IAM: Solution To The Financial Industry

Identity Access Management, Identity Access Management Singapore

Identity and access management (IAM) is an important element of any IT security system and is one of the security areas that users interact with the most. With a reputation for being able to manage access for corporate resources, IAM empower banks and financial institutions across the globe with the capabilities to deliver easy and convenient experiences for customers. Activities such as paying the bills, checking account details and the application for credit card and loans have been digitalised and brought on the go through mobile applications and devices, all through the aid of IAM that fuels such app-driven mobile activities.

In the industry of financial services and banking institutions, it is mandatory to adhere to regulatory requirements across complex IT security systems. The financial services industry has to keep up with new national and global industry regulations such as the EU’s GDPR, BaFin, SOX, Basel II, and Solvency II. There has been an increasing number of financial supervisory authorities all over the world who make it compulsory for banks and financial services organisations to own and adopt systems that make sure that access rights are both appropriately assigned and recertified. Maintaining regulatory compliance is one of the crucial factors in building a strong company image and reputation, developing and garnering trust from potential customers, without sacrificing the ease and convenience of access to applications and services. By securing mobile applications, financial services companies can reduce the risk of unauthorised access to highly sensitive information such as credit card details, financial transaction, and other confidential personal information. As financial services firms are major targets for hackers and cyber terrorists, such valuable and sensitive data falling into the wrong malicious hands could spell out trouble, with financial fraud, the distribution of malware and identity theft being three of the most serious concerns for both companies and consumers. With a robust IAM program, banks can defend and prevent attacks, while being able to meet the demands of the industry.

IAM has become the leading solution for financial institutions as a result of what they can provide to the complex IT environment of the banking sector. An IAM solution that is flexible and designed to meet financial needs provides user authentication that will not impact customers’ experiences, while ensuring that multiple users are integrated in a secure way. Beyond the provision of data exchange, IAM also offers support for cloud-based services of a dynamic nature. Moreover, the implementation of single sign-on (SSO) allows security risks to be mitigated and enhances user experiences without compromising the integrity of user data.

Another significant advantage that IAM solutions can offer financial institutions is the ability to provide a comprehensive range of reporting and analytics features, empowering banks to proactively document and monitor usage. These features assist in collecting information about application utilization, inactive users and login activity. Aside from identifying users with weak login credentials and gaining insight from customer profiles, financial services firms are able to have auditable paper trails to meet the needs of regulatory compliance.

Cloud Banking Security With IAM

Identity Access Management, Identity Access Management Singapore

Bearing in mind the advent of cloud computing, cloud security is starting to become a prime concern for any industry across the globe. As for the financial services industry, highly important and sensitive data is stored all over in spaces located within the cloud that are possessed by the organisation. As cloud computing soon becomes the main thing in which most businesses and establishments are depending to improve business profitability and raise the efficiency of their work processes, cloud security makes sure that work environments can stay productive and versatile, under secured conditions. With more and more hackers and cybercriminals find new and innovative ways to prey on major financial institutions, it is therefore imperative for any firm within the financial sector to mitigate risks and patch any glaring chinks in their IT security armour. Data privacy and cloud security has been gradually growing in terms of regulations getting tighter and more demanding on the financial services organisations. Such businesses and firms have absolutely no margin for error, as one slight mistake can give opportunity for a breach in security network. This will result in data breaches, incurring massive losses and damages in not just the company’s earnings, but also their reputation and the trust that potential customers may have.

That is not all to the issues surrounding the banking and financial services sector. As technology becomes increasingly prevalent in our lives, the quality of living is on a rapid pace of improvement. This therefore gives customers higher demands and expectations when it comes to the delivery of user experiences by the financial services firms. Customers want to be able to conduct business transactions on the go, and able to settle any financial needs they might have with seamlessness and convenience. Moreover, by giving consistent, convenient and secured user experiences to customers, financial services firms are able to secure and gain the trust of customers, therefore contributing to the growth of their reputation and brand image. All these obstacles and hurdles can be easily navigated by financial services companies through the adoption of a modern financial grade identity and access and management (IAM) that can strike a balance between security and business agility. 

With most IAM solutions, they are ideally robust and sufficient to ensure that companies remain compliant towards the industrial regulations and requirements. Access to identity data can be easily monitored and tracked by the companies, and thus shared in safe and secured manners, while capturing the consent of customers. The potential scope of data breaches can be easily minimised by tracking down when, how and by whom the identity data is being accessed, as well as, managing the access to the application to cardholders’ data. With multifactor authentication (MFA) provided by IAM, companies can further reduce risks by regulating access on a case-by-case basis, thus strengthening IT security.

Single sign-on (SSO) is another key feature offered by IAM that ensures that services and applications are easily accessible. Customer experience will thus be enhanced. As businesses move towards a cloud-based future with hybrid IT, IAM is the solution that is here to stay. 

Importance Of Multifactor Authentication In IoT

There is no magical solution to stop cyberattacks from happening once and for all. Hackers will constantly change and adapt their strategies and technologies to target companies and services that reveal their IT security weaknesses. Companies must therefore continuously and consistently update their security infrastructures to maintain robustness and be able to cover all bases.

With the Internet of Things (IoT), the presence of more external devices means an increase in a number of security risks. Before that, one might ask what is IoT all about. To simply put it, IoT is used to refer to the physical devices that are connected to the Internet from all over the world. These includes devices that would normally not be expected to have a connection with the Internet, such as home appliances as well as the new wave of smart home and lifestyle accessories including wearable fitness trackers and smart watches.

In order to mitigate IoT security issues, two factor authentication (2FA) is important. Passwords are seen as the bane to digital security, with password-related cases taking up a good bulk of IT security issues. Passwords are often too weak such that hackers can easily overcome them with textbook methods, or they are too complicated to be remembered by the user. In rare cases, they can be both weak and complicated, creating unnecessary risk to IT security. Hence, there is an importance for 2FA, which is best known for using SMS services to verify actions such as logins or online transactions. For companies, using 2FA as part of the company’s implemented identity and access management (IAM) system is a much more systemic enforcement of security protocols and policies. Beyond SMS, companies can adopt 2FA in a variety of ways from hard tokens that generate One-Time PINs, to biometric authenticators. These are necessary when IoT devices are included in the big picture. Unlike laptops or company-issued devices, IoT devices are not as easily managed and tracked by the IT team, thus they present a high level of security risk to the company and may be more susceptible to exploitations. IoT devices are connected to the same network used by the company and they are a prime targets for hackers wishing to overwhelm a company’s security network through massive botnets and large scale attacks. Moreover, as IoT devices tend to be very minimalistic, they cannot be logged on directly through their interface. Their entire security relies on administrator actions, making the thorough authentication of any updates very crucial.

With recent surveys showing that many organisations have not even heard of multifactor authentication systems for IoT security, it is even more important for organisations to begin strengthening their IoT security infrastructure. Companies who have already adopted multifactor authentication to secure all of their IoT connected devices have brought up how convenient and safe it is, just to have push notifications and security keys.

As the IoT industry continues to work on and bolster the security factors built into their products, companies have an essential need to make sure that IoT devices do not compromise existing security networks and databases.

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. 

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.