity of a person behind the device. Game changing for customers and companies looking for speed with security,” adding, “Really well presented and very relevant for today’s customer. Innovative good product.”
The judges concluded; “iProov presented some solid business benefits for its solution.”
The SC Awards are recognized as the gold standard of achievement for cybersecurity providers, products and professionals.
Biometric Authentication for the UK Home Office
The award recognized iProov’s Genuine Presence Assurance work for the UK Home Office and the EU Settlement Status application process (described here recently in Has the UK Just Quietly Seen One of the Most Successful Government IT Projects Ever?)
Recent data on the project shows that:
Read the full EU Settlement Status case study.
In addition to the Home Office, iProov technology is being used by a growing number of governments, financial institutions, identity service providers and other businesses looking for the most secure, usable remote authentication technology:
2020 has also seen a number of other milestone achievements at iProov:
We’d like to thank the organizers of the SC Awards for staging such a great online show – we might not have got the champagne in a big hotel ballroom but we can confirm that the excitement of winning is just as good online!
June 2 2020
Last week’s webinar with InnoValor and Rabobank was a fascinating look at an innovative customer onboarding project that started in 2018.
Rabobank is one of the 50 largest banks in the world, with over 40,000 employees. As part of their ongoing commitment to customer service and innovation, in 2018 the onboarding team at Rabobank decided to find a solution to a challenge: how to successfully onboard 18-year-old customers that needed an adult account.
According to Evelien Mooij at Rabobank, the team had realised that the usual process for setting up a bank account – a customer bringing documentation into a branch – was not very appealing to digital natives that prefer to look at their phones.
So Rabobank began a project with their innovation department, looking for a digital onboarding solution that would bring the process onto a customer’s mobile phone. This led them to InnoValor, who worked with Rabobank and iProov to create an innovative technology solution that included:
For Rabobank, this was a very exciting initiative. The compliance component was huge, but the targeted scope of the project allowed them to initially focus on a small group of customers. By working specifically with a target segment of 18-year-olds, the team could gain a lot of experience on how to create an online onboarding journey before scaling out to others.
It worked. 300 customers are now using the mobile onboarding process every day. Channel share has gone from 35% last year to 60% in 2020.
The team met some challenges along the way. Initially, the solution included NFC only on Android devices, with OCR for everyone else. 50% of customers were dropping out of the journey as the photo imaging quality wasn’t always good enough – too much glare on the photos or other issues.
Apple’s decision to support NFC from September 2019 changed everything. 80% of customers now use NFC, although Rabobank still uses OCR as a back-up for users – if your chip is broken, you need OCR for an online journey and that’s still provided.
Another challenge was getting the compliance team on board. Like most banks, Rabobank is a very big organization with a lot of legacy systems and a complex architecture. Eight Rabobank teams and three suppliers were involved in the project, which meant complexity. Evelien and her team involved their colleagues early on, so that everyone could see the decisions and choices that were being made.
And in fact, NFC has helped with compliance; the quality of identity verification is better on the app than it is face to face. It might be possible to trick an employee, but it’s much more difficult with technology.
Evelien and her team had also been concerned about the use of a standalone app for onboarding. Would customers use it? Would it be an issue? A lot of research was done, with initial customer feedback suggesting that it wasn’t going to be a problem. The results since launch have supported this – to the surprise of the team, customers are really not worried about the separate app. In fact, they were glad to use it to onboard and then delete it – app space on an 18-year-old’s phone is at a premium and they like the space!
The next steps for Rabobank include; using the app for onboarding new business users that don’t already have an account and processing change of director notifications; adding remote identification to the main Rabobank app; and bringing in step-up authentication for complex or high value transactions.
Our thanks to Evelien, Wil, Maarten and the rest of the team at InnoValor for sharing such useful insights during a great webinar.
How does iProov make your onboarding effortless? Find out more here.
June 2 2020
We’ve released new research today, The End of the Password, which looks at how consumers are struggling to follow online security guidelines.
Everyone knows that passwords are not secure. And yet efforts to make them more secure are only making them more complicated. “People misuse things that aren’t usable,” says iProov CEO, Andrew Bud. “It’s a gift to hackers and it disrupts commerce. We need to make it easier for people to access services and keep their data secure.”
The key findings of the research include:
78% of 18-24-year-olds in the UK and 75% in the US have used someone else’s password to gain access to a service or device. 15% and 10%, respectively, have done so without permission. Overall, 49% of Brits and 50% of Americans have used others’ passwords.
It seems that we’re less willing to share our own passwords than we are to borrow other people’s, but the numbers remain high; 50% of UK 18-24s and 49% of their US equivalents have given their passwords to other people, compared with 30% and 34% of consumers overall. We’re more willing to share the PIN to our phones; 41% of Brits and 44% of Americans admit to sharing phone passwords with partners or family members.
59% of respondents in both countries admit to reusing the same passwords across sites, while 10% of Brits and 13% of Americans use the same password for everything. Only 9% of people in both countries use a strong suggested password if it is offered. 33% in the UK remember passwords by writing them down – this rises to 46% in the US.
The average Brit abandons an online purchase 15 times a year because of password frustration, while Americans are doing likewise 16 times a year. 34% of 18-24s in the UK are having to request forgotten passwords at least once a week, along with 25% of young Americans.
Andrew Bud added: “Our research shows that passwords have simply outlived their utility. Enforcing ever more complex passwords tortures people into workarounds. People misuse things that aren’t usable. It’s a gift to hackers and it disrupts commerce. We need to make it easier for people to access services and keep their data secure.
“People are recycling and sharing passwords but this leaves them exposed and vulnerable.The time has come to adopt alternatives. Good biometric authentication combines effortless usability with the security to safeguard society’s most sensitive personal data.”
“iProov technology is a safe and secure way to identify yourself without using a password. Copies of your face, like photos, videos or deepfakes, won’t work. This is what iProov Genuine Presence Assurance provides that other biometric technology does not – not only does it check that you’re the right person, but it also checks that you’re a real human being and authenticating yourself right now.”
Everyone knows that passwords are no longer fit for purpose in an online world. They are not secure. Yet, efforts to make them more secure have only made them more complicated. Genuine Presence Assurance from iProov is completely unique. It uses face biometrics to enable businesses and governments to verify online that a customer or citizen is the right person, a real person, and authenticating right now, protecting against the most sophisticated criminal attacks. Read more about passwordless authentication with iProov face verification.
May 27 2020
In a recent webinar with Mobile Ecosystem Forum, Andrew Bud, CEO of iProov, talked about the impact of COVID-19 and the increased adoption of technology as the pandemic continues. This crisis “is going to accelerate a lot of trends. In areas like identity, health data, financial data, authentication, security, video conferencing. We will see many many years of progress in a short time”.
The use of online services has undoubtedly increased during the pandemic. This is clear from a consumer survey that iProov conducted recently, which also shows increased demand for security and identity verification.
We asked 1000 consumers in the UK and 1000 in the US about their use of technology during coronavirus. 69% overall (69% in the US and 70% in the UK) told us that they expected to use more online banking/health/shopping services as the pandemic continued. The importance of digital service provision is now beyond doubt – online retail sales in the US grew by 49% in April, and 16% in the UK, making online 30% of UK retail shopping. Banks, governments, healthcare providers, and all other sectors will move more of their services online in response.
Overall, 72% of consumers (72% in the US and 71% in the UK) said that authenticating their identity online was more important than ever before. Governments and businesses need to garner citizen and customer trust – iProov enables this with secure, usable biometric face technology that reassures the user.
82% of consumers overall (80% in the US and 83% in the UK) felt that hackers were taking advantage of the coronavirus crisis. However, this sits uneasily alongside other data from iProov’s The End of the Password report, which suggests that consumers are still sharing and reusing passwords and putting themselves at risk.
63% of consumers overall expected to receive scam offers, followed by fake news and health misinformation. The US and UK were generally aligned in which attacks they expected to see, although US consumers expected to see more of each of them.
Online identity verification is more important than ever, as consumers turn to digital channels to complete everyday tasks. With Genuine Presence Assurance from iProov, businesses and government departments can deliver effortless authentication for online services while protecting against the most sophisticated criminal attacks.
iProov is proud to be offering our technology free of charge to start-ups that are creating solutions to support the pandemic crisis. Read more here on How Technology Is Enabling Kindness During Coronavirus.
May 7 2020
It’s World Password Day and we decided to mark the occasion by sharing some password stats from a recent consumer survey that we carried out in the US and UK. We released a full “The End of the Password” report, but here are a few stand-out findings:
The average US consumer abandons 16 online purchases a year due to password frustration.
This is a staggering number. It means that almost every three weeks, every American citizen is abandoning a purchase online because they forget their password and the process for retrieving it takes too long. And it’s a similar story in the UK, with 15 online purchases a year being left at the checkout by the average consumer.
This results in two key problems. Firstly, it means enormous frustration for the customer. Imagine the steps involved: a customer spends valuable time deciding what to buy. They make the decision to purchase and are faced with a request to Register or Login. Have I bought something on this website before? I’m sure I have. Several attempts at remembering their login details later, the customer becomes extremely frustrated and requests a password reminder. This either doesn’t arrive quickly enough or goes into spam. Purchase abandoned.
This leads to the second point: businesses are losing millions in revenue because of password frustration. Each missed sale represents lost dollars but there’s also the loss of the customer’s longer term business, along with the wasted marketing investment in getting a customer to checkout, only for the login to cause confusion and frustration.
Passwords are frustrating and they lead to lost business. But what is also clear from the survey results is that consumers are struggling to follow the recommendations on password management. The guidelines – for example, creating a unique password for every account – are too onerous for the average individual:
Only a quarter of people regularly change their passwords
The majority of people are not following guidelines to change their passwords frequently:
13% use the same password for everything
37% of Americans and 39% of Brits are managing to follow the guidelines by having a different password for every site. However, most people rotate a few passwords (46% in the US and 49% in the UK), while 13% of Americans and 10% of Brits use the same password for everything.
Most people avoid the ‘suggested password’ when creating an account
89% of Americans and 90% of Brits choose to create their own passwords when registering for a new account, instead of using the auto-generated secure suggestion (9% in both regions). Only a few choose to sign in with Google or Facebook credentials (3% in US and 1% in UK).
Nearly half of consumers have shared the PIN for their phones with their partners
The evidence suggests that we’re willing to share our passwords; 44% of Americans and 41% of Brits have given their partner the PIN to access their phones.
Men are less worried about data privacy than women
76% of Americans and 70% of UK citizens believe that individuals should be worried about data privacy, but men are less likely to be concerned than women (US: 69% men vs 82% women, UK: 63% vs 78%).
“Everyone knows that passwords are not secure,” says Andrew Bud, iProov Founder and CEO. “But the solution that is being applied to weak password security is to make passwords more complicated.
“Perhaps that’s why half of the population of both the US and the UK have abandoned online purchases in the past year, and businesses have lost millions of dollars – we just can’t remember our passwords.
“Imagine a world in which you never forget a password because there aren’t any. You simply authenticate yourself with biometrics – it remembers you even when you haven’t visited a site for months, providing exceptional usability and outstanding security to remove the frustration and make everyone’s lives better.”
Find out how iProov can reduce password reliance with Genuine Presence Assurance technology today. For even more recent data on forgotten passwords and the effect on website abandonment rate, click here.
May 1 2020
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK has extended the deadline for implementation of Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) rules by six months. The deadline is now 14 September 2021.
Other regulators across Europe are expected to make similar moves.
From 14 September 2021, financial institutions must ensure that customers are completing SCA before they carry out online processes, as set out in the EU Revised Directive on Payment Services (PSD2).
These processes include:
Strong Customer Authentication is the process required by banks and electronic payment providers to verify the identity of their customers online. These rules were introduced in 2019 and aim to enhance security and prevent fraud. SCA does not just apply to banks: the entire e-commerce industry must comply by the 14th September 2021, too.
But how does it actually work?
Strong Customer Authentication means that payment service providers must require customers to use a multi-factor authentication process for payments and verifying their identity online.
Multi-factor authentication requires two or more of the following elements:
The two factors also need to be independent of each other. For example, if a customer authenticates via voice on their mobile phone as the first factor, and then the bank sends a one-time password (OTP) to that same device for the second factor, this could potentially present a risk. The two factors use the same channel or band, so if that channel—in this case the mobile phone—had been compromised, both the instruction and the security verification are being sent to an individual who now controls the compromised device. This must be avoided according to the recommendations.
Did you know, half of consumers have abandoned online transactions?
The challenge for banks is selecting the right balance of security with ease of use. Security is critical, but if systems are hard to access then banks face higher drop-off rates, increased loss of customers to competitors, and the brand impact of being seen as difficult to use.
Drop-off rates and loss of customers are very real concerns. A recent iProov study found that almost half of consumers in the US and UK have abandoned an online purchase because the security process took too long—and those aged 18-44 are more likely to have done so.
With iProov, Strong Customer Authentication is automated, fast, simple, and secure. We work with organizations such as online-only challenger bank Knab to provide SCA to its 500,000+ customers. All customers that open an account with Knab are authenticated by iProov’s cloud-based, device-independent face biometric technology.
Knab bank uses iProov authentication (Something a person is) along with a PIN (something the person knows) as part of their process to comply with SCA requirements and other regulations such as Know Your Customer (KYC). You can read more about iProov’s work with Knab here.
iProov Web offers the significant advantage of allowing strong customer authentication to be completed on a desktop or laptop without the need for a mobile device.
April 29 2020
By Andrew Bud, Founder and CEO of iProov
iProov is currently providing biometric authentication services free of charge to start-ups that are working on solutions to assist the COVID-19 crisis.
A number of projects are already underway, using our Genuine Presence Assurance technology to great effect.
One area where we’re seeing a lot of focus is safeguarding.
There has been a tremendous surge of kindness, generosity, and community spirit around the world, as people offer their time and resources to help others in need.
But criminal behaviour is never far behind. You only need to take a quick glance at the news to find examples, such as this 92 year-old woman robbed by thieves who persuaded her that her neighbour had the virus.
Safeguarding allows genuine offers of help to be encouraged and utilised, by putting processes and systems in place to protect the vulnerable.
Identity and verification provide two critical factors when it comes to safeguarding:
Before COVID-19 arrived, we were already seeing evidence of this in the peer-to-peer economy. Sharing economy service providers rely on the exchange of knowledge, services, and confidence between two strangers who have a reason to trust each other.
The reason to trust each other is shared information. If I know your car registration number and you know my name, then it’s very likely that we are two matching halves of a bona fide Uber arrangement.
That trust can be greatly corroborated by a picture. Uber, AirBnB, and the other sharing economy service providers use pictures of drivers, property owners, and renters to instill confidence.
Pictures instill confidence. In a study, researchers at Princeton asked a group of university students to rate the trustworthiness, attractiveness, likeability, competence, and aggressiveness of actors’ faces. One group was given a tenth of a second to make their judgement. The other group was given as long as they wanted. The greatest correlation between the two groups was for trustworthiness – the two groups were most aligned on who could be trusted and who could not. Pictures are very powerful in allowing us to make decisions on trust and it takes just 100 milliseconds for us to make that decision.
But what if those pictures are fake? What if we’re taking 100 milliseconds to decide to trust the woman we’re seeing in the photo, when we’re not actually dealing with her at all? With a few clicks of a mouse, it’s possible to fabricate a profile picture on social media and pretend to be anyone at all. There are many reasons why attackers would go to considerable lengths to masquerade as someone of a different age or gender, and thousands of criminal offences have been committed against victims of all ages.
So how do we ensure that older, dependent and vulnerable people can receive tremendously valuable support from others without fear of fraud, theft or cruelty perpetrated by people who are not what they seem?
iProov technology can achieve this in a number of ways. Two examples of use cases that we’re working on right now show how Genuine Presence Assurance can be used during online transactions to build trust, by confirming that an individual is the right person, a real person, and authenticating right now.
The opportunities that stem from these processes are endless. Shopping, gardening, household chores, dog-walking, and even companionable conversation can all be made much safer with easy-to-use authentication technology.
We all stand to benefit from the safeguarding technology outlined above. Coronavirus has shown that you don’t need to be old or dependent to be vulnerable. You’re vulnerable if you can’t leave your home for 14 days because you live with someone with COVID symptoms. You’re vulnerable if you have asthma or diabetes. The ability to access help quickly and safely is essential to us all.
However, the uptake of technology by the older generation during the pandemic suggests that safeguarding technology could be effective for this particular age-group.
We recently commissioned a study of consumers. One stat that stood out to me was that almost 40% of people aged 65+ in the UK are using online communications more during the pandemic. It’s not hugely surprising but that’s a significant shift in numbers – there are 12 million people in the UK in this age group, so 5 million people are using technology more today than they did 3 months ago.
Crises accelerate change and we’re going to see huge changes in how society uses technology going forwards. Safeguarding could, and should, be part of that.
See our website for more information on how Genuine Presence Assurance from iProov can help your organization.
April 7 2020
iProov works in partnership with a number of technology companies around the world. WorldReach Software, based in Canada, is a world leader in government travel and citizen services. We asked Jon Payne, Executive Director, Global Partnerships at WorldReach, to tell us about their work and why they chose iProov for Genuine Presence Assurance.
WorldReach was founded in 1998 after a five-year software development partnership with Canada’s foreign ministry. As our international government client list grew, we quickly gained a reputation as a highly trusted government partner and advisor specialising in consular assistance including crises, and passport issuance solutions. This was our primary focus, until about five years ago.
In recent years, we chose to apply our expertise to create a new process for remote Identity and Document Verification (IDV), recognising the combination of the growth of smartphones as a mobile platform and the steadily increasing proportion of ePassports. In effect, turning the smartphone into an ePassport reader and allowing the owner to verify their identity in much the same way as an e-Gate or e-Kiosk in an airport does it, using facial biometrics.
When we started, digitisation was really just a concept. Governments still largely depended upon a combination of paper documents and face-to-face processes to determine eligibility and to deliver services. This, in general, was a long, labour intensive and expensive process for governments.
We recognised the potential of technology to improve process. We worked on unlocking the power of the chip embedded in ePassports that are now issued by the majority of governments. Given all the efforts made by passport agencies to embed a small computer full of rich data into the passport, we wanted to make it more easily available in practice for immigration programmes.
With help from the Canadian Safety and Security Program and the sponsorship of Canada’s two immigration agencies, IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) and CBSA (Canada Border Services Agency), we were able to refine and test our technology with the real world input of immigration officials through several demonstration projects aiming at seamless borders for lower risk travellers. This work is still ongoing today in a prototype, soon to be pilot, called the Chain of Trust. The aim of the project is to achieve zero wait time at the future border for admissible passengers, by making the enforcement and compliance processes more dynamic and responsive. Our eIDV service allows applicants to register and authenticate their passport information – using their smartphone to read the chip – and uses the latest facial recognition technology to check that the applicant is a real, live person and the owner of the document.
In the UK, the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) run by the Home Office is using the eIDV concept in an immigration context in perhaps its single largest live deployment. Because of Brexit, the freedom of movement previously enjoyed by other EU nationals living in the UK will soon come to an end. The UK government estimates that there are between 3 and 4 million people in this category, who are eligible to apply for a new “settled status” before January 2021, in order to continue living and working in the UK.
The policy presented the Home Office with a new operational challenge, since applying for settlement in the UK usually involves filling out a lengthy form and sending personal documents – including passports – to the department in the mail, or attending a Home Office facility for an interview. The Home Office chose to offer an entirely digital application process, and we are pleased to be a significant part of the solution. Although EUSS began in full release only in March 2019, the Home Office recently announced that more than 3.3 million applicants had already applied for settled status.
So, a convenient, secure identity verification service, using the latest in facial recognition and iProov’s genuine presence technology, is the world’s largest and most successful digital immigration on-boarding programme.
One of the biggest changes on the horizon concerns the passport itself. The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is working towards an internationally recognised Digital Travel Credential (DTC) standard. A DTC has the potential to provide functionality and security features that are comparable to those of a current ePassport, with increased convenience. This generated DTC could substitute a conventional passport in some circumstances by providing a digital representation of the traveller’s identity, including in emerging seamless traveller initiatives.
It’s not hard to see how this internationally accepted credential might then be used in other identity verification schemes, beyond travel.
We knew genuine presence would be a key component in any successful remote identity verification platform. After all, a selfie alone doesn’t prove a real person is present, nor can it detect a mask or other spoofing techniques. So, we went to work, testing and spoofing between 25 and 30 solutions that were in the market. At the time of the EUSS opportunity, iProov was the only solution that our technical team couldn’t spoof.
Having worked with iProov for more than a year, we continue to be impressed with the technology and the company’s responsiveness as a strategic partner.
We pride ourselves on fostering an inclusive, diverse, welcoming and transparent company culture.
As far as diversity goes, WorldReach staff speak 19 different languages. This has proven valuable in a global market, supporting clients from all over the world. Women make up 50% of our Senior Management, 67% of Technical Team Leads, and 40% of the entire staff. We’re very proud of these stats and we work hard to achieve gender parity.
As for daily life at WorldReach, there is a real camaraderie here, which is invaluable in times of crisis, such as we’re now seeing with COVID-19. We can count on one another. We have a very low attrition rate; a large percentage of our staff have been with the company for more than a decade. People like each other, laugh a lot, and work very hard. Our clients and partners recognize this; they know that they can depend on WorldReach, because we’ve shown that we depend on each other.
Well, there are some things hidden in the passport statistics that you might not know. For example, of the 195 or so countries in the world, almost 150 of them now issue ePassports with an embedded chip. The largest issuer of passports in the world was the US for many years, most recently at roughly 20 million per year; however, a few years ago they were overtaken by China, which issued 30 million passports last year. Probably the smallest state issuer is Vatican City, which issues its own passport despite having only about 600 citizens in total.
Find out more about WorldReach at www.worldreach.com
April 1 2020
On 31st March, the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) issued a letter to the CEOs of UK regulated financial institutions providing guidance on how to navigate the challenges of coronavirus.
This has been interpreted by some national newspapers to mean that identity checks can be done with selfies (“Send your bank a selfie to check your identity, watchdog says”, The Daily Telegraph).
This is not true. Identity checks completed via selfie are an open invitation to money-launderers and other criminals.
The only way to remotely check the identity of an individual is through Genuine Presence Assurance:
Without Genuine Presence Assurance, criminals and terrorists can, and will, fully exploit identity check processes for the purposes of money-laundering and other fraudulent activity.
The letter has been misinterpreted in some quarters. It is actually reminding organizations that flexibility already exists within the current guidelines. Financial institutions already have the right to remotely identify and authenticate individuals, thus eliminating the need for customers to come into branches for identity checks.
Financial institutions that have not yet taken advantage of remote identification technology must do so immediately, in order to:
Banks such as ING, Standard Bank, and Rabobank are already using Genuine Presence Assurance technology to effortlessly and safely verify client identity and onboard remotely, protecting themselves against criminals and ensuring compliance with regulations.
The letter makes reference to Joint Money Laundering Steering Group (JMLSG) guidance, which clearly states that any risk must be mitigated when completing identity checks on customers.
(19) For the purposes of this regulation, information may be regarded as obtained from a reliable source which is independent of the person whose identity is being verified where— (a) it is obtained by means of an electronic identification process, including by using electronic identification means or by using a trust service (within the meanings of those terms in Regulation (EU) No 910/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23rd July 2014 on electronic identification and trust services for electronic transactions in the internal market(2)); and (b) that process is secure from fraud and misuse and capable of providing an appropriate level of assurance that the person claiming a particular identity is in fact the person with that identity.”
A selfie submitted by email or text is clearly neither secure from fraud and misuse, nor capable of proving an appropriate level of assurance that the person is who they claim to be.
Andrew Bud, Founder and CEO of iProov, said; “The FCA is not relaxing its rules on identity verification. The financial services industry was already permitted a level of flexibility that is now desperately needed in the current situation.
“Thanks to online identity verification, customers can still set up bank accounts and transactions can still be authorized and completed even when branches are closed and people cannot leave their homes.
“We welcome Chris Woolard’s reminder to the industry that remote identity verification is possible and encourage organizations that have not yet made the transition to do so.”
Any organization that would like advice about implementing the ID verification measures referred to in the recent guidance from the FCA, or about offering online identity verification, should contact email@example.com, or book an iProov demo directly.
March 31 2020
Earlier this year, we announced the opening of our iProov US office, in Catonsville, Maryland, at the bwtech@UMBC Research and Technology Park. Read more here.
Joe Palmer, President of iProov Inc, has been leading the expansion, both strategically and tactically. A founder member of the iProov team, Joe and his family relocated to the US this year to continue building the North American team with iProov culture and values.
How long have you been working at iProov?
I met Andrew Bud, CEO and Founder of iProov, nearly eight years ago. We were introduced through my former supervisor at University College London (UCL), Professor Phillip Treleaven. Andrew had asked Professor Treleaven to recommend someone with development skills who could help him change the world with a new idea.
Andrew explained his idea very well – I was really excited by what I heard and knew he was onto something special – so I came on board. For the first 18 months at iProov, I was focused on developing code. This included a basic Android app, an API and a core analysis system that used GPUs to accelerate the image processing. Dominic Forrest, our now-CTO, joined in 2013 and between the two of us, we redesigned the system and built a new version that was architectured to allow us to scale. It’s been improved hugely since then, but the basic micro-services architecture we developed back then is still the foundation of what we have at iProov today.
It was at this point iProov needed to scale up and start supporting large systems. We started to expand the workforce and built a structured tech team. I took on responsibility for the external facing software including web services, SDKs, APIs and integration documentation.
It wasn’t long before we were getting a lot of serious interest from customers. I moved into a more strategic commercial role helping to demonstrate what iProov could do for each bank or government department. We had one sales executive at the time and we became a dream team talking to customers. We closed our first deal with a large European bank and everything took off.
How did your move to the US come about?
We were growing rapidly in Europe, and commercial traction was starting to build in North America. We had a discussion internally and agreed that a US office was needed. I went home to discuss it with my pregnant wife and she agreed that it was a good time for us to make that move. After our daughter, Sophie, was born, we flew out as a family to the RSA conference to look at the US with a new perspective – our future home.
There were a lot of preparations – obviously for my wife and I from a personal point of view, but also for iProov in making changes to the team ready for my relocation. And then earlier this year we made the move and are now settled in a house in Maryland.
What do you miss most about the UK?
I do miss the actual UK office on the South Bank in London. There’s a real buzz about commuting into the city and being part of this incredible global hub. My journey – 30 minutes commute on public transport – allowed me prep time and thinking time ahead of my day.
The UK office is also an incredibly collaborative place. We have a very flexible policy on working from home but most iProovers choose to come in as often as possible, as there’s an energy and a lot of inspiration flying around. We’ve scaled up very quickly but we’ve put good structure in place to ensure that people know what’s going on and who does what, even as we expand.
I’m looking forward to building out the US team – we already have several people onboard – and I’ll be working with my colleague Simon Williamson to extend iProov’s unique, infectious, passionate company culture across the pond.
What does the future hold for iProov Inc and your North American team?
North America is at a different stage to Europe and Asia-Pacific in terms of its understanding of biometric authentication. We’re bringing tried and tested use cases that have delivered huge benefits both to the business and the consumer, and that’s been incredibly important. The US in particular is a different market with its own unique challenges and opportunities so whilst it feels familiar, it is actually a fundamentally different landscape. It’s an exciting time for iProov and for the Palmers!
March 30 2020
iProov is pleased to announce the release of its next-gen Android SDK, which delivers user experience improvements, easier integration, and performance enhancements.
New features in the release include:
March 24 2020
iProov is pleased to announce that we have joined the FIDO Alliance, the industry association focused on reducing the world’s over-reliance on passwords.
Passwords have become increasingly unfit for purpose in a world where so much interaction is completed online and consumers are accessing large numbers of websites and apps.
Why are passwords unfit for purpose?
How is iProov enabling the move to a passwordless world?
iProov’s facial biometric technology replaces the need for passwords. With iProov, a user authenticates themselves simply and securely with patented technology. By illuminating the face with a sequence of coloured lights, we provide Genuine Presence Assurance.
What is Genuine Presence Assurance?
Genuine Presence Assurance allows governments, financial service institutions, travel providers, and other enterprises to confirm that an online user of a service is:
Enterprises and public sector agencies around the world are using Genuine Presence Assurance from iProov to enable access to the most secure online services, from bank transfers to tax returns, without depending on passwords.
Which companies are FIDO members?
Other FIDO members include Apple, Amazon, American Express, Bank of America, Facebook, Google, ING, Intel, Mastercard, Microsoft, PayPal, Samsung, and VISA.
February 21 2020
It is known as fintech’s ‘X-Factor’: at Finovate every year, the world’s most cutting edge technology companies showcase their latest products to hundreds of banks and other financial institutions.
Each technology leader gets 7 minutes to conduct a live demo of their latest product in front of banking technology experts from around the world. The audience then votes for their favorites. It’s not for the faint-hearted.
Last week iProov completed a remarkable hat-trick; we won Finovate Best of Show for the third year running. In 2018, 2019, and now again in 2020, Finovate attendees voted for iProov as a stand-out innovator, providing solutions to meet compliance, fraud, and usability challenges in the financial sector.
This year’s win was for iProov for Kiosk – watch our demo here. Our customers can now use our biometric authentication technology to support secure, high value transactions in low security branches and other physical locations, such as kiosks or unmanned offices. Enterprises that will benefit from both mobile and fixed terminal authentication include banks (for Know Your Customer process and service access), governments (for citizen services and immigration) and travel providers (e.g. airlines, international train services and car hire). Read more about iProov For Kiosk here.
This was the latest in a series of wins for iProov:
For more information about iProov’s technology, click here.
February 1 2020
Whether it’s face ID or airport e-gates – it’s clear that face authentication has really taken off.
While we hear a lot about the ‘security and usability trade-off’, we’d like to suggest you can have the best of both worlds.
Here are some usability tips we’ve learned in the field.
Placing demands on your user is a sure-fire way to add friction to an authentication experience. Performative actions like ‘look left’…‘blink’…‘recite number 3,2,1’…. ‘do 3 star jumps’ ….creates user frustration and ultimately an increase in abandonment.
Taking an approach that places the security demand on the technology, rather than the user, is not only better for security but skyrockets a user experience.
I want to log into my online banking discreetly on the train and avoid looking like I’m taking a shameless selfie. But do I want to look at my face at a 45-degree angle? No.
To avoid this trauma, consider distorting or softening the imagery. Many people assume distorted imagery lessens the user experience, but data collected by iProov suggests the opposite. 91% of people preferred or were neutral to iProov’s softened imagery, while only 9% would have preferred a photographic selfie.
A user can’t authenticate? Why? Tell them what the problem is!
Are they too close to the camera? Are they moving too much?
Giving user feedback is essential to prevent frustrated users and increased user abandonment rates!
It’s also important to note that a solution shouldn’t even start unless your user is in a suitable environment.
If the authentication process is able to start in an environment that’s too dark, or too close then the solution has failed to do its job before it’s even begun.
Make sure your feedback has positioned your user for success!
January 29 2020
We’ve just released a new report, Deepfakes: The Threat To Financial Services, which shows that 77% of financial sector CSOs are concerned about the impact of deepfake video, audio, and images.
The use of deepfakes in fake news, pornography, hoaxes and fraud, has created a storm of controversy. Earlier this month, Facebook announced plans to ban deepfakes from its platform, with concerns mounting about their influence on the impending US election.
We surveyed 105 cyber security experts in the financial sector, who told us that:
Andrew Bud, Founder and CEO at iProov, said: “It’s likely that so few organisations have taken action because they’re unaware of how quickly this technology is evolving. The latest deepfakes are so good they will convince most people and systems, and they’re only going to become more realistic.”
“The era in which we can believe the evidence of our own eyes is ending. Without technology to help us identify fakery, every video and image will in future become suspect. That’s hard for all of us as consumers to learn, so we’re going to have to rely on really good technology to protect us.”
Deepfakes are videos, images or audio recordings that have been distorted to present an individual saying or doing something that they didn’t say or do.
If you think of the thing that you are least likely to ever say, and then imagine your friends, family or employer being shown a (convincing) video of you saying it, it is easy to see the potential for malicious misuse.
For banks and other financial services providers, deepfakes could impact:
iProov is working with leading banks, including ING and Rabobank, to protect against deepfakes. Our biometric authentication technology has been built with unique anti-spoofing capabilities that establish the ‘genuine presence’ of a customer. For more information, our The Threat of Deepfakes webpage.
January 10 2020
Written by Luke Moore, SVP Revenue
I am delighted to welcome Simon Williamson to iProov. Simon joins iProov’s Global Sales Team as VP of Sales North America. He is actively hiring a team of Regional Enterprise Sales professionals across America, so get in touch if you’d like to join our mission of increasing trust online with world-class biometric authentication technology.
Welcome, Simon! What attracted you to iProov?
There are three things. Firstly, the technology. iProov has found a completely unique, completely brilliant way of solving a significant challenge in people’s lives, namely how do I get access to services with my bank or the government or for travel without having to physically go into a building with my ID documents. The opportunity is huge. It allows businesses to increase customer acquisition, and it makes public sector services more easily available to millions of citizens. It’s such a customer-centric idea.
What was your second reason?
Nearly all of us have a digital identity that we use to identify ourselves online, often many times a day. For some, this has come at a cost: identity theft can be inconvenient at best and potentially life-changing at worst. There’s a huge amount at stake if criminals get hold of your identity, so it’s really cool to work in an area focused on protecting people. It’s a space that’s going to see huge growth and focus.
And your third?
The people. I was really blown away by the passion that every single iProover has. We’re all on a mission to achieve something really important in making the internet a safer place and that has created a very special working environment.
What are you most looking forward to?
Working with great organisations to help them reap the benefits of strong customer authentication. iProov is already working with the Department of Homeland Security here in the USA and that’s a great story that other public sector agencies and organisations can learn from. I’ve worked in technology for my whole career – I’ve got a technical background and I love solving business problems.
You’re British but you’ve lived in the US for ten years. Are you still an Englishman in Philadelphia, or is America home?
I love America. I still go back to the UK regularly to see family and watch my beloved Liverpool FC but I’ve lived here for a long time and I love it. iProov was born in the UK but is already helping US organisations to do business online more easily, so I get the best of both worlds in this new role. I’m looking forward to it!
December 12 2019
You’ve probably heard the term ‘Liveness’ used within the authentication market. But have you heard of ‘Genuine Presence’? At iProov we use the term genuine presence a lot (and not just because we coined it.) It’s printed on our leaflets, our swag… we’ve even had #genuinepresence printed on t-shirts.
Why does Genuine Presence matter?
Determining Genuine Presence is critical to safeguard digital identity. Without Genuine Presence Assurance, mass fraudulent authentication claims can and will be passed. Undetectable attacks will be scaled and digital identity compromised.
What does Genuine Presence mean?
Online Biometric Authentication boils down three tiers of security.
The success of secure biometric authentication is determined by a combination of:
‘Genuine Presence’ refers to solutions that combine all three tiers. While the majority of the market is still grappling with Liveness – cyber attackers are exploring new, scalable forms of attack that bypass Liveness detection.
So, let’s break down Genuine Presence… tier by tier.
‘Matching’ is self-explanatory. Matching technology simply matches one set of biometric data to another, to verify the sets of data come from the same person.
Face Matching was first approached in 1964 by a scientist named Bledsoe. His process involved manually entering the coordinates at an average rate of 40 images an hour. We’ve come a long way from there – now matching is a heavily saturated market, with even the most sophisticated face matchers costing as little as 1 cent per match.
Think of setting up a new bank account at home. Instead of going to the branch with your ID in person, with Matching technology you can simply take a picture of your ID and then a selfie. The two images are matched against each other to prove you are in fact the right person.
However, with the increase in face matching for remote, online authentication comes an increase in the exploitation of face matching systems. By now, a lot of people have seen the infamous examples of unlocking the Face Authentication capabilities on smartphones with simply a photo of the device’s owner.
Cue the need for Liveness Detection.
Liveness Detection attempts to verify that we are looking at ‘live user’ by defending against Presentation Attacks. A Presentation Attack is an attempt to pass a fraudulent identity as legitimate, by physically presenting something to a sensor.
In other words, Liveness detection differentiates the real users from the photos, masks and on-screen videos. Liveness detection tells us a user is a Real Person.
There are many methods of doing this – although systems can generally be broken down into two categories:
Gesture-driven Liveness requires the user to perform a series of unnatural actions to prove that they are real, e.g. blinking or facial movements. Our research shows this approach takes a user on average 2.4 attempts to complete a transaction.
Technology-driven Liveness requires no action from the user, instead using internal algorithms to detect spoofs. This approach takes a user on average 1.1 attempts to complete a transaction.
There was a time when a system differentiating a real face from a highly engineered mask was an impressive feat. However, we have entered a new era of identity spoof attacks. Dangerous cyber attackers don’t spend their time holding photos up to a camera. Presentation Attacks are just a small subset of the attacks that can be launched against a system.
Real-Time Detection is the next tier of security in online biometric authentication. It is the final step to ensure that you are dealing with a user that is genuinely present, by defending against not only Presentation Attacks, but Replay Attacks.
Say you perform a successful authentication transaction on your mobile phone. There could easily be malware on your device that you are unaware of. Such malware could record your authentication claim without your knowledge.
A cyberattacker now owns a video of you successfully authenticating. Now, they can bypass the sensor completely (in this case the phone camera) and inject your previous successful claim directly into the app whenever they want.
This form of attack will pass all Liveness defence.
Because the claim is not of a mask,