Types Of SSO For Finance Firms

As financial services firms adopt new application platforms and continue to expand their existing network infrastructure, they are faced with the challenge of being able to balance business agility and utility with security. As a result, identity and access management (IAM) systems must exist within the organisation that provide access control mechanisms to enable users to obtained secured and seamless access to multiple resources.

As the number of services that require authentication increases, users are required to remember more sets of passwords and usernames. This is coupled with the rising frequency of password mismanagement on the user’s part, which raises concerns over security, especially when users begin to repeat the same password across different services and applications. Access management strategies have therefore been developed to mitigate these security concerns of repeated login requests and password management scenarios. One such strategy that has been a successful implementation within IAM is single sign on (SSO).

SSO brings with it several benefits. For the end users, they no longer have the burden of memorising multiple sets of login credentials. Not only does this lessen the responsibility of password management, it also takes away the possibility of the same password and username combination being repeated for different applications and services. SSO also improves interface usability by cutting down on the amount of requests for screen prompts. In addition, the administrative workload for IT teams and network managers is reduced when less users contact them to fix forgotten passwords and other password related issues. This in turns saves money for the organisation as help desk costs will be cut down. Financial services organisations can subsequently use the money saved to invest in other security initiatives and projects that will be developed on wider scales. Productivity at the office environment can also be thus enhanced when less time and effort is spent on dealing with password and access management issues. Furthermore, with SSO, improved user management can be offered through a single platform for processes such as creating accounts or controlling and removing user account privileges.

There are two types of SSO: web single sign (WSSO) and enterprise single sign on (ESSO). Both are similar in that they provide a single point of login for accessing resources as well as a centralised platform for user authentication management. Both approaches of SSO utilises a primary authorisation system that confers access to secondary resources and applications. However, both types of SSO are different in their technological structure.

Both WSSO and ESSO provide major improvements in system usability and network management. While WSSO comes with the benefits of reduced costs and rapid deployment, ESSO systems provide resource integration and greater expandability. Additional issues to consider before instituting an SSO system include regulatory compliance to industrial standards, existing login and  IT security policies, and protocol use. It is important to evaluate the compatibility between existing security infrastructure before deciding to adopt a SSO solution. Regardless, successful implementation of SSO can provide an extra defensive layer of security to a financial service organization’s network infrastructure.

The Internet Of Banking

What is IoT?

IoT, also referred to as the “Internet of Things”, is the independent communication between objects that help to reduce costs, optimise operations, boost the levels of work productivity as well as the quality of living. Through these connected dots and devices, the customer experience in banking has been revolutionised. Over the past few decades, the Internet has evolved to become a giant web of devices, applications and people.

How does IoT enable banking?

A huge number of devices that become connected to one another create an intelligent system of systems. In today’s day and age, more and more customers are starting to use these smart devices to access data and be able to utilise financial services online, wherever they go. This allows banks and financial services firms to gain a comprehensive profile of customer finances in real time. Through such data gathered and mined, banks will have the ability to anticipate what the customer’s needs are, thus being able to provide professional advice and solutions that will assist customers in making sound decisions when it comes to banking and financial services. As a result, IoT can be exploited by banks to become a powerful instrument in boosting customer loyalty, which will translate to more revenue and business generated for banks and financial services firms. In this world where ‘things’ are all interrelated and interconnected, banks are thus able to easily communicate with their customers, through a plethora of channels and applications.

As there are now multiple channels of communications for banks to interact with their customers, banks and financial services organisations are also able to provide advice on areas out of the financial aspect. This can be used to enhance customer loyalty and trust. Having more channels means being able to collect more information such as the spending habits of customers, personal preferences, et cetera. Banks and financial services firms can therefore adapt their marketing strategies and campaigns, by providing a variety of options and services that are tailored to meet every customer’s specific needs and wants.

One of the major advantages of utilising IoT for banking and financial services is the ability to offer convenient and rewarding services to both debit and credit card customers. Banks are empowered with the ability to analyse the activity surrounding ATM kiosks in specific locations. They can then increase or decrease the number of ATMs being installed in these locations according to the rate of usage. Through these business insights, banks can offer value-added services.

What are the Concerns of IoT?

However, IoT is also associated with security risks. Fortunately, adopting an identity and access management (IAM) solution can address these concerns. Banks process a lot of transaction data as well as the personal financial data of their customers. This causes them to be a huge target for hackers. With IAM, banks will have the latest security technologies in preventing and ensuring that all information is safe and secured.

Nowadays, everything is interconnected. With IAM, banks can utilise IoT towards their advantage.

Customers In Finances: The Key To Success

Customers of financial services have become increasingly demanding in the recent years. They have started to expect highly efficient, tech savvy and proactive services and products that can be incorporated with convenience into their daily lives. With the world progressing towards a time and era where businesses conduct their transactions with potential customers over the world wide web, digitalized interactions have become en vogue. Financial services institutions are now expected to step up to the plate and deliver only the best, the seamless, and not to mention, the most secured user experiences so as to remain relevant and attract loyal customers.

With such technological advancements taking effect within the financial services industry, the creation of regulatory compliance and requirements have began to be more rigorous and stringent. How are financial services organisations thus able to create the desired omnichannel user experience for potential customers? By adopting a financial grade identity and access management solution, companies will be able to harness the potential of digital identity as a key to business success.

Through IAM, financial services organisations will have the ability to view each customer as a single individual through an extensive, comprehensive, and personalised customer profile. By having various profiles across business units consolidated into a customer profile that contains all the data that is related to behaviour, login timings, characteristics and personal preferences, the financial services organisations will thereafter be able to provide meaningful and valuable interactions that are personalised in nature. It is through the linking up of each customer to unique digital identities, that financial services organisations can better understand what their customer base desire and want, thus staying ahead and above expectations.

Another major advantage that IAM confers is assisting financial services organisations in building and strengthening the trust and respect in their customers. In this era where hackers and cyber terrorists are frequently appearing across the news’ headlines, customer behaviour can fluctuate and behave against the favours of financial services organisations. The industry of financial services organisations is exceptionally susceptible to be the targets of security breaches and data leakages, as every hacker wants their slice of information pie.

With a modern IAM solution implemented in full force, financial services organisations can put a stop to worrying about reputational damages and security risk. With a multitude of security features and capabilities, financial services organisations no longer have to rely on outdated and legacy security systems as a line of defence. Layers of authentication and authorisation mechanisms such as single sign on (SSO) and multifactor authentication (MFA) will ensure that only the successfully authorised users are able to log into their accounts, and are granted access to the right resources at the right times. While customers are logged in, all information with regards to their account activity is closely tracked and monitored. IT administrations are able to automatically flag out any suspicious behaviours and activity, and crank down on the account (If necessary). This also ensures that organisations comply with industrial regulations.

With IAM, financial institutions can engage with customers within innovative, secured platforms.

Why IAM Is Important In Finance

What is Identity and Access Management?

Identity and Access Management (IAM) is the element of any IT security system that ensures that only authorised individuals are enabled access to the correct resources at the appropriate times for the appropriate reasons. IAM addresses the highly crucial need to ensure appropriate access to resources across technology environments that are heterogenous and complex. In this day and age, more enterprises are moving towards the increasing usage of cloud services into the work environments, which results in the process of identity management becoming more and more complex. As a logical response, financial services organisations are starting to adopt cloud IAM solutions and cloud-based identity-as-a-service (IDaaS) solutions.

Why is IAM a need in the financial services industry?

The prevalence and need for IAM has been surging in the recent years as regulatory requirements and compliance have become more rigorous and increasingly complex. Bearing in mind that the financial services industry is one of the major sectors dealing with mass amounts of information, it is imperative for the industry to have tight and demanding standards to minimise the risk of data and security breaches. 

These days, modern authentication extends beyond usernames and passwords and a framework for the managing of identities is usually provided by modern IAM systems. In the financial services sector, every minute counts and security is thus very critical. Adopting a modern IAM system means being able to add additional security measurements such as multifactor authentication and the detection of breached passwords. In addition, single sign on (SSO) capabilities allows users to enjoy an authentication experience that is seamless and convenient, without having to remember every set of login credentials for all the different applications and services they wish to access. By creating a single source of truth for user identity, users are only required to remember a single set of login credentials in order for them to login to multiple services. Authentication hence only needs to happen once. SSO also prevents logistical nightmares from arising out of the need to manage access to web-based services, as governance of the user store is conferred to the organisation’s IT team, instead of third party vendors.

Modern authentication, however, does not stop just at the login screen. With SSO, the IT team will be able to have a peace of mind as the provisioning and deprovisioning of user accounts are made easy through automated processing. With the modern authentication systems offered by modern IAM, financial services firms are empowered in the auditing, monitoring and enforcing of security policies. Financial services firms are also able to manage and add extra layers of security features and authentication systems according to however they see fit. In terms of authorisation, organisations can decide what type of granular authorisation they wish to employ. Authorisation policies determine who can login and access specific resources, at specific periods of times. These factors can include: from which devices and locations, how long they are allowed to remain logged in, and so on. With IAM, financial institutions can resolve many of their security issues.