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The voice of security: top voice biometric specialist secures ISO27001 re-certification

This case study shows how IT Governance helped VoiceVault achieve ISO27001 re-certification. Enter your email address at the bottom of this page if you would like a PDF version of this case study. Call us on +44 (0)333 800 7000 to discuss your own ISO27001 consultancy requirements.

VoiceVault Case Study

VoiceVault is a specialist industry leader in the provision of voice-based biometric identity verification solutions and services (see below). With operations in the United States and the United Kingdom, the company has a global customer base of public and private organisations, such as government agencies, financial institutions and healthcare companies. Keeping information secure is at the heart of their business, so they know the value of information security, and how a robust Information Security Management System (ISMS) and certification to ISO27001 can demonstrate this to their clients.


Although VoiceVault is in the business of information security technology, they are not specialists in ISO27001. Having already been through the certification process, they knew how much work it could potentially involve in a relatively tight timescale. An external agency that could lead the project, with minimal interruption to business as usual, was called for and IT Governance fit that profile neatly.

Biometrics are automated methods of recognising a person based on a measurable physiological, anatomical or behavioural characteristic. They are now seeing wide adoption as technology matures and new methods of securing systems becomes ever increasingly important.

VoiceVault is an industry leader in voice biometrics, with a rapidly growing global customer base and specialist partners such as Angel in the US and DataPoint in the UK. VoiceVault provides a more convenient, practical and secure alternative to PINs, passwords or security tokens. As well as verifying an individual’s identity over the phone or the Internet, VoiceVault can be employed across a diverse range of business applications, including procurement, payment authorisation and corporate security.

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Usually a physical site move would have meant the company would need to submit a complete re-assessment for ISO27001 certification. However, as the move was scheduled to take place gradually over several months, and the heart of the business and scope was still in Dublin at the time of the scheduled surveillance visit, this was completed against the original scope.

IT Governance was engaged as a partner for VoiceVault to ensure that the new scope met the requirements of the business to reflect, not only changes to the company, but also changes to legislation and contractual obligations.


In addition to redefining the scope, IT Governance completed a new risk assessment, provided staff awareness training and helped VoiceVault develop ISMS documentation in order to meet the requirements for re-certification in April 2010. IT Governance then worked with VoiceVault to drive the ISMS project forward, allowing VoiceVault to focus on the relocation and yet retain ownership of their security arrangements.


VoiceVault successfully completed its reassessment audit to ISO27001 in April 2010. INAB (Irish National Accreditation Board) accredited certification body, Certification Europe, conducted their audit.

‘VoiceVault and IT Governance successfully navigated a number of challenges’, said Michael Brophy, CEO of Certification Europe. ‘Not only was the ISO system undergoing reassessment, but it was at a time when there was a significant change-over of staff, a change of premise and a new release of the core technology. Any one of these issues would normally pose a challenge, but having them all come together really tested the ISMS. Our auditors wanted to ensure that, with the change of personnel, there was still a genuine awareness and ownership of the system within VoiceVault. We also wanted to make sure that, with new staff coming on board, information security was still treated as a priority, particularly with all the competing issues.’

‘The partnership between IT Governance and VoiceVault was obviously a success, as within a very short time, VoiceVault was able to demonstrate compliance with all the relevant controls in ISO27001.’

Michael Brophy, CEO of Certification Europe

Next Steps

As VoiceVault experienced, for an ISMS to function well it needs to be maintained regularly. Among other things, corrective and preventive actions need to be taken, documents updated, risks reviewed and regular internal audits completed.

IT Governance lead consultant Yvonne Sears said, ‘Responsibility for parts of the ISMS throughout the company needs to be delegated to ensure buy-in and that responsibilities are understood, particularly around policies and procedures.’ She recommended that regular meetings are conducted to report on the effectiveness of the ISMS and controls to senior management, saying, ‘This will emphasise the need for ISO27001 and hopefully, retain senior-level and commitment buy-in!’ Unsurprisingly, she is all for a dedicated resource, whether internal or external, to effectively maintain the ISMS.

When asked what was next for VoiceVault and IT Governance, Andrew Saunders replied: ‘We hope to have a long-term relationship with IT Governance. We recognise they have the core competency of running an ISMS and we think this will augment our own skills as well’.

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