Authentify Debuts xFA Voice Security Service

Authentify, a provider of phone-based authentication services, has debuted the xFA solution that combines voice biometrics with other forms of authentication, including cryptographs (digital images that can be scanned using phone cameras) and digital certificates.

"Historically, Authentify has treated outbound calls to telephones and then mobile phones as a second channel for the purpose of user authentication," says Dan Miller, senior analyst at Opus Research. "It has long been able to include voice biometrics as a factor to support strong authentication. But for the most part it had integrated PINs or one-time passwords sent by text message."

xFA, which stands for x factors of authentication, can be used in place of passwords. Enterprises can customize the solution to suit their own authentication needs.

"The ability to write an app that can use the data channel as a voice connection from a server as well as the scanning capability using the camera lens led to xFA," says John Zurawski, vice president of marketing at Authentify.

Zurawski says unlike most other biometric processes that are housed on the phones themselves, xFa uses a digital certificate to identify the device in the hands of the person and the digital certificate, which is stored on an external server, takes the caller to the biometric engine

"You actually have a password to open the xFa app in the first place, which is a single factor of authentication," Zurawski explains. "The digital certificate sitting underneath that becomes a second factor of authentication, and the voice biometric becomes the third factor of authentication."

The xFA Service and the xFA app can be downloaded from Apple and Android stores. The service is available for a fixed annual subscription fee.

"It's nice to see Authentify, with its long-standing leadership in out-of-band authentication, joining the chorus for more voice-based password replacements," Miller says. "We agree that enterprises will find voice biometrics to be an alternative to complex password management systems that brings convenience without compromising security."

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