How Voice Recognition Software is Being Used to Detect Cyber Criminals

This post is part of the series, Guide to Business Computer and Tech Security: Advice, alerts and information about digital security threats faced by small businesses. You can browse other posts in the series below.

  1. Alerts 9.1 Million Users After 55,000 Accounts Are Breached | December 2016

  2. What Does HTTPS Mean? And Why a Small Business Website Needs the ‘S’

  3. Yahoo Security Breach is Another Reminder of Why Password Protection is Critical to Your Business

  4. Homeland Security Tips for Choosing Harder to Hack Passwords

  5. Passwords Are Stolen Everyday; How to Protect Yours From Being One of Them

  6. How to Recognize and Avoid an Attempt to Crack Your Two-Step Verification Passwords

  7. How Voice Recognition Software is Being Used to Detect Cyber Criminals

  8. How to Avoid a New Cyber Attack Attempting to Access Small Business Bank  Funds

  9. Seven Resolutions for 2016 That Will Help Protect Your Small Business Computers

  10. Top Ten Free Antivirus Utilities For Your Small Business | 2016

  11. Most Small Businesses Have No Cyber Attack Response Plan

  12. If Your Business Bank Account Gets Hacked, Your Bank May Blame You

  13. Why You Should Still Use a Password Management System, Even if You Heard One Was ‘Hacked’

  14. Advice From Google on Avoiding Scams Directed at Small Businesses

  15. More Tips for Actively Managing Your Passwords

  16. What Small Business Customers Should Know and Do About the JPMorgan Chase Cyberattack

  17. How Hackers Use ‘Social Engineering’ and How to Prevent It

  18. Ten Tips From the FCC for Improving Your Small Business Cyber Security

  19. Password Protection Advice from

  20. Ebay Asks 145 Million Users to Change Passwords

  21. What is Two-Step Verification and Why You Should Start Using Them

  22. How (and Why) to Use a Password Management Application

  23. How to Reduce the Odds of Being Hacked While Using Public Wifi


Pindrop Security, an Atlanta-based software company backed by several major investors including Google Capital, has developed software that analyzes the voice patterns of people calling into a company’s call center or other department. The software “listens” for callers who may be attempting to trick a company’s employees into providing them information that could be used later in a cyber attack. Pindrop, along with companies like Nuance (the company behind Dragon Naturally Speaking), are trying to solve the threat of the “human” hacking approach we’ve explored before on, “Social Engineering,” a method that is based on age-old confidence games.

While most small business owners and managers may picture cyber criminals as computer experts who try to break into a super-secure server, one of the most common threats to a business network comes from something called by security specialists, “social engineering.” (The rest of us call the method a “con game.”) It’s an approach that involves a bad guy convincing (conning) a victim to provide them some key bit of information they need to carry out an intended crime. Like “phishing” in email, the method tries to dupe the employee into thinking — by fake caller ID, for example — the caller is from a trusted source.

How does software detect social engineering fraud attemps?

Along with using voice recognition technology (think, Siri), voice security companies use various ways to analyze “voice biometrics” to establish or match an existing “acoustic fingerprint” of a caller. The software might also consider a wide array of variables that will lead it to “flag” or even block a caller, including:

  • The origination location of the call
  • If the call is coming from a trusted number
  • The kind of device or application the caller is using


(In cyber crime), the weakest link is often the human. And social engineering — meaning plain old deceit and trickery — is still one of the best ways for a fraudster to get through defenses.

Vijay Balasubramaniyan, Pindrop Security founder and CEO

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