In the age of digital disruption, the new battleground for market leadership has shifted from price and product to customer experience. To deliver the convenient, high value experiences that customers have come to expect, businesses must constantly innovate. More importantly, they need to be able to roll out new services and apps quickly.
Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) are key to reducing time-to-market and meeting increasing demands for more apps across the entire organisation. By providing ready access to reusable services that embed key standards and best practices, APIs allow developers to quickly build apps without recreating code again and again.
Identity APIs are designed specifically to provide customer identity services. They ensure that security best practices are implemented across all apps. Plus, they facilitate consistent customer experiences at all customer touch points.
As APIs make it easier to build apps for all lines of business and customer engagement points, the rate of mobile app development is skyrocketing. The global user base for mobile apps is rapidly exceeding 250 million--a significant bump from only 38.7 million in 2009. And each new customer-facing app creates more demand on identity management platforms.
Customers are embracing convenient new ways to order products and consume services from large enterprises, and the number of identities can climb into the millions for a single app. That's why scalability is a critical component of identity and preference management. As IT teams determine the requirements for their organisation, it's important to consider growth from multiple angles, and not just the number of customers or number of attributes associated with each profile.
Another factor is traffic frequency, specifically the traffic spikes that typically occur with the launch of a new app--or during peak traffic times like the holidays. Consequently, high-volume performance is an inseparable aspect of scalability when considering identity management system requirements.
From customer-facing mobile apps to internal enterprise productivity apps, modern applications are creating better and more efficient customer experiences.
However, in order to ensure a secure customer experience, organisations are increasingly relying upon Identity and Access Management (IAM).
The largest and most advanced companies in the world, including Google and Cisco, have figured out that in order to keep up with modern threats, they need to adopt a completely different paradigm - one where identity is at the centre of their security architecture. We at Ping Identity call this Identity Defined Security.
Identity solves four key enterprise security challenges:
Challenge #1: Users and apps outside the perimeter. As users and devices have gone mobile and apps are moving to the cloud, perimeter-based technologies such as firewalls and VPNs simply are not sufficient.
Challenge #2: Reliance on passwords. Year after year, reports like the Verizon Data Breach Investigation Report cite compromised credentials as the leading cause of breach. Stronger authentication via multi-factor authentication, coupled with federated single sign-on, reduces that risk.
Challenge #3: User data stored across NOT fit-for-purpose directories. Too many enterprises house consumer identities in technologies that were clearly not designed for modern standards and regulations. Identity Defined Security secures sensitive identity data with end-to-end data encryption at capture, transit, storage, replication, backup and more.
Challenge #4: Partner identity management with no way to automate de-provisioning. Too many companies are housing and managing partner identities storing IDs and passwords for each partner employee. When an employee of your partner leaves, potentially going to a competitor, are their IDs and passwords still valid? This outdated approach creates a huge security risk and a lot of overhead.
With the right customer identity and access management solution, a business can deliver the simple, frictionless experience customers expect, while ensuring the security that the business requires.
By: Mark Perry, Chief Technology Officer Asia Pacific, Ping Identity
This article was prepared by a guest blogger and the opinions expressed may not necessarily relect the opinions of Fifth Quadrant.