Mitek acquires ID R&D to provide protection against identity theft and dangerous fraud techniques

Mitek announced that it has acquired ID R&D, a provider of artificial intelligence (AI)-based voice and face biometrics and liveness detection. Shareholders of ID R&D will be entitled to receive up to $49 million in Mitek stock and cash as consideration.

ID R&D’s pioneering facial and voice biometric capabilities provide increased protection against today’s most sophisticated identity theft and increasingly dangerous fraud techniques, such as deepfakes and synthetic voice augmentation. These technologies ensure the highest level of security against evolving threats and deliver an imperceptible consumer experience.

The rapid advancement and availability of deepfake and other identity augmenting technologies presents a significant new threat to consumers. Gartner predicts that in only two years, 20% of all successful account takeover attacks will use these technologies. To defend against the rise and growing sophistication of these fraud attacks, the identity verification market is expected to reach $15.8 billion in the US by 2025, according to a report by Markets and Markets.

ID R&D’s multi-modal approach to identity authentication directly addresses these threats by combining passive facial liveness and voice anti-spoofing technologies, accurately identifying even advanced AI-based deceptions to ensure each transaction is completed by a real person.

“Today’s consumers are transacting in a digital-first world, and they expect to trust technology to keep them safe against burgeoning threats. Identity verification has never been more relevant,” said Max Carnecchia, CEO Mitek Systems. “Rapid advances in artificial intelligence are enabling novel forms of fraud, which means technologies like those pioneered by ID R&D are critical in this fight.”

The integration of Mitek and ID R&D simplifies and secures the entire transaction lifecycle for both businesses and consumers. Businesses and financial institutions will have access to one authentication solution to deploy throughout the complete transaction cycle, and can provide consumers with a simple, intuitive approach to fighting fraud.

Biometric traits are the most unique and human basis for authentication, and this authenticity has led to rapid consumer adoption of the technology. Juniper Research estimates that by 2025, 1.4 billion consumers will be using facial recognition to facilitate secure transactions.

However, the latest emerging threats also show the need for the industry to continually innovate to stay ahead of the fraudsters. For example, many facial recognition technologies require active liveness detection – the need to blink or yawn prior to a photo being taken. Modern deepfake technology provides the tools for fraudsters to easily mimic these actions, making ID R&D’s technology vital in the fight against fraud.

“Consumers want an easy, frictionless experience. We are proud to join Mitek to scale our leading voice biometrics, facial liveness and deepfake detection technologies,” said Alexey Khitrov, CEO at ID R&D. “This move accelerates our vision to be the industry’s center of excellence to fight fraud more seamlessly without inconveniencing customers.”

How it works

When a person opens a new account remotely or is required to verify their identity for a high-value transaction, the person must prove who they are through credentials, identification documents and a biometric.

The customer is initially verified through identity proofing which combines a digital copy of an identity document and taking a selfie. Liveness detection ensures the user is present, not a spoof. Later the same person can use biometrics to securely and easily authenticate when logging in or to reverify their identity.

In addition to integrating into the Mitek solution, ID R&D will continue to offer its core biometric components directly to the market. ID R&D will also continue to operate under its brand.

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