Important Things To Know About CIAM

As businesses began to go digital, more channels for communication and connection on a one-to-one level spring up. For marketers, this means they no longer have to go via the “one size fits all” path in trying to brainstorm marketing materials that can engage with the masses. Personalising interactions with customers create more opportunities for brands to convert potential customers into leads. At the same time, marketing teams are therefore challenged to continuously up their game and have the ability to understand and target potential customers. Accurate customer identity data is therefore important and extremely useful for marketing teams to analyse and used in real-time engagement points across various digital platforms. As a result, digital personalisation is what brings identity and access management beyond just the purview of the organisation’s IT department, but also into the relevance of the marketing department.

Chief marketing officers and their departments are thus realising the importance of customer identity data and how they play a pivotal role in the construction of marketing strategies. This need gives rise to customer identity and access management (CIAM). For companies who are thinking of supporting their marketing strategies with the adoption of a CIAM solution, these are some important things to take note regarding CIAM:

Convenience

Through the extensive range of websites, applications and inter-connected devices, data silos have become an issue that does not only affect IT teams, but also marketing teams. The creation and presence of data silos obscures marketing teams from being able to view customer profiles. In addition, this incites frustration for both the marketing teams and also the customers. For marketing teams, they are attempting to analyse and understand their target audience in detail, by viewing customer profile data. For customers, having to key in their particulars into one channel, such as a website, but then repeat the keying in process when they are using another platform or device, it creates inconvenience. This inconvenience and lack of seamlessness can be a factor that makes customers more likely to abandon brands and switch over to other competitors who are more accessible and convenient. With CIAM, marketers can access comprehensive customer profiles in a single perspective. Customers are able to have secured and convenient access, across multiple platforms. CIAM is thus effective in creating seamless omnichannel experiences for both customer and marketer.

Security

With CIAM, data breaches can be drastically reduced. With the advent of cloud technologies, security issues are growing more complicated and current security infrastructures have to keep up and adapt. CIAM is therefore the answer for marketing teams that are vested in digital security. Not caring about security makes a business more prone to security breaches and in turn, reputational damage. Customer data is highly private as well as valuable, and being vulnerable to data breaches is enough for customers to lose trust in a brand, and migrate to competitors with more security and trustworthiness. Implementing CIAM helps to secure identity data that marketing departments can use for personalised digital interactions.

CIAM is a marketer’s boon and the more marketers know that IAM is not just an IT priority, the better they can adapt marketing initiatives to today’s IT environment.

Why IAM Matters In Healthcare

In the healthcare industry, change is the only constant. With the ever-evolving landscape of technology and IT, it has become increasingly difficult for healthcare organisations to meet the expectations of data security and privacy. Healthcare providers handle the most valuable data on the dark web, and that is protected health information. On top of that, healthcare providers have to find ways to reduce expenditure and improve patient care. In order for healthcare companies to succeed and be able to anticipate changes in the future, it is necessary for them to incorporate a modern identity and access management (IAM) system.

IAM serves as the foundation of any healthcare companies’ security infrastructure. With the presence of a robust IAM, companies can prevent protected health information and other valuable and confidential data from being leaked by employees within the organisation or from being illegally accessed by external parties. The adoption of an IAM system also helps to cut down on help desk calls and enhance the efficiency of administrative work processes, which will lead to a reduction in costs. As a result, healthcare providers can better focus their energy and money on delivering the best user experience to customers as well as developing large scale security initiatives.

Some may wonder how does IAM achieve this? Single sign on (SSO) capabilities offered by any modern IAM solution enables user experience to be swift and seamless, without compromising security. Clinicians currently have to log into multiple workstations, applications and systems, and possibly across different locations within the hospital or organisation. Each login session is different, which is problematic, as it gives rise to security being at risk and vulnerable to hacking. With a trustworthy SSO solution in practice, clinicians and other healthcare professionals will be able to have their sessions follow them regardless of shift time or location. By having only one set of login credentials, healthcare workers can focus more on convenient access to patient data and providing patient care, without having their productivity impeded by technological barriers and time consuming processes.

For new clinicians and hospital staff members, IT and security professionals often grant access and role privileges manually. This consumes time and effort which can be better channelled into more pressing concerns such as patient care. Through a modern IAM solution, the provisioning and deprovisioning of accounts for those who have just joined the healthcare organisation and for those who have left will no longer be manual and tedious, but efficient and automated. Moreover, IAM minimises the potential for human error, which would otherwise create opportunities for breaches in security, the exposing of personal health information, as well as, the possibilities of slowdowns and ineffiencies to clinical workflow.

In recent times, it is also not a surprise to see more and more healthcare providers migrating towards the cloud and calling upon cloud based technologies and services. With the implementation of a robust IAM system, healthcare companies have enjoy better peace of mind with regards to cloud security. Furthermore, IAM ensures healthcare companies meet regulatory compliance.

Importance Of IAM At Higher Education

Identity and access management (IAM) is crucial to providing accurate, appropriate and secured access to services, data and systems. IAM can also influence how seamless and fluid the experiences of users and employees will be, which can contribute to the reputation of the company. With the advent of the Internet and modern technology in our twenty first century, more and more users are becoming increasingly tech savvy and they will therefore have higher expectations towards digitalised and personalised interactions.

While all IT organisations face the challenge of having to balance the need for business agility and cost effectiveness, educational institutions are met with a unique set of obstacles and hurdles to overcome. This includes the requirements of students, faculty members, researchers, administrators, as well as, external parties who might be collaborating with and utilising the school’s resources. All of these groups of users have very divergent demands and needs to be catered to, and thus the management of identities is absolutely imperative. IAM grants educational institutions the capabilities to navigate the complex and heterogenous technical environment of these identities and the IT security issues that are likely to be encountered along the way.

With a modern IAM solution, educational institutions no longer have to worry about regulatory compliance. Highly personal and sensitive information such as contact information, medical history and financial data are thrusted into the hands of higher education institutes who have to manage and process copious amounts of data that come from their students and other members in the campus. The challenge comes way after registration day, when IT teams have to handle the workload of administrative processes ranging from resetting forgotten passwords to troubleshooting technology involved in classroom teaching.

With IAM, these issues can be mitigated with ease. Multiple user credentials for educational and work activities can be managed. Users with more than one role can be detected by an IAM solution that has been intelligently designed for higher education needs, such that multiple access and role privileges can be merged into a single account, thus requiring only one set of login credentials. This reduces the risk of having accounts being compromised and people gaining unauthorised access to confidential data. In addition, the automated provisioning and deprovisioning of accounts enable third party applications and services to be roped into classroom teaching, enhancing the productivity of learning environments without opening the institution to data and security vulnerabilities.

As budget and manpower issues are some of the major concerns that organisations in the higher education sector face a lot, adopting a robust IAM solution will be sure to help in making sure that cost effectiveness is met. By streamlining every process and workflow that is required by the IT team to be done, IAM help to drastically cut down on costs that may be incurred in up-keeping legacy and traditional security systems that simply are not up to date with current measures and standards. This further ensures that IT teams of educational institutions can focus on more important initiatives.

Agility And Security with IAM

Agility and security seem to be on the opposite ends of the spectrum for organisations. Agility is often felt to be compromised when enhancing enterprise security. On the other side of the coin, trying to improve agile in business may contradict against IT security.

It goes without saying that companies need both, in this day and age where the Internet pervades into all aspects of life.

Agility is important for businesses to constantly stay on their feet and be versatile towards shifting priorities and market trends. Furthermore, building trust and loyalty amongst potential customers is what keeps a brand competitive and relevant, which is why being able to respond to customer feedback as well as deliver services exactly when customers want it is necessary.

In a similar breath, companies should not let down on security, given that threats from external parties are certainly on the rise and finding new weaknesses to exploit. The latter is especially pertinent given the migration to the cloud, which results in systems swiftly becoming legacy and traditional.

As the number of services and applications businesses utilise grow, it becomes more and more complicated and difficult to resolve this conundrum. Organisations are expected by their customers to deliver on time and speedily. In addition to that, applications, services and systems need to be secured, as well as, accessible across different channels and audiences. 

Fret not, for identity and access management (IAM) is specifically designed to tackle any issues with balancing agility and security. With the implementation of a modern and robust IAM system, businesses can improve work productivity as well as IT security. Moreover, applications can be connected at rapid speed, and IT teams need not suffer from great administrative overhead.

Companies have a range of choices when managing their IAM models. IDaaS, or Identity-as-a-Service, shifts the burden of managing IAM models to the IDaaS vendor, so that the company IT department do not have to concern themselves too much with the mundanity of identity and access governance. They can therefore focus more time and effort into large-scale security initiatives. Likewise, for organisations that want more control over their IAM infrastructure, they may prefer going for an IAM model to manage things themselves. And an increasingly common scenario is a combination of the two. Hybrid IAM infrastructures have recently becoming all the rage, as they come as a singular offering by IAM vendors. Instead of maintaining and developing both on-premises solutions and IDaaS services, companies can focus on deployment, integration and benefit from automated identity management features. However, with identities and applications stored in multiple locations, it can be difficult to deploy and release applications online quickly and give users the access they need.

Regardless of which situation companies find themselves in, a modern IAM solution, can mitigate the problems they might face. With the integration of modern IAM, companies will be empowered to swiftly connect new services and applications, while granting the correct people access to the right things. All in all, end user experiences will be seamless and secure.

Industrial Needs Of Financial IAM

When it comes to IT security, different industries often have different requirements. This is a result of regulatory compliance. Regulations and laws hold major influence over how security is enforced in each industry and sector. Publicly traded IT security vendors have observed that a disproportionate amount of their revenue has been generated from sectors that face stricter regulatory compliance, such as the financial services industry.

Financial services firms are often a massive target for cyber attacks and hackers, due to the fact that they store copious amounts of highly valuable and sensitive information. Apart from the fact that financial institutions are frequently targeted, a majority of financial services firms have to deal with issues that other organisations in other industries may not have to face. One such example is latency, which is a particularly big issue for trading applications. In addition, there is the issue of privacy as well as the fact that many financial services companies have a vast distribution of networks that span across countries and states with countless branch offices and outlets.

In today’s era of digital business and marketing, many financial services firms have begun to look at cloud computing. However, many of them have to deal with existing legacy identity and access management[(IAM) systems such as client-facing applications that are outdated and cannot be migrated towards the cloud. The hybrid IT environment is thus a result of the fact that financial services organisations are utilising both on-premises resources as well as cloud-based systems and software. This means that an IAM solution must be able to account for both on-premises infrastructure as well as those in the cloud, ideally doing so with a common management interface that can help to alleviate “console fatigue” and using a consistent set of policies that can be rolled out for both on-premises and cloud-based infrastructure.

Financial institutions must also deal with a diverse set of end users. Employee IAM is not enough to manage the various kinds of identities that are a result of banks enlisting the services of outsourcers, external vendors and contract employers. Furthermore, banks and financial services providers typically use customer-facing applications. As part of digitalised interactions, customers desire and expect an end user experience that is seamless and secured. Financial institutions must therefore take into account the capabilities of their adopted IAM solution (given the fact that customer IAM is drastically different from the typical enterprise IAM) so as to meet the unpredictable demands of consumers and other business partners.

Thus a robust IAM solution should ideally be broad enough to support each of these needs and be able to adapt to new requirements as they emerge, with a single view that allows for centralized management. Lastly, most financial services firms require a platform that will enable them to continue to leverage existing on-prem resources, while at the same time allowing them to migrate to the cloud at their own pace without undergoing “forklift” upgrades that can be disruptive to both internal staff as well as customers.