Zurich, 20 October 2021 – Over the past two years, consumer behaviour has changed for good. During the Covid lockdowns, people not only did more of their shopping than ever before online; they also increasingly turned to apps and websites to take care of their banking and official business. Now that the pandemic-related measures have been relaxed, this trend does not appear to be letting up. This has caused consumers’ expectations to rise as well: They are after good usability and quick processing – meaning, for instance, that they want to progress from their full shopping cart to completing their purchase in as few steps as possible. At the same time, they need to be sure that their personal data, such as their address and bank account details, are well protected from unauthorised access. It is not always easy for the providers of online services to meet both of these needs – but their success depends on it.
For the majority of Germany’s population, security issues and well-being in the digital sphere are seen as highly important. This was evidenced in the recent D21-Digital-Index social survey carried out by Germany's Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. The survey provides an annual overview of the degree of digitisation in Germany. Its findings indicate that knowledge of security issues is on the rise: 73 per cent of German citizens are aware that data are transferred by Internet services to external companies. It is, therefore, unsurprising that around two-thirds of survey participants regularly adjust the data protection settings on their smartphones. In addition, more than 55 per cent of respondents utilise anti-virus software and set new, unique passwords for the online services they use.
The intensity of users’ demand for data security is also evident in a Nevis study that surveyed 1,000 German consumers aged 14 and over: around 95 per cent of respondents said they are concerned about the security of their private data. In addition, around 93 per cent of the study participants who have not yet been affected by an attack are fearful of falling victim to cybercriminals in the future. At the same time, trust in the power of companies and legislators to protect data is not especially high: 81 per cent of respondents feel that they themselves bear the greatest responsibility for the security of their data. However, this does not release organisations from their obligations since almost half (48 per cent) of the study participants place some responsibility with them, and 40 per cent with legislators.
Meanwhile, consumers want improvements in the user-friendliness of the online offerings they access, with many respondents calling for the simplification of what can sometimes be complicated login procedures. One in five consumers surveyed regularly abandons online purchases because the processes are too long and complicated. For businesses, this results in disappointed customers who are likely to fill their shopping trolleys elsewhere. A further 17 per cent of people fail to complete their purchase because they distrust the website when providing personal bank details.
Better security thanks to CIAM and multi-factor authentication
A reliable way to combine security with convenience is the process known as customer identity and access management (CIAM). It combines the functionality of a secure login solution with the capacity for users to manage their own procedures. Instead of requiring a long, complex password for each account, the solution dispenses with passwords altogether when bank accounts and other services are accessed. Instead, CIAM utilises biometric identity features such as face ID, fingerprint recognition or an iris scan. This works with the cameras and sensors that are built into all newer-model smartphones and tablets. They enable secure and unambiguous passwordless authentication that is virtually “unhackable” during the login process for bank and online accounts.
When accessing these functions, users need not fear that their biometric data may fall into the wrong hands: the data never leave the mobile device, and they are stored on it in specially secured storage areas. When multi-factor authentication combines two or more pieces of information, it enhances the security convenience further still when a person's identity is checked. This not only makes the login process faster and less complicated for the user, but above all more secure.
Data management and the GDPR
Once the login process has been completed successfully, the CIAM system also serves as a hub where the users can manage the data themselves. This may include convenience functions such as subscribing or unsubscribing to newsletters, enabling and disabling push notifications, changing address and billing information, and of course, setting the options for features such as multi-factor authentication to suit personal preferences.
CIAM systems are also configured in such a way that the data request meets the rigorous GDPR criteria. For example, according to the principle of data minimisation, the only information that is collected is that which is necessary to perform a service; for example, the name and address that are required in order to send a package. All additional information – in the case of sending a package, data like the recipient’s date of birth – may only be entered as an option in the CIAM system.
Nevis develops security solutions for the digital world of tomorrow. Its portfolio encompasses passwordless logins, which are intuitive to use and offer optimal protection for user data. Nevis is the market leader for Identity and Access Management in Switzerland and secures over 80 percent of all online banking transactions. Public authorities, leading service providers, and industrial enterprises worldwide rely on Nevis solutions. The authentication specialist has locations in Switzerland, Germany, and Hungary.
LEWIS Communications GmbH
Ingo Geisler, firstname.lastname@example.org