Security Insights for Voice AI – VUX World and Unlock Your Call Centre

3 mins read – 7 April 2022 – Matt Smallman

I joined Kane Simms on his VUX World Podcast to discuss “Unlock Your Call Centre: A proven way to upgrade security, efficiency and caller experience“. The conversation got pretty deep in places but I think it’s a great primer for anyone thinking about securing a voice application.

Not just call centres

Whilst the title of my book specifically relates to call centres many of the same lessons and approaches can be applied to all voice-based service experiences. Without knowing who the speaker is claiming to be and being sure that they are who they claim to be it’s very unlikely that you can actually complete the full needs of many users. Knowledge-based authentication is hard to implement in Voice AI systems and usually requires some awkward interactions that are likely to put users off continuing to engage with our systems. You could have the most human conversation like understanding algorithms but if you have to resort to “please speak character 1 of your password now” before you even get into the user’s issue then what was the point. Unlock Your Call Centre provides a framework to determine the right security methods for your unique context and how they should be mixed to get the right balance between security and usability.

Think again about Voice Biometrics

Voice Biometrics has been around for a while but if you last looked at it even 12 months ago you will have missed the incredible improvements in both performance (authentications are now possible with just a few seconds of audio) and integration simplicity (many providers now have pay as you go cloud APIs and embedded SDKs that means sensitive data never leaves the device). We’ve also seen increasing end-user willingness to engage with Voice Biometrics and some great best practice enrolment flows that combine training the user how to best use the service with enrolling their voiceprint.

Network and Device Authentication Alternatives

Kane and I also discussed how in the call centre we can use data associated with the incoming call’s routing to dramatically improve our confidence that it has come from the genuine user’s device. We call this Network Authentication and whilst it’s been used for fraud detection in financial services for many years the cost and complexity have reached the point where it’s can be used as an effective authentication mechanism in many lower risk or lower frequency of caller use cases.

Thanks to Kane and the team for having me on the Podcast and for promoting Unlock Your Call Centre. I was overjoyed that we actually achieved Amazon No 1 Bestseller status during the recording. You can learn more about the book and download chapter one for free here.




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