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Securing customers’ digital identities: a “dragon’s tale”

More and more digital uses are emerging due to the acceleration of digital transformation. New issues arise from this evolution. Yesterday, digital identities were defined as technological links between real identities and virtual ones. Today, they tend to supplant physical ones, therefore becoming more and more significant. In our digital world, securing identities is an ever evolving challenge, sometimes confusing. Here are a few insights to reduce this understandable apprehension. Let’s follow the dragon!

The massive volume of data that companies process comes with great responsibilities. Intrinsically precious, data shall remain classified. The event of a data breach rightly frightens firms all over the world, as a study led by Ponemon Institute in 2016 highlighted that they cost a US company an average of $7 million. And cost is not only financial, data breaches usually resulting in a loss of trust and image towards the victim company. Thus, imagine your data as a treasure. Like every treasure, it contains gems and valuable objects, some of them you can not afford to lose or misplace. To defend your treasure, like all decent storyteller, you hire a dragon. This dragon represents every aspect of your digital security.

Step 1 : engaging the right dragon

As a first step, the dragon can take the shape of identity federation principles, like CIAM (for Customer Identity & Access Management), allowing a new marketing approach including new innovating technological tools. Ensuring a better organization for the customer, authentication solutions are here gathered in one single access point. This federation thus limits flaws and enables a better security. For example, ForgeRock created its own CIAM solution, firmly business-oriented to focus on productivity and ever better knowledge of customers. Such CIAM solution shall be a good dragon to start protecting your treasure.

Single Sign-On (SSO) is working on along the same lines : combined to CIAM, it enables users to connect to numerous platforms using their “social login”. As Facebook, Google and Twitter tend to expand, this type of login flourishes.

Securing identities shall also involve good management practices, especially when your customers’ digital identities are handled by cloud solutions. This is where implementing an agile IT platform allows many benefits, including better resilience and better security.

Now that you reduced the number of entry points for accessing your gems, it is time to secure the only access point. It is where you can set up a multi factor authentication or a strong authentication, which requires two different types of authentication means (i.e a pin code and a smart key). From now on, your dragon is ready to face the worst evil of all.

Step 2 : how to train your dragon

Now that your dragon is prepared, final thing you need is to train users to best practices, as it is known that mistakes often originate from human errors. According to this SplashData study, 1 in 10 people uses one of 25 “worst most common passwords”, including the famous variation of “123456”. Having a password such as those ones is like begging to get hacked ! Although passwords’ best practices are known from a long time, people are still using predictable patterns to protect their digital lives.

Luckily passwords are not the only means to shelter digital identities. Besides IAM technologies described above and security best practices, digital identity protection should embed a cybersecurity mindset. Conducting awareness campaigns, training staff members on the new uses of digital technology are cornerstones to proactively allowing your employees to be the main actors of cybersecurity strategy.

Securing digital identities is a concern for all of us. As data tend to gain more and more significance and value, it is mandatory to safeguard digital identities. Whatever the threats might be, if you train the right dragon, your treasure and gems shall be well-kept. Don’t be scared, let’s think forward and invest in a brand new dragon!