Industry Insights

Nov 9, 2023

Voice Clones: The Greatest Threat to the Financial Sector

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Today's financial sector is often at the forefront of adopting the latest, most advanced technologies known to man. This ability to keep pace with emerging technologies allows our institutions to keep up with ever-changing consumer and client demand, delivering on the expectations of immediate and convenient access to money and transactions, all while securing assets against any and every harm that may arise.

As the finance world advances, new opportunities for fraud always appear. Financial institutions have intensified their efforts in combating fraud by implementing voiceprints as a primary method for user identification. Yet voice uniqueness as a security check, regardless of how advanced it may be, is now highly vulnerable to the rapidly advancing developments in voice deepfaking and audio-centric AI-generated media. In a world where even the least technologically savvy person can create a sophisticated voice clone of any user in mere seconds — mimicking the person’s voice patterns, tone, pitch, and speaking style to the point of perfection — relying on voiceprints alone is no longer a viable option for our most trusted financial institutions. 

Securing a voice sample for cloning takes little effort. In well-publicized experiments, journalists and researchers have managed to penetrate voiceprint verification measures with off-the-shelf AI tools and a few minutes of their time. Armed with this technology, bad actors can easily circumvent the voiceprint biometric checks of major institutions with even the most stringent measures, gaining access to assets, transferring funds, changing account information, and harvesting account data as they see fit. The potential damage from these attacks, which existing infrastructure is no match for, is unfathomable both on an account level and on the institution’s brand reputation. 

Consumers and experts have already expressed serious concerns about the use of deepfakes and voice clones targeting financial markets. These concerns are well-founded. Cyberattack incidents against banks are on a perpetual rise (including those using weaponized generative AI), and risk management for digital services is one of the most important challenges the banking industry constantly faces. As the sophistication of generative AI technology continues growing while accessibility increases, it is crucial that financial institutions can retain the trust of their customers by not only keeping up with, but staying ahead of the trends that malicious actors use to bypass voiceprint security measures. 

Reality Defender provides platform-agnostic protection against voice cloning attacks. Our real-time audio deepfake detection models complement established voiceprinting, KYC, and AML systems, working in concert with already-integrated technology to ensure no voice clone gets through. Our AI experts continuously update, iterate, and improve our models to ensure that the methods of today and tomorrow are proactively detected on day one and for all clients, regardless of where or how a weaponized voice clone was made. Most notably perhaps is how our partnerships with tier-one financial institutions have already led to the successful implementation of real-time voice deepfake detection, saving our clients and their customers millions in potential losses.

The most sophisticated verification methods currently used by financial institutions are no match for deepfakes. Fortunately, Reality Defender remains committed to providing financial institutions with ever-evolving and -adapting state-of-the-art tools to detect and stop malicious attacks on financial security infrastructure, well before any damage can be done. We can roll back the clock on trust and safety in the financial world, preventing incalculable losses and further cementing the financial world as always one step ahead of even the most advanced technological threats of our time.

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