Mike Wyatt, Global Cyber Identity Leader at Deloitte, was interviewed for the Cybercrime Magazine podcast to discuss key trends in digital identity and their importance to consumers and organisations. Here are the top highlights from the podcast:
Digital identity plays a key role in delivering a better customer experience; one that is “low friction”, which means it’s faster and easier for people. For example, many governments are moving everyday transactions – such as renewing a driver’s license – from in-person to online. Digital identity makes these transactions a much more streamlined, easy experience for citizens. Beyond this one application, digital identity is a critical part of enterprise cybersecurity because it authenticates network and system users and enforces access rights, so people can only do what they are supposed to do. This helps to prevent security breaches and protects important IT systems.
The delivery of digital identity is moving from on-premises to the cloud. Many organisations are now completely cloud-based or have a hybrid model (on-premises + cloud). Additionally, enterprises are deploying new software more quickly and leveraging innovations in advanced authentication to do this in a secure fashion. The adoption of these innovative new technologies has been accelerated by organisations’ response to COVID-19, which forced them to go digital faster than anticipated. The bottom line is that digital identity systems from several years ago no longer work in today’s IT environments, so enterprises need to stay ahead of the technology curve.
Digital identity plays an important role in how various audiences such as customers, employees and suppliers interact with an organisation in today’s remote workforce and digital-based, virtual world. It provides identity proofing, advanced authentication and user behaviour analytics, which are all important to an organisation’s cybersecurity programme. And, as mentioned earlier, digital identity helps deliver a better overall customer experience.
Today’s modern digital identity solutions have proven to deliver benefits to many enterprises, so it’s a good time to invest in this technology.
The Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) from Identity-as-a-Service providers have advanced significantly and can future-proof digital identity initiatives for years to come. In addition, organisations can use a managed identity services provider to outsource digital identity and “buy the outcomes that they want.” This puts the outcome burden on the vendor rather than the organisation.
Remember that trust is the foundation of relationships and effective digital identity programmes enable trust. Take the time up front to really understand the business outcomes that the organisation wants, before determining technology goals or needs. Also, think beyond IT stakeholders and reach out to others in the organisation. For example, what do the sales and marketing departments need? For government organisations, think of funding sources and engage them on what their goals and needs are.
Additionally, conduct an organisational change management programme as a workstream for any digital identity initiative. Over the years, we’ve found that clients who do this have a significantly higher rate of success rolling out digital identity. Finally, think about how digital identity services will be delivered – on-premises, in the cloud, or a hybrid approach. It’s important to pick the right model to meet company objectives.