The role identity security plays in a convenient digital experience

As businesses come to terms with rapidly evolving economic conditions, increasing numbers are realising that providing a compelling digital experience has never been more important.

With a growing proportion of business interactions occurring digitally, being able to deliver a satisfying digital experience is vital. If customers find a business’s digital experience offering to be lacking, alternatives are only a click away, and 61% of online customers admitted they would go to a competitor who delivered a better digital experience.

The increasing challenge is to find ways that personalise the digital experience for both existing and potential customers, while having security and privacy top of mind. Personalisation requires the collection and use of an individual’s data and this needs to be protected from misuse and wrongful eyes at all costs.

At the heart of this challenge lies digital identity. Both leadership and security teams need to find ways to ensure their customer and employee identities are protected while also being used to provide the most compelling digital experience possible.

This also has to be achieved without creating too much friction for customers. For example, if a retailer requires its customers to prove their identity at multiple steps in a transaction, or to deal with different departments, the overall experience will suffer.

A single source of customer truth

To overcome this challenge, increasing numbers of businesses are embracing the concept of unified customer identities. Rather than having multiple customer profiles held in different parts of the business, they combine this data to create a single record that can support better customer experiences.

However, having a system of centralised customer records that are used to deliver a consistent digital experience across a business creates further security challenges. Customers need to be confident that the personal data they are providing will remain secure and only be used to the extent to which they have agreed.

Achieving a compelling, secure digital experience

There is a range of elements businesses need to consider when undertaking a strategy to improve the digital experiences they offer. These include:

  • Adopting multi-factor authentication (MFA):
    MFA, which involves customers providing an additional identity factor above and beyond traditional passwords and PINs, can significantly improve the level of security when it comes to digital interactions.

    MFA is becoming increasingly popular among C-suite leaders as they understand how this single step can greatly enhance the level of security in place. Handled well, it does not become an onerous requirement for customers but can help underpin a more personalised digital experience.

    In the future, advances in MFA will enable more dynamic forms of interaction to become commonplace. If a business takes the right steps, it will be able to pick up sufficient signals about a customer to allow it to eventually deliver a password-less experience.

    Managing MFA, however, can become complex if it is connected to multiple services across a larger business. In this scenario, a digital framework will be required to govern authorisation, and this is where orchestration will be key.

  • Focus on identity rather than the customer:
    As digital experience and ID security strategies evolve, organisations will find benefit in moving away from managing customer accounts to managing customer identities. This can include the usage of tools such as one-time passports, biometric authentication, push notifications, and other dynamic features via mobile apps.

    The result will be better, more seamless experiences for customers. Many prefer to interact with businesses via apps and this can be a selling point for those providing this capability.

  • Consider the use of trusted identity frameworks:
    Increasing attention is being given to the potential of trusted identity frameworks in the delivery of a compelling digital experience. One example of how this could be used can be seen in the country of Estonia.

    There, all citizens are provided with a digital ID that is used to interact with both public-sector organisations and businesses. The result has been improved levels of both experience and security.

  • Always begin with the end in mind:
    Before embarking on a new experience strategy, it is important to be mindful of the end goals. A business needs to be crystal clear about the type of experience they want to deliver to customers and then set about putting the components in place that will deliver that experience. Any failure to undertake solid planning could result in disappointments further down the line.
  • Develop a roadmap:
    Once the end goal is clear, formulate a comprehensive roadmap detailing all the steps that need to be undertaken. This will help all teams involved to stay on track and deliver the most compelling experience

With economic conditions likely to remain uncertain for some time, and while competition continues to increase, it has never been more important for businesses to focus on the digital experiences they are providing customers and employees. Taking the time to do this now will help to ensure success in the months and years ahead.

Ashley Diffey, Head of Asia Pacific and Japan at Ping Identity
Ashley Diffey
Ashley Diffey is a passionate leader with over 20 years of experience in B2B sales, key account management and business development in both the finance and ICT/telecommunications industries, specialising in security, data, communications, SaaS and hosted software. As Head of Asia-Pacific and Japan for Ping Identity, Ashley is responsible for accelerating sales and bolstering customer support and services to continue driving the increasing demand for Ping Identity’s solutions in the region. He works with organisations to achieve Zero Trust identity-defined security and more personalised, streamlined user experiences. In addition, he works closely with customers to provide flexible identity solutions that accelerate digital business initiatives, delight customers, and secure the enterprise through multi-factor authentication, single sign-on, access management, intelligent API security, directory, and data governance capabilities. Prior to joining Ping Identity, Ashley worked at leading ICT/Telecommunication companies, including F5 Networks, Commvault and Telstra. During his tenure at F5 Networks, he oversaw the organisation’s southern regional channel and Telstra partnership. He was also Director for Channel Sales Australia and New Zealand at Commvault.