Balancing the security needs of the company and the customer’s desire for seamless experience on a digital platform can be daunting. Discover how a Common Identity Platform can solve this dilemma, by ensuring secure yet seamless access across platforms.
The log-on process has become a mind-numbing task across multiple platforms. Customers are expected to jump through several different hoops before they can gain access to their account, increasing customer frustrations, and taking away from the customer experience. Behind the scenes, the authentication process is even more complicated – and rightly so, as the alternative could be catastrophic.
Data breaches have grown exponentially, with the Identity Theft Research Center reporting an increase of 17% in recorded data breaches from 2020 to 2021. This is highly problematic for businesses who can face a wealth of repercussions if their website is breached, from legal action to reputational damage, operational downtime and financial losses.
The pandemic-induced reliance on digital business proposes many opportunities, but also varying hurdles to overcome, and cyber security is a primary concern. From bank details to home addresses, more and more personal user data must be safeguarded from cyber criminals, who are finding new ways to pry information from businesses websites. And with large amounts of personal identifiable information (PII) comes great responsibility.
Fine Margin Between Seamless and Secure
Customers are increasingly savvy about their data and want reassurance that it’s in safe hands. Delivering a first-class customer experience is an essential part of any business, and this includes guaranteeing a user authentication experience that is both seamless and secure. But a balance needs to be struck. If authentication is too heavy handed, there’s a likely chance customers won’t come back. If data isn’t sufficiently secure, they might not even sign up in the first place. Organisations should aspire for their authentication processes to act like a digital bouncer at a premium club: welcoming customers warmly whilst managing threats and keeping bad actors away.
Unfortunately, many businesses today are falling short when it comes to both customer experience and security. Access for users to many digital services is the crossroads where technical execution meets customer expectation. Organisations need to manage huge complexity and users expect a smooth login experience wherever they are. To address this and get a balance between the two requires a set of tools that makes it possible to adapt the authentication process to the app, location, or website that the user needs to access.
Building a Common Identity Platform
Protecting businesses from security threats is becoming increasingly complex, and this presents a challenge for developers. Bad actors are becoming increasingly sophisticated and, like a game of Whac-A-Mole, for every threat that’s extinguished, another pops up.
We know that not every developer can be an identity specialist, however developers are still expected to provide sophisticated applications that perform consistently and securely across digital services. The only way to do this effectively and efficiently is through one cohesive platform for authentication and identity management, united through a Common Identity Platform. So, what benefits can this bring to businesses?
1. Earn Customer Trust
Inconsistent, slow or convoluted functions will cause customers to leave in droves. As a consumer, if it takes two minutes to log into your streaming service when your favourite sport is on, or quickly checking your bank balance on the move, you will naturally feel frustrated. Customers need to trust that authentication mechanisms will be efficient, and access will be speedy, otherwise they will go elsewhere – and that trust requires the consistency that comes from one cohesive platform. Getting it right will pay dividends in brand loyalty that will certainly benefit a business’s bottom line.
2. Empower Developers
A Common Identity Platform empowers developers to easily integrate and deploy Identity and Access Management (IAM) solutions across digital services, clients, and devices in a flexible, scalable, and secure way. Critical identity policies can be managed centrally, meaning app developers are able to ensure consistent authentication and access performance, making the most of the reusability function that the Platform offers. Developers can be reassured that the identity solutions within their applications meet a very high level of compliance.
3. Leverage Existing Investment
Large organisations are likely to have several legacy IAM systems in place, whether acquired through mergers and acquisitions or just through organic growth over time. It’s not feasible – practically or financially – for any established business to set up entirely new security systems from scratch, and it’s not safe to stay as they are. A Common Identity Platform enables developers to merge legacy systems with new ones, cutting costs whilst ensuring businesses benefit from the latest and most sophisticated security technology.
Increased data regulation in many parts of the world also means systems must meet a wide range of compliance and security standards. A Common Identity Platform can replace or complement legacy IAM solutions and still utilise certain parts, for the short or long-term, while these continue to be in use. It can also act as an identity broker, making it straightforward to develop and use a standard set of APIs, even when utilising multiple identity providers – providing the flexibility, scalability, and reusability required to comply with regulations and maximise existing investments.
Prioritising either security or customer experience should not be a decision that businesses need to make. They are both valuable facets of the digital consumer experience and a Common Identity Platform can ensure a business can offer the best of both worlds: Integration of a consistent authentication experience across a range of different platforms, while maintaining a convenience customer experience that is future proof to business.
ABOUT OUR GUEST WRITER
Chief Technology Officer, Curity
Jacob Ideskog is an Identity Specialist and CTO at Curity. Most of his time is spent working with security solutions in the API and Web space. He has worked with both designing and implementing OAuth and OpenID Connect solutions for large enterprise deployments as well as small startups.