Advancements in conversational artificial intelligence coupled with the growing consumer demand for better remote customer assistance are driving the adoption of chatbots across industries. Intelligent chatbot applications perform online sales, customer support, and technical support conversations via text or text-to-speech, in lieu of providing direct contact with a live human. Many organizations across the financial technology (“FinTech”) and banking segments, eCommerce providers as well as outsourced customer support providers are deploying chatbots to automate customer interaction, saving time and money in the process.
A chatbot (also known as a chatterbot) is a software application that performs human-like conversation via text, text-to-speech, or both. Chatbots can be easily integrated into websites, messaging apps, or voice response systems. The applications can attend to customers around the clock, answer inquiries, process transactions, book appointments, and perform many more routine tasks.
Chatbots offer the benefits of reduced operational costs and quicker customer query resolution. During the COVID-19 pandemic, chatbots helped businesses address the surge in customer request volumes and scale their operations, further propelling their implementation in enterprises. According to the Salesforce State of Service, Fourth Edition, the adoption of chatbots among service organizations grew by 67% from 2018 to 2020. Consequently, a report from Markets and Markets forecasts the global conversational artificial intelligence (AI) market size to increase from $4.8 billion in 2020 to $13.9 billion by 2025.
Still, even with the potentials offered by chatbots, security concerns surround them. Bad actors are shifting their efforts to exploit this technology. If systems are not adequately protected, they can become a gateway for criminals to infiltrate the network and extract valuable data.
Knowledge-Based Authentication is a Source of Chatbot Security Risks
Many platforms use knowledge-based authentication (KBA) to keep their chatbot sessions secure. A registered user is required to provide their user ID and password for identity verification and authorization (granting the user permission to access a portal or perform a specific activity).
The premise of KBA is that only the real owner knows the information, thereby preventing unauthorized individuals from using the platform. While some platforms require additional authentication using SMS or email codes to supplement passwords, these outdated methods are prone to theft and other circumvention tactics, making them ineffective in proving someone’s claimed identity.
Chatbots often handle valuable data like credit card information, bank account details, social security numbers (SSNs), and other personally identifiable information (PII) during a session. When criminals succeed in bypassing chatbot security, they can use this information to perform fraudulent activities, accruing significant losses for the company. In addition, customers might be discouraged from using chatbots as they fear their sensitive information is not safe with this technology.
Enterprises must replace outdated identity authentication methods like KBA with a more robust and effective alternative. Moreover, if they want to leverage multi-layer security, they must use stronger authentication factors instead of SMS and email codes.
Shoring Up Chatbot Security with Biometric Identity Authentication
Mobile facial biometric authentication is an ideal replacement for KBA as it offers better protection against security threats and ensures certainty that chatbots interact with the true account owner. This login method leverages biometrics like facial recognition scans to confirm a user’s claimed identity. These credentials are not easily stolen or bypassed with methods used against KBA.
Biometric identity authentication continually verifies a user’s identity each time they use chatbots to access portals or perform certain tasks, not just during initial login. Furthermore, there are identity verification solutions that capture biometric audit trails to determine possible anomalies among transactions.
More Efficient and Streamlined Authentication Process
Most iOS and Android mobile devices have easily accessible cameras, making biometric identity authentication procedure quick and easy to perform. Users can simply take a selfie with their mobile device and undergo active liveness and anti-spoofing confirmation to complete the process in just a few seconds. The selfie is matched to a reference template, which was established during enrollment and identity verification.
Since users do not need to input long and complex passwords at every turn, it reduces friction and saves time, enabling a pleasant user experience. By delighting consumers, enterprises can retain their loyal clientele and expand their customer base.
Chatbots are useful applications that provide many advantages to enterprises, but they require the right defenses to protect the valuable information they manage. Apart from addressing security concerns, businesses that integrate chatbots into their platforms also need an identity authentication solution that meets modern consumer demand for quick and convenient services. When choosing the right identity provider to work with, organizations must select the one that suits their operational needs.
With authID‘s suite of multi-factor authentication services, enterprises can replace outdated knowledge-based authentication in call-center or online chat support centers and increase assurance with quick, low-friction user experiences on trusted mobile devices. authID offers the security and convenience of FIDO2 passwordless logon that extends the value of a proofed identity by delivering mobile facial biometric authentication that offers greater assurance than knowledge-based authentication or other two-factor authentication solutions. Verified™ confirms consent to specific transactions and biometrically authenticates a person’s identity in real-time for higher-risk transactions.
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authID.ai is a leading provider of an identity authentication platform that delivers a suite of secure, biometric identity solutions, available to any vertical, anywhere. Businesses can leverage better security protocols in chatbot sessions while providing a seamless user experience with authID’s products.
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