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A shifting landscape: why identity and access management is the new business priority

In today’s fast-paced business landscape, every day is a juggling act. Compliance, external threats and poor customer experience can all threaten to drag your organisation down if not managed effectively. While each have their own set of requirements, one red thread that we can detect in each of these scenarios that is paramount for success is Identity and Access Management (IAM), .

Whether a customer or an employee, being able to understand who your users are, how they behave, their preferences and levels of access is critical, and as a result IAM is an increasing business priority. Let’s look at a few examples of the ‘what’ and ‘why’ that is driving a renewed focus on IAM…

The data security pressures driving new demand

Regulations like The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the second Payments Services Directive (PSD2) are just two examples that are driving a focus on data security, visibility and management.

GDPR sets out how customer data can be accessed, how it is shared and secured and as a result, means organisations need to know not only what data they have stored for customers, but how to manage that data carefully. A customer’s identity sits at the core of everything, and businesses must manage those identities carefully, restricting or granting access to resources, safe in the knowledge that no compromise will occur. 

Likewise, as PSD2 promotes greater data sharing between financial services organisations and third parties, strict provisions have to be put in place to make sure that this greater level of competition and improvement in services does not come at the expense of security. Secure, dynamic authentication methods are a must.

The same that applies in a compliance context, applies to future-proofing business in a wider security context. The prolific, constantly evolving methods of attack launched by cyber criminals are a primary example. Fraudsters are looking for any loophole or weakness. They are clever in how they go about it and only need to get it right once to have a significant business impact, there are plenty of examples to demonstrate that. Organisations have to be able to spot trends in the activity of their users to identify anomalies and serve the appropriate means of authentication to detect if users really are who they say they are. This can only happen if an intelligent and dynamic identity platform is in place. Secure authentication methods that are able to evolve to beat the threats are a must.

Fraudsters are looking for any loophole or weakness. They are clever in.

The balancing act that security and customer experience require

Increasing consumer demands are also putting pressure on business. It’s no longer how secure you are, but also how well you anticipate and cater to the needs of customers. That means a focus on simplifying the interactions between your organisation and your customers.

What does this mean in an IAM context? It’s ensuring that your security methods aren’t impacting on the end objective of your user, and that you make it easy for your customers to do business with you. Lengthy, obscure and rigid authentication methods might help your IT leader sleep at night, but they are going to frustrate your users.
Whether it’s your employees who can’t fulfil their work needs as a result, or customers who have to jump through hoops to make a transaction, that’s going to impact your business performance and your bottom line. Yet there doesn’t have to be a trade-off anymore, the right solution can provide enterprise grade security while enabling simple interactions.

A new holistic approach

Business leaders now really can have their cake and eat it. Security doesn’t have to come at the expense of customer experience. The key is utilising an intelligent, dynamic and flexible IAM platform that can vary the levels and methods of authentication, on order to anticipate or respond to the potential risk, value of the transaction and the user journey.

By working with a partner who understands your business, its requirements and can implement a solution to your business needs, you can trust that whether it’s managing your compliance issues, making sure your business doesn’t fall foul of a targeted attack or prioritising the customer experience, you can employ the right for IAM solution to meet your unique needs.

Is IAM a priority that is top of mind for you? I’ll be at ForgeRock’s Identity Live, a two-day event on 8th and 9th October, packed with practical advice, customer case studies, knowledge-sharing and important networking opportunities.  Please get in contact if you are interested in attending.