Posts on Dec 2016

Getting smart about security: Balancing accessibility with proper authentication

​Smart Tones add another layer of security to the authentication process without impeding accessibility.

We live in a world that is becoming increasingly more connected. For both businesses and individuals, the unprecedented rate at which technological advancements are accelerating is a good thing. Higher levels of connectivity translate to better, easier communications and more convenience. Our world moves fast, so the devices and technology we use for managing the flow of people, processes and information must be up-to-speed. 

Unfortunately, a more connected world also means security is a greater concern. And for most organizations, finding a balance between increased accessibility and stronger authentication has often been challenging. Now, it doesn't have to be.

​LISNR Smart Tones eliminate many of the issues other existing technologies today present. As the world's first ultrasonic audio solution, Smart Tones work in a way that no other product does, providing businesses with opportunities for improvement that weren't possible before.

Achieving simpler and stronger security
Smart Tones use inaudible sound waves to transmit data between digital devices in real time using existing hardware and device infrastructure. Each Tone is unique and encrypted, creating a secure and seamless authentication process within a matter of seconds (or less).

"Automated authentication means instant yet secure accessibility."

As Smashing Magazine pointed out, one of the biggest problems with password authentication today is that it doesn't scale well and just adds one more thing users need to remember. Smart Tones eliminate these burdens. 

Affordable and easy to scale, Smart Tones don't require additional hardware or equipment, allowing any smart device to achieve secure check-in and authentication. Whether it is a wearable, tablet or smartphone, Smart Tones only use the microphone and speakers on a device to connect, and create and decode data to validate a user. In addition, its offline capabilities bypass the need for Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connection or cellular data usage.

A secure offline authentication process means businesses can validate users with more speed, convenience and security than ever before – regardless of the environment or application. Smart Tones can be packaged in many different ways for various industries and purposes. For example: 

  • Building security: Organizations that want certain employees to have access to an otherwise secured environment can use Smart Tones to create as many "keys" as they need. Authenticated users can access secured areas using unique Tone generations. Furthermore, businesses can program these keys these to work only during certain times and renew or expire as necessary.
  • Ticketing: Smart Tones take mobile ticketing to the next level. Some pains associated with mobile ticketing, such as QR codes and emails, include dead zones and overloaded networks limiting usability, as well as the need for specific device compatibility and hardware. They also only tell companies so much about the customer. Smart Tones have offline capabilities that make the authentication process seamless, so the check-in and door entry processing goes a lot faster. Plus, Smart Tones reduce the risk of fraudulent tickets.

Because data doesn't pass over a WiFi or cellular network, and instead uses the microphone and speaker to transmit data over inaudible sound waves, Smart Tones add another layer of security to the authentication process. Whereas the hardware and software of other solutions are vulnerable to attack, LISNR's product combines single-use tones with metadata and tokenization to ensure a completely secure connection, preventing unauthorized access and leaving no sensitive data to be hacked.  

Automating authentication
The more efficient authentication processes are, the smoother operations will go. By eliminating most of the obstacles that hamper today's security protocols and technologies – such as additional hardware requirements, server call identification and heavy central processing unit/battery usage – Smart Tones are able to automate the authentication process, establishing the perfect balance between strong security ease of accessibility.

To get a better idea of how Smart Tones are unlocking the future with the Internet of Sound, check out this video:

A new way to pay: The next-generation of contactless payment technology

Smart Tones present a new way for retailers to make the customer experience more convenient and meaningful.

Successful businesses know that a good customer experience means providing as much convenience as possible. And when contactless payment technology first hit the scene about a decade ago, it presented a new opportunity for businesses to do just that. By eliminating the need for shoppers to dig out their credit card, sort through cash or deal with paper receipts, this innovation has made completing a transaction faster and easier. This, in turn, has made for happier sellers and consumers. 

Mobile payment technology has evolved significantly over the past few years, and is expected to gain more traction in the next year or so. According to eMarketer, in 2017, the value of U.S. proximity mobile payments is expected to hit more than $62 billion – a nearly $34 billion jump from this year – and at least $314 billion by 2020.

"Smart Tones revolutionize the concept of mobile and contactless payments."

Evolution of electronic payments
Without a doubt, contactless payments are the future of transactions. They offer the efficiency merchants need and convenience customers expect. However, they are not without their limitations. Many of the popular types of digital payment technologies – such as near-field communication, Bluetooth and Beacon – have issues that need to be resolved, such as POS system upgrades, device-compatibility requirements and security concerns.

To maintain a competitive advantage in this ever-evolving and rapidly changing environment, businesses must operate with a forward-thinking mindset. This means staying at the forefront of industry trends and innovations and adopting solutions that eradicate the pain points of existing and outdated systems. LISNR is at the forefront of this movement, completely revolutionizing the concept of contactless payments.

Powering frictionless payments
As the world's most advanced data over audio solution, LISNR eliminates issues that normally cause friction and frustration with mobile payments today. Using inaudible sound waves to transfer customizable packets of data, Smart Tones enable close range device-to-device communication and secure transactions. Below are some of the benefits Smart Tones offer merchants:

  • Lower operational costs: Smart Tones use the existing microphone and speaker infrastructure (rather than chip and antenna) present in most mobile devices and POS systems today, so there's no need for merchants to purchase new hardware or equipment, making it incredibly more affordable than other options out there. In addition, the enhanced transactional efficiency Smart Tones facilitate allows businesses to complete more sales. 
  • Security: Security is one of the biggest concerns both consumers and merchants have when it comes to adopting mobile payment technology. However, Smart Tones enable offline authentication between devices. They use single-use keys, metadata and tokenization, making transactions safe and secure. Also, because the tones can be set to expire at a certain time, it offers merchants a way to further reduce the risk of fraudulent transactions. 
  • More flexibility: Smart Tones are compatible with just about every device and the unique tone generations can be used in a wide range of environments. Since there is no need for Wi-Fi, data connectivity or additional hardware, LISNR's technology can easily be deployed and used by almost anyone, at any scale, with a consistently high coverage.

Smart Tones represent the next generation of digital and mobile payment technology, paving the way for merchants to completely transform the transaction experience. By using Smart Tones, companies gain a competitive advantage, stand out in the industry and position themselves as pioneers who truly care about putting the convenience and security of their customers above all else.

To learn more about how LISNR is reshaping the contactless payment movement, watch the video below: