Identity crisis: Transforming the ID management experience for the modern user
Given the rapidly evolving digitalized environments organizations find themselves in today, the issues around identity security and what constitutes adequate access management have become hot-button topics.
To put it into perspective, consumers are plagued at every turn by digital scams claiming to be someone else or spoofing their identity to mislead users and hoping to gain access to their personal and financial information. The problems are even worse for essentially every enterprise, with identity volumes growing as more users need access from outside the perimeter, and machine identities proliferate.
In fact, a Gartner poll found that 82% of company leaders plan to allow their employees to work remotely, at least some of the time. And with pressing digital transformation initiatives a significant priority for all enterprises in the past few years, the number of new digital identities that need to be verified keeps rising.
Unfortunately, the outlook for identity security preferences, particularly the reliance on passwords to shield account access, is outdated. Many IT security professionals thought that passwords would have been done away with years ago, given how prone they are to being compromised. User authentication is pivotal, as without it, a consumer can be unwittingly defrauded of their savings or lose other valuable information.
For a business, the authentication conundrum is magnified as a successful intrusion can result in compromised data, and extortion attempts from savvy attackers looking to capitalize on that exposed data. Not only would passwords be fully exposed in such a scenario, but along with the financial damage there could be significant reputational loss too.
Given the advanced threat climate nowadays, there has been a significant learning curve for security specialists as well, with the 2022 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report finding that passwords were the underlying factor in 81% of all data breaches — with each incident costing the average organization between US$4 million and US$8 million. Along with personal information, these breaches can result in people’s financial and banking information being compromised.
In the workplace, there are many disjointed systems built on top of each other, all with their unique or sometimes shared passwords which can be difficult to manage. But using passwords in the first place does not address the pain point, because passwords can be captured in a hack.
Going passwordless, or at least, employing Multifactor Authentication (MFA) so that more than one type of authenticator is harnessed, is the track that secured identity management is currently on. Organizations can shield both their workers and precious data better by implementing a diverse range of authenticators across the different environments and threat surfaces, desegregating its security posture so that there are fallback authentication methods and not relying solely on a single ‘lock’.
Users want passwordless and touchless
The global COVID pandemic accelerated changes in how most enterprises are evolving their security posture. Contactless options such as facial recognition and NFC-based card verification became more prevalent, as users became reluctant to touch surfaces directly – to that end, many organizations are trying to eliminate physical touchpoints like entering passcodes on keypads and fingerprint scanners altogether. This is especially true for banks who had previously relied on card readers and PIN entry for payment authorization.
Most recently, newer contact-reduced biometrics solutions have begun to be slowly introduced by the public and private sectors to verify digital identity as authentic. Using an eye scan, facial recognition or authenticating via an app on the user’s phone, is gaining ground.
A recent study found that nearly six out of 10 (58%) consumers would use biometrics instead of a password for all of their accounts, if the brands and services they used offered it. As more customers look for seamless digital experiences, online and mobile banking has surged in adoption.
Banks meanwhile, with their traditional legacy infrastructure brought together over years, are now being pushed to update their authentication processes to move away from in-person authentication, streamlining logins and account validations as securely and non-intrusively as possible.
Choosing the right identity management solution for the business
Banks and companies with interests in the financial services space need to ensure the solution they adopt improves upon their security posture, while moving away from the exposure potential of a centralized credential repository. In newer identity security models, users’ credentials are decentralized and stored on mobile devices instead.
Internally in the company, moving away from the password clutter of too many interoperable systems – and the resultant password management nightmare – can be enabled by adopting single sign-on (SSO) capabilities that enhance internal efficiencies while simultaneously simplifying the user experience journey. Gartner believes SSO is a core identity and access management (IAM) solution for most organizations today.
So how should companies go about selecting the best solution for their business? For companies with a sizable distributed workforce, automated tools can securely and reliably deploy true passwordless and SSO that allow newly-onboarded employees to self-register from any location.
This seamless but secure ease of authentication should also extend to when the enterprise needs to scale. There should be minimal friction in adding third-party applications or new cloud environments – the password-free authentication method needs to be able to scale quickly too. And if you’re sharing a lot of high-value privileged information such as bank transaction data, your identity and access management solution needs to offer enterprise support.
A single, unified identity is needed to authenticate seamlessly and even approve transactions securely. The best passwordless platforms like Entrust will provide clear roadmaps for transaction history and continuous login session monitoring so that users won’t just be logged into their accounts for interminable lengths of time, exposing their accounts to more vulnerabilities.
Named a 2021 Technology Leader in the User Authentication Market by Quadrant Knowledge Solutions, Entrust delivers a host of best-in-class identity and access capabilities, such as its intelligent IAM platform that employs a zero-trust framework. The platform supplies user authentication, authorization, and access control for only the right permissions – regardless of where the request is originating.
Entrust’s comprehensive identity portfolio is device-agnostic, helping transform omnichannel enterprise experiences such as online banking, mobile banking, account issuance, and even call center verification. Entrust IAM solutions scale quickly and support a broad range of authentication techniques, along with out-of-the-box integration with fraud detection, ID proofing, 3DS, and RASP for high-level compliance.
Check out the full Entrust identity suite for all users – from staff to consumers – in one easy place. Request a demonstration or kick off a free trial right now to road-test which authentication solution is right for your enterprise.
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