What Are The 5 Key CIAM Benefits for Enterprises?

What Are The 5 Key CIAM Benefits for Enterprises?

What 5 key Customer Identity and Access Management (CIAM) benefits can your enterprise utilize in your business processes? How does it relate to traditional identity and access management? What CIAM benefits assist specific enterprise data needs and industries? 

CIAM functions as a branch of traditional identity and access management; in fact, the two cybersecurity categories cover the same aspects of identity: logins, authentication, and compliance. However, while identity and access management focuses on securing employee and vendor identities, CIAM protects customers. 

Therefore, CIAM deploys login verification with customer data storage and monitoring in a single solution. It controls the customer login experience, registration, and authentication; as a result, it can simplify business processes involving customers. Of course, this makes it an essential identity security solution for retailers and other customer-facing enterprises.  

But what are the five key CIAM benefits for enterprises? What can they offer your business? 

Five Key CIAM Benefits for Enterprises

1. Scalability

While CIAM benefits can assist you in mediating your interactions with your customers, you can’t become fixated with current requirements. Instead, you must remain abreast of customer demands and prepare to scale.    

Every identity and access management solution needs to scale of course. However, CIAM solutions need to demonstrate a frankly extreme degree of scalability. Your enterprise could have hundreds of thousands if not millions of customers. Each customer has its own identity which requires protection; further, you need to anticipate potential surges and dips in customer registrations and activities. 

Further, you need to anticipate different operating systems and environments like cloud and hybrid infrastructures. On-premises identity security can’t protect these environments or these customers.    

CIAM streamlines the customer experience through easy login experience that keeps up to date. 

2. Customer Data Storage

One of the most underappreciated CIAM benefits involves data storage. Every identity needs proper storage so that hackers can’t exploit the sensitive information they contain. 

Further, CIAM solutions can help you collect data even beyond what they fill out on their registration forms; for starters, you can collect information on their buying habits and areas of purchasing interest. Obviously, you can use this to bolster your targeted marketing campaigns and other ventures. 

However, CIAM benefits don’t just include storing and collecting customer data but securing it as well. In fact, CIAM solutions can help tokenize customer identities so they remain disconnected from sensitive data while in storage. Additionally, these solutions can deploy data encryption and hashing to ensure private information and credentials remain private. 

Perhaps most crucially, CIAM benefits include the ability to maintain visibility over the dat your collect. That way, you can monitor what data you collect, how you collect it, and whether you have the right to it; all of this information proves crucial to fulfilling compliance mandates like GDPR.      

3. Secure Authentication

Ping Identity, a prominent CIAM solution provider, released the “2018 Consumer Survey: Attitudes and Behavior in a Post-Breach Era. In it, they discovered the majority of consumers refuse to shop at brands that suffered a data breach. 

The best way to secure customers against data breaches? Strong authentication protocols, specifically multifactor authentication. Multifactor authentication simply makes passwords one part of the authentication equation; consumers just need to provide a few more factors to ensure they are who they say they are. In fact, they don’t even need to actively present some factors. Logging in from a recognized endpoint at a normal time could provide enough authentication information for a consumer login. 

Moreover, because CIAM limits customer access, you can embrace more streamlined authentication with social media sign-in. This enables users to use their social media logins as a means to connect with your business; while unthinkable for employees, this can be used to great success in CIAM. 

Authentication actually ties in with one of the key CIAM benefits. 

4. Streamlined Experience

Employees need to follow your rules (or at least they should follow your rules) regarding identity management. They may not want to use hard tokens or confirm their identities again when accessing sensitive data, but if you make a rule, they have to listen. 

On the other hand, customers do not need to follow such rules. If they don’t like your rules, they could always go to one of your competitors. Studies show they will make such choices. Indeed, customers don’t complete their transactions if they feel inconvenienced by security processes. Cart abandonment and customer loss tend to follow in the wake of poor customer experiences. Obviously, the impact of your bottom line could prove enormous. 

Thankfully, CIAM benefits include streamlining the login and authentication processes for customers. For example, CIAM allows your customers to resume their sessions after lengthy periods of time even if they do not log out. 

5. Password Reset Self-Service 

 In a normal IAM scheme, your employees can contact your IT security team and ask them for help in retrieving their passwords. This, of course, often proves sub-optimal; it stresses your already thinly-stretched IT team by adding to their workload. Furthermore, it delays business processes significantly as employees wait for help.

Adding consumers’ password reset requests to the mix is a recipe for disaster, for both your IT team and your customer experience.

Therefore, self-service remains one of the key CIAM benefits. Consumers can retrieve or reset their passwords relatively quickly and effortlessly through email or SMS messaging. They can thus return to their cart and their transaction quickly, improving the experience and ensuring their peace of mind concerning cybersecurity.  

To learn more about CIAM benefits, be sure to check out our 2019 Identity Management Buyer’s Guide. We cover the key providers and their capabilities.

Ben Canner

Ben Canner is an enterprise technology writer and analyst covering Identity Management, SIEM, Endpoint Protection, and Cybersecurity writ large. He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English from Clark University in Worcester, MA. He previously worked as a corporate blogger and ghost writer. You can reach him via Twitter and LinkedIn.
Ben Canner