Why does identity and access management (IAM) matter to financial businesses and organizations? What can it actually offer to your clients, customers, and partners?
According to Gartner, identity management enables the right people to receive the right access at the right time for the right reasons. Identity management for financial organizations addresses this mission-critical need even as financial enterprises evolve their IT environments.
The Identity Management Challenges Facing Financial Organizations
First, your financial business needs to face the fact; you operate in a highly competitive market. Even a single data breach can inflict a serious blow to your brand’s reputation; in fact, customers absolutely abandon businesses after data breaches. Meanwhile, cyber-attacks can drive potential customers into the arms of your competitors. You can’t afford to allow that to happen.
Moreover, financial businesses need to contend with the fact that, by their nature, they deal with substantial revenue streams. The majority of data breaches have financial motivations above all. After all, breaches and malware are hackers’ jobs; this is their occupation. So they will, to use a common phrase, follow the money.
However, that refers to identity management challenges that can apply to enterprises of all sizes and verticals. Identity management for financial organizations faces unique challenges as well.
Namely, finance businesses need to contend with specific and complex regulatory compliance mandates; these include the Bank Secrecy Act, the Fair Accurate Credit Transactions Act, and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.
Additionally, IAM for financial enterprises requires dealing with the consequences of digital transformation and other technology evolutions. Of course, these include cloud services, but also includes innovations including the Internet of Things (IoT) and mobile devices. These technologies allow for rapid scaling and greater competitive advantages, but they also alter the digital perimeter.
Common Identity Management Challenges Facing Financial Organizations
When considering identity management, you need to think about your cybersecurity across the entire IT infrastructure. For example, you need to balance the cybersecurity needs of your internal and external users accessing the systems; they need different levels of identity protection.
While you can put as much identity security as you would like for your internal employees, customers and clients demand smoother experiences. You need to balance their user experience to encourage their consumer behaviors and facilitate positive word-of-mouth. Unfortunately, this balancing act is no mean feat.
Furthermore, you need to think about the different means by which hackers could target your enterprise. The vast majority of financial cybercrime begins with credential theft; however, privilege abuse and phishing attacks could wreck equal amounts of havoc on your network.
More specifically for identity management for financial organizations, a common challenge is approaching it with a complete roadmap. Many businesses attempt to handle their IAM projects as one-off concerns. Often, they buy a unique solution for each problem they encounter rather than approaching it through centralization.
Finally, financial enterprises often fail to embrace metrics in determining the success of their IAM capabilities and policies. Instead, they operate blindly, making judgment calls based on what they can see on the surface.
How Identity Management Can Help
Identity management solutions help enterprises—including those in financial markets—reduce their risks, maintain compliance, and facilitate business efficiencies.
They can provide much-needed centralization and cloud-specific capabilities to help enterprises scale safely; often, this includes deploying IAM and privileged access management (PAM) processes in cloud applications and services. Therefore, IAM solutions can help financial businesses manage their privileged credentials in evolving environments. Through centralization, your IT security team can view key metrics, maintain a uniform level of protection, and scale effectively.
Second, next-generation identity management solutions offer multifactor authentication (MFA). For financial organizations, MFA is a must-have. The era of single-factor or password-based authentication has long since passed. The more factors you can place between the access request, the safer your data and finances remain.
Moreover, multifactor authentication doesn’t need to interfere with your customer’s experience. Through factors such as device recognition, time of access request monitoring, and even behavioral biometrics can verify users passively but securely.
Third, identity management—especially identity governance and administration—can help your business meet its compliance through out-of-the-box-reports. In fact, you can automate your compliance report filing, freeing your IT security team.
On the customer identity side, single sign-on helps customers maintain a safe set of credentials to access multiple services simultaneously.
How To Learn More
Be sure to check out our Identity Management Buyer’s Guides for more on the financial use cases and key capabilities.