Guaranteeing security against hacker attacks, complying with GDPR regulations and giving users the best possible customer experience in managing their data – meeting all these requirements while handling customer data is a major challenge for companies. This is compounded by yet another surge in cybercrime and the fact that customers who have a poor user experience are only too willing to switch to the competition. A modern customer identity and access management (CIAM) system can help. But what should companies consider when picking the solution that’s right for them?
To meet the needs of their customers, companies must successfully maintain the balancing act between security, data protection and user-friendliness when it comes to handling user data. This is precisely why CIAM solutions were developed. They make it easy for companies to record and administer the identity and profile data of their customers. What’s more, a CIAM system makes it possible to control user access to individual applications and services across all platforms. Naturally, modern CIAM solutions are also designed to comply with legal requirements such as the GDPR at all times.
Implementing CIAM step by step
The roll-out process for CIAM can be broken down into a series of steps.
During the preparatory phase, the focus is on defining what specifically the company requires of its CIAM. This needs to include not only the current situation but also any future developments. At this stage, seasoned CIAM experts can help develop the right strategy for administering digital user identities, the right applications and the analytics possibilities.
Generally speaking, the central applications of a CIAM system can be implemented without the need for special infrastructure. They are gradually introduced into the existing IT architecture, and their compliance with all regulatory requirements is checked. Modern CIAM solutions can also incorporate recognisable branding to ensure consistent brand management across all contact points with the user. They make configuring components like a dedicated authenticator app for multi-factor authentication (MFA) with the company’s brand design easy.
Profiting from CIAM
Then, a function such as a machine learning as part of behaviour analytics also offers added security and protection against unauthorised access.
Key functions of CIAM
Here are some key functions companies should prioritise when selecting the right CIAM solution:
Two-factor or multi-factor authentication (2FA/MFA):
Security increases with each additional factor used for identification purposes. With multi-factor authentication, two or more pieces of information are required to verify a user’s identity. An identification factor can be something the user either knows (such as a password), carries (e.g. a smartphone) or has (e.g. a fingerprint), or the user’s location (e.g. the IP address).
This refers to the use of behavioural data in combination with machine learning for authentication. Keystroke dynamics, writing speed and swiping behaviour are unique to every person. Behaviour analytics can detect when behavioural patterns do not match the saved data because an unauthorised person has gained access to the login data. This way, suspicious transactions can be stopped until the user has verified their identity beyond the shadow of a doubt with other authentication factors.
Passwords are a risk. Customers often choose simple passwords because they are easier to remember. But the simpler they are, the quicker they can be cracked. The solution here is to dispense with passwords and switch to using biometric identification features during authentication procedures instead. Facial recognition, iris scans and fingerprint scans rely on identification factors that are virtually impossible to hack. They also make the tedious process of remembering long, complicated passwords obsolete.
More than half of all online access requests are now made on mobile devices. This is scarcely surprising given that our smartphones are almost always within reach these days. So it is only logical to use them as part of multi-factor authentication. What’s more, modern mobile devices are equipped with the technologies for using biometric identification features such as fingerprint scans. This makes them the perfect tool for simplifying the login process to provide the most convenient customer experience possible.
The result of a successful CIAM implementation
With CIAM, companies can offer their customers simplified digital access that complies with privacy legislation, provides a high level of security and meets customers’ needs. Plus, it lets the customers make many of the decisions about data storage and access rights themselves. This gives them a great deal of control over their experience with the brand. And that translates into a better overall customer experience.