How Speech Privacy Systems Prevent Information Leakage

Author: Gina Cunsolo

Think about the discussions that take place around your company headquarters every day. There might be negotiations with a potential client in one office, while in another, a manager might deliver performance evaluations. In another, executives might be on speakerphone with investors discussing a proposed acquisition. Suffice it to say that a typical day in a corporate office includes conversations involving confidential information.


With that in mind, one of the responsibilities of company managers is to ensure that confidential information doesn't fall into the wrong hands. The risks might come from visitors to the office, disgruntled employees who wish to harm the organization, or simply from those who work in the office but don't need to know. It's called information leakage, and it can bring a company to its knees.


Although there are several steps office managers can take to reduce the potential for information leakage, one of the least expensive and most efficient ways is by investing in a speech privacy system.


Protecting Information Leakage With Speech Privacy Systems 


Most people are well aware of the dangers of confidential information falling into the wrong hands.


For example, when it comes to computers, a recent IBM report estimated that in 2021 data breaches cost companies an average of $4.24 million, the highest in the 17-year history of the report. 


While we wouldn't even consider using computers, email programs, or online banking tools without password protection, we rarely consider the risk of unauthorized people eavesdropping on conversations around the office. And while we may have absolute trust in our employees, sensitive conversations might be overheard by maintenance personnel, job candidates participating in a job interview in the conference room, or even a delivery person dropping off food or packages.


How Speech Privacy Systems Can Minimize The Information Leakage Risk 


Commercial office sound masking systems introduce ambient noise to a room to help prevent eavesdropping. The added sound is engineered to approximate the frequency of human speech. As a result, the conversations of others are less intelligible and, as such, less likely to be overheard. Sound masking doesn't eliminate the sounds of others' conversations; it simply makes them unintelligible when the speakers are more than a few feet away.


Traditional sound masking systems typically consist of a control unit and several external speakers. Yamaha Unified Communications, for example, recently introduced its VSP-2 Speech Privacy System. With new Info-Masking Technology, the VSP-2 prevents information leakage by reducing human voice intelligibility for the accidental, external listener.


The tabletop control unit connects to speakers via wire and includes three easily adjustable sound elements:

  • Speech Sound Masker: Made from elements of a human voice

  • Environmental Sound: Forest Sound, Murmuring Brook, Urban Clatter, Room Air Conditioner

  • Sound Effect: Guitar, Piano, Music box, Digital Device


The VSP2 provides up to 65% higher masking performance at the same sound level as other conventional sound masking methods, creating a relaxing acoustic environment free from distractions.


The system utilizes a custom combination of natural sounds to mask sensitive information at up to 8db lower than traditional sound masking systems.

So if you're looking for a way to protect your business from information leakage, a speech privacy system is worth considering. To learn more, reach out to the experts at Yamaha UC. To learn about other solutions for your business, visit our Products page