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Posted December 13, 2017
It’s the paradox digital identity is designed to resolve: As the task of facilitating online transactions gets easier, avoiding the scourge of cybercrime grows exponentially harder.
Today, digital transformation initiatives are rapidly reshaping (and giving rise to) entire industries. To meet user expectations for instant gratification, businesses must make trust decisions about each transaction in the blink of an eye. That means it’s more important than ever to quickly and accurately verify the identity of the person on the other end of a transaction.
But in a post-breach world, whatever trust was established through usernames, passwords and other static forms of identity is rapidly evaporating. Just since 2013, more than 9 billion personal identity files have been set loose into the wild through corporate data breaches.
As a result, a growing number of governments and businesses are recognizing the need for advanced authentication technologies that can accurately verify user identities in mere milliseconds.
Without a doubt, this need is the driving force behind a multitude of ambitious digital transformation initiatives around the world.
In Canada, major banks are combining forces to develop digital identifiers that can act as user proxies for online transactions. In Estonia, the government’s e-residency initiative is designed to issue digital identification to its citizens, as well as to entrepreneurs worldwide who’d like to run their companies using Estonia’s digital payments and taxation infrastructure.
Meanwhile, Australia’s proposed Govpass system aims to match a user’s photograph, driver’s license and birth certificate details into a single digital identifier for accessing government services. And the country’s New Payments Platform is meant to do the same for private-sector transactions.
Indeed, there are any number of initiatives around the globe — PSD2 in the EU, BankID in Norway, Sweden and the Ukraine, GDPR in the UK, and more — that hinge on instant and accurate identity verification and authentication. But how can that be achieved in a post-breach, zero-trust world? For many, the answer is digital identity.
Put simply, digital identity is a dynamic authentication technology designed for organizations that transact online.
Unlike traditional forms of authentication that rely on static identity credentials, digital identity leverages hundreds of dynamic data elements that cannot be lost, stolen or faked.
Through behavioral analytics and advanced machine learning, digital identity uses these elements to establish normative behavior patterns as a baseline for assessing identities during each transaction.
According to organizations that have deployed such systems, digital identity-based authentication:
With an average of 130 successful cyberattacks hitting organizations each year at an average cost of $11.7 million each, digital identity is emerging as more than just a way to fend off losses.
Using digital identity, financial institutions are protecting online and mobile logins and transactions. Retailers are improving the customer experience, while reducing fraud rates without the need for additional fraud management staff. And a new generation of fintech lenders prevents the use of stolen identities to take out fraudulent loans, while reducing the time needed to approve mobile and online applications to mere minutes.
Indeed, while spending on advanced perimeter defenses is up, investments in the technologies needed for digital identity—intelligence systems and advanced identity and access management—deliver the highest cost savings per year, up to $5.2 million per organization, according to Ponemon Institute.
To learn more, be sure to check out The Definitive Guide to Digital Identity. This new online resource is designed to help businesses understand how digital identity can help them grow profitable and securely in a post-breach, zero-trust world.