websights Identity Management: Strategies for Keeping Up with the Changing Digital Landscape - TrustBuilder

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Identity Management: Strategies for Keeping Up with the Changing Digital Landscape

Digital identity solutions have taken a whole new turn. Digital identity has evolved from just being a means of identification to being a critical aspect of accessing applications in various industries, ranging from financial services and healthcare to government and manufacturing.

Digital identities and trust are key in a digital society, not just to facilitate access control and deliver strong authentication: digital identities and identity management are also an asset to drive economic development. According to McKinsey Global Institute, providing every citizen with a digital identity promises an economic value that is equivalent to 3 to 13 percent of GDP in 2030 in 7 different countries. This evolution warrants mature technological strategies and capabilities to keep up with the changing digital identity landscape.

In this article, we will discuss digital identity management, its changing landscape, and how to keep up with new trends.

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What is Identity Management?

Identity Management is a framework of policies and technologies to ensure that only the right users have the appropriate access to technology resources. Identity management manages and protects the integrity of the identities and other identity-related attributes of one or many users in an organization.

Identity management is a crucial element of IT security and has become an essential component in almost all businesses. It takes care of:

  • The identity lifecycle
  • Policy and role management
  • Entitlements management
  • Access requests and workflow
  • Access certification
  • Auditing and reporting.

Why is Identity Management Becoming Important?

Identity and access management, IAM, is known for its prowess in ensuring data security with controlled access to sensitive data and information. This is a highly crucial responsibility that, if compromised, can cause losses that might be damaging to the organization’s welfare and reputation.

Individuals and businesses are increasingly relying on digital technologies. With the advent of cloud computing, mobile devices and the Internet of Things (IoT), the amount of data being created is exploding. It goes without saying that this data needs to be secured and protected. And as our reliance on digital technology grows, so does the number of cyber threats. Identity management is key in protecting data and fending off cyber attacks by clearly defining who gets access to what resources at what time. Other factors driving identity management are compliance requirements (e.g. GDPR) and the greater importance that is being attached to customer experience.

What Forms of Identity Verification Exist?

Identity verification plays a crucial role in identity management. It is the first step in the process of onboarding new customers or providing users with access to digital resources. There are different ways to ascertain the identity of a user:

  • Government-driven Identity Providers (IdPs), for instance itsme, France Connect, DigiD, eHerkenning, SwissID, BankID, SpiD, …
  • Document verification: by scanning or photographing an official document such as ID cards, passports or drivers’ licenses. Combining these with selfies (both still pictures or video and (voice) biometrics, offers ample proof of identity.
  • Social identities: many digital services allow users to identify themselves by using their logins for social media such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Google…

Company identities: employees that have been verified by the HR department and are stored in the company HR systems such as Workday, Capterra, Sage,… or just in the Active Directory of the company.

What is Changing in Identity Management?

For any data-driven business, digital identity solutions should be the backbone of its operations. It is imperative to ensure robust data security across all levels, as any form of compromise can leave the company vulnerable. Not only does it guarantee high-end identity security, but it also helps organizations onboard more customers and thus generate more revenue.

As mentioned above, businesses are increasingly using government-driven identities, for instance in banking or to log into government services. Many of these government-driven identities are only used in specific countries. For an Identity and Access Management system, this necessitates the support of all these different IdPs. In comparison to American IAM vendors, European IAM specialists like TrustBuilder offer support to all these IdPs, thus enabling businesses to deliver the same customer experience to citizens of any country.

Another evolution is that of self-sovereign identity (SSI). This is a digital identity model that gives individuals or organizations control over their personal information and how it is shared, stored, and used. In this model, users maintain ownership of their identity. SSI empowers individuals to maintain control over their personal data, thus allowing them to decide when, with whom, and to what extent their information is shared.

In a world where most people have become more mobile in the labor market and many work for different employers or play different roles within an organization, more importance is attached to the persona aspect of individuals. This causes the failure of the traditional Role-Based Access Control (RBAC). When people take on different roles, RBAC provides them with multiple profiles, forcing them to use different sets of credentials for each role. This challenge can be solved by applying Policy-Based Access Control (PBAC) in combination with the persona model. The combination of PBAC and personas increases data security, enhances customer experience and unburdens admin staff.

TrustBuilder is uniquely positioned to assist organizations to ride the wave of change in identity management. TrustBuilder offers different ways to verify identities, supports all European Identity Providers, and is actively involved in the development of data vaults that protect users’ identities. To cap it all, TrustBuilder is a pioneer of Policy-Based Access Control.

Identity management is a comprehensive framework consisting of policies and technologies that aim to guarantee that only authorized users have suitable access to technological resources. It effectively handles and safeguards the integrity of identities and other identity-related attributes for one or multiple users within an organization. As a vital component of IT security, identity management has become indispensable in nearly all types of organizations. It supports various critical functions, including the management of identity lifecycles, policy and role administration, rights management, access requests and workflow, access certification, as well as auditing and reporting.

Individuals and businesses rely heavily on technological advances in today’s digital landscape. The spread of cloud computing, mobile devices and the Internet of Things (IoT) have led to an exponential increase in data generation. It is clear that the protection and security of this data is of the utmost importance. As our dependence on digital technology increases, so does the threat of a cyber attack. Identity management then plays a crucial role in defending against these attacks, by clearly defining access rights to resources at specific times. Compliance requirements, such as GDPR, and the increased focus on customer experience are also driving the need for effective identity management.

Identity management has become strategically important for organizations. Identity and access management used to be a technical issue, but it has now become an enabler for business growth, due to increasing regulatory demands, consumers’ pressure for customer experience and privacy concerns. One of the big evolutions based on consumers’ need for privacy is the breakthrough of self-sovereign identity, giving individuals control over how their personal data are shared, stored and processed. To deliver enhanced customer experience, customer-facing organizations are turning to the concept of personas, allowing for more fine-grained access control. Combined with a policy-based approach, personas also unburden administrative staff through self-service options.