Identity verification is new data privacy. Technology is integrated in our everyday lives more than ever. Digital innovations continue to mesmerize the whole world with the new and advanced technologically sound solutions to the current problems at hand. There are dozens and dozens of solutions available for businesses and companies to optimize their workplace functions. The challenge now is less about creating a solution to an existing problem and more about how to keep up with that many available solutions consistently and persistently. Digital technology is at the heart of every successful company now. Every business idea or a campaign or any motion can get going if supported and backed by technologically sound solutions. The success of organizations now depends on it more than ever amidst the ever increasing competitors in today’s world.
One of the IT solutions that has revolutionized the digitalization is the era of Cloud. Cloud technology has virtually multiplied the optimization channels that any organization can use to improve their workplace functions and manage organizational records better. Cloud technology has also multiplied the number and categories of people any organization needs to manage. Organizational solutions are not merely about record keeping or employee management anymore. Cloud based Customer Relationship Management tools and solutions incorporate contractors, partners, customers, consumers and anyone else that ever comes in an interaction with a business at any level, at any stage.
When a business is in interaction with that greater a number of people at that diversified network over that many different communication channels, then it becomes a foremost responsibility to provide each interacting entity with a personalized, functional and secure interaction experience with your company. IT, in other means, has now a lead role in every organization especially the ones with a huge number of interacting users. The identity for such business entities becomes a matter of sensitivity and it requires thoughtfulness, consideration and evaluation of different factors. Therefore, there are a vast number of factors to take care of in identifying and implementing an identity solution. But before we go into the details of steps to consider and benefits, lets quickly highlight what exactly is an Identity Verification Solution.
Identity providers or IdPs are solutions and services that are structured and designed to store and manage the digital identities of businesses and organizations in their online or internet presence. Different companies use identity verification solutions in different contexts according to their needs.
For instance, some companies may use these solutions and services to empower their employees to connect with the resources and accessibility that they require. In effect, these identity solutions enable organizational administration to manage and alter access, adding or removing employee based privileges, without having to compromise on the security at any stage thus keeping it tight from any breach or data leaks.
The functional structure of an Identity Solution can be simply estimated with how Google or Facebook works. You may have, at point in time, used Google, Apple, or Facebook login credentials to access any app on web or on your device. While you were doing that, you were using an Identity Provider service. It’s that simple. Your login details constituting your user ID and password enables you to access another application or resource and that is the basic function of an IdP service.
The backend stepwise workflow of an identity provider service basically involves 3 basic counters before proceeding further. These steps are discussed in a short description below.
The cycle starts when a user inputs an access request using his login ID and credentials associated with some other source such as Google, Apple, Facebook or any other compatible app.
When the input request has been prompted by the user, the identity provider runs a security check with that company’s IT to confirm if the input user has due access and what permissions that user has at that platform.
When the verification check is successfully passed, the user is granted access to the permitted resources for that particular user. This is the last step of the cycle and the input user is successfully logged at this point.
These cycle take place in a matter of a few seconds and not in stepwise as it seems in the process writing. Let’s now discuss the steps to undertake in choosing the right identity provider.
Consider these stats sourced from AdWeek to have a better idea of why identity provider is important.
We are living in a digital and web oriented world. Every application requires the users to log in before granting access. There are dozens of apps and keeping a secure list of passwords for each is not an easy feat. And as per the aforementioned stats, 73% of online accounts of a user constitute the same credentials. It means that in an unfortunate case of a digital theft, the hacker gets access to the user data spread across many independent online platforms. It is therefore, very vital and critical that users use identity providers to log in so that security of app data can be ensured and made easy.
It must be noted that not all apps require the same level of data security and sensitivity. That is why, different platforms must establish different input requirements for setting up an IdP service. You need to figure out what kind of data would be contained in a platform and its sensitivity would then address what level of IdP solution would work for that app. For instance, if you are using an IdP service to log in on Pinterest, then simple login information such as an email and password would be sufficient for an Identity Provider service.
However, if you are using Identity Verification services to get logged in on your mobile banking app or to get logged on any other financial institution web services, then the Identity Provider service would require a lot more complex inputs for data verification and validation process before granting the access to the user. What’s important in such a scenario is to only require those parameters in an IdP service that are relevant and reduce the user journey for a better experience.
For a business constituting a large number of employees that are in turn dealing with contractors, suppliers, partners and customers, it becomes difficult for the IT management and service providers to organize different users if they are fragmented into different classes. Instead of creating classes and categories of users based on their workplace responsibilities, it would be in the best interest of the company to keep a unified and centralized identity solution. In this way, this identity provider solution will be robust irrespective of whether an employee gets promoted or a supplier is changed.
Last but not the least, choose an identity verification solution that has been developed on Cloud from its conception stage. The problem here is that there are many IdP service providers today that claim to have a fully integrated identity stack. However, in effect, some IdP service providers have different products with different interfaces which is a loophole to figure out that their solutions are not fully integrated. Similarly, putting the premise-based technologies such as Microsoft AD on cloud does not make it a cloud solution either. A cloud solution is developed on cloud from day 1 and offers a fully integrated and centralized identity management with a powerful and swift solution.
Choosing the perfect identity provider is not an easy feat and we do realize that. However, keeping the factors mentioned in this text will help you identify an IdP solution that meets most of our requirements. Just remember to evaluate the security of data, employees, interacting bodies and third party users.