Modernized Identity Management Improves Business Performance

Posted by Steve Tout, Guest Contributor on 6/23/16 9:00 AM

Steve is Founder and CEO of Forte Advisory, an information and consulting company helping transform business by building trust, reducing operational risk and improving user experiences. Follow Steve on Twitter @stevetout

Cloud computing is one of the biggest disruptive forces to the enterprise since smartphones and virtualization. Many business critical applications have been outsourced to cloud service providers, going beyond IT’s control and creating challenges with access controls, data governance, user provisioning and compliance while putting an organization’s sensitive data at risk. In order to address these risks and to enable the business at the same time, IAM has had to adapt with solutions that achieve far greater efficiency, scale, automation and security than before.

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Topics: Data Management, Legacy IAM Modernization

Survey Results Reveal the Application Features Customers Want

Posted by Derick Townsend on 6/3/16 8:59 AM

Identity and Access Management (IAM) is undergoing a transformation as more IT and IAM professionals are being tasked with supporting digital business initiatives. From e-commerce to mobile apps and Internet of Things (IoT) projects, one unifying theme is the need for identity data to enable customer engagement across these different channels. Technology teams, c-suite executives and analysts, like Forrester and Gartner, are recognizing Customer Identity Management (CIM) as an emerging requirement to deliver digital customer experiences that grow business.

More businesses are focused on omnichannel and digital innovation, and IT and IAM professionals are rapidly implementing new customer-facing application features that enhance online, mobile and IoT device engagement. But, the list of needed features can be long. Capabilities such as Single Sign-On (SSO), Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA), Data Privacy Management, Policy-Based Authorization and Self-Managed Accounts are just a small sample of the many different possibilities. It’s hard to know which ones to implement first and where to allocate internal resources including budget and time.

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Topics: Customer Experience, Data Management

Did World Password Day Make a Difference?

Posted by Michael Tarbet on 5/6/16 10:29 AM

Yesterday was World Password Day and the Internet and social media were full of helpful advice and reminders to change your passwords. People threw parties to commemorate the occasion, and even Betty White made a video to weigh in on the importance of multi-factor authentication (MFA). 

All joking aside, weak passwords remain one of the biggest data security threats online. We all know it, and yet many of us don’t do what we should to keep our online data protected. Many people are guilty of using passwords that are easy to guess, re-using the same password for all accounts and not changing passwords often enough.

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Topics: Data Management, Security Best Practices

MongoDB Vulnerabilities Highlight Need for End-to-End Identity Data Security

Posted by Keri LeBlanc on 4/29/16 11:08 AM

For more than a year MongoDB has been in the headlines, and the story continues. Security researchers have discovered more than 40,000 databases accessible from the Internet without authorization, putting millions of identity profiles at risk of theft and misuse. One exposed database containing 93.4 million Mexican voter records was not secured until earlier this week. The incident raises concerns over who may have accessed this valuable identity data during those months. It also raises questions of how widespread the issue of unsecure data may be.

MongoDB, the open source NoSQL company, is at the forefront of the negative attention, but the problem does not rest solely with them. In many of the MongoDB cases, administrators upgrading to a newer version of the database after 2012 failed to change an unsecure default configuration or provide a firewall. In some instances, the security settings were adjusted to a less secure option for the sake of convenience.

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Topics: Data Management, Security Best Practices

Are Data Privacy and Customer Engagement Mutually Exclusive?

Posted by Steve Shoaff on 3/31/16 11:02 AM

Data privacy is a heated topic with far-reaching implications for IT and business professionals. Governing organizations are introducing significant new regulations such as the recent General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Privacy Shield. Existing legislation is also changing, as we saw with the revocation of Safe Harbor.

These rulings vary widely from region to region, and they encompass data management aspects that go far beyond organizational data collection and use to capturing customer consent. What’s more, capturing consent is not just limited to a one-time event when a new customer creates a profile or account. Consent must be confirmed and refreshed as customers travel across regions with different laws and even as users change devices. 

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Topics: Data Management, Privacy and Preference Management

How to Handle Identity Management Demand Peaks

Posted by Bjorn Aannestad on 1/8/16 9:30 AM

As we look ahead to the coming year, it’s a good time for businesses to assess what went right, and perhaps what didn’t go so well, during the holiday shopping frenzy. One pain point that the seasonal traffic increase may have exacerbated for many organizations is the issue of outdated identity management technology. Some companies are discovering that their legacy systems can’t deliver the scale or performance needed to meet identity service demand peaks, whether it’s for customers during the holidays or for employees during busy work cycles.

As more consumers and employees are shifting to online and mobile channels, brands need identity management capabilities that can handle a growing user base. But accommodating a larger number of customers and employees is only part of the equation. The expanding volume of identity data generated by digital business makes scalability a crucial part of delivering successful customer and workforce experiences. 

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Topics: Data Management

5 Reasons to Put Identity Management First

Posted by Michael Tarbet on 1/6/16 2:29 PM

From startups to established brands, organizations are recognizing that customer identity management is a critical part of digital business. Symphony Communications, a secure messaging startup, is an example of the growing number of companies making identity management a key element in their go-to-market strategy. During a presentation at the Gartner Identity and Access Management Summit, CMO Barry Castle explained why identity management was one of the company's first initiatives. "We think identity services are important to get right from the ground up, not added on later in a robot-wars type of approach, assembling bits and pieces as you go," he says. 

Symphony Communications is not alone in this philosophy. Other companies are embarking on digital transformation initiatives, and entrepeneurs are launching new companies in the face of unprecedented digital opportunities. They are discovering how important secure, reliable and efficient identity management is in engaging online and mobile workforces and customers. Here are five reasons these organizations are making identity management a top priority:

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Topics: Data Management

The Changing Landscape of Identity and Access Management

Posted by Emeka Obianwu on 12/29/15 10:00 AM

Dan Coffing is the CEO of Syntegrity, an intelligent data security services company. During the recent Gartner IAM Summit, Dan took a few moments out of the show to speak with UnboundID about the state of the Identity and Access Management industry, where it's headed in the future and how IAM professionals can succeed in this time of rapid change.

UnboundID: What are some of the biggest changes you are currently seeing in Identity Management? 

Coffing: The most significant development for those of us managing identity data is the evolution of digital business. Companies are recognizing that not only must they continue to manage identities internally with increasing security sensitivities, but they must also serve the identity demands of providing digitally based marketing and services to external customer audiences. This radically changes the scale requirements for their infrastructures. Meeting the identity demands of multichannel digital customer engagement requires an exponentially larger scale than managing internal employee identities.

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Topics: Data Management, Legacy IAM Modernization

Customer Loyalty in the Digital Age

Posted by Dave Malcolm on 12/22/15 9:30 AM

Doug Stephens is one of the world’s foremost retail industry futurists. His intellectual work and thinking have influenced many of the world’s best-known retailers, agencies and brands including Walmart, Home Depot, Disney, BMW, Citibank, eBay, Intel and WestJet. Prior to founding Retail Prophet, Doug spent over 20 years in the retail industry and is the author of The Retail Revival: Re-Imagining Business for the New Age of Consumerism.

UnboundID: Are customers more or less loyal today versus a few years ago? What’s the latest thinking on loyalty in the age of the digital consumer?

Stephens: Twenty or 30 years ago, there wasn’t as much choice and we didn’t even know our options. As a result, inertia was often mistaken for loyalty. With the advent of the Internet and mobile technology, consumers now have the opposite problem: As consumers we have a much infinite array of choice at our fingertips—almost too much choice. Loyalty has been redefined as a result.

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Topics: Customer Experience, Data Management

What Will NOT Happen in 2016

Posted by Steve Shoaff on 12/18/15 10:30 AM

UnboundID's Tongue-in-Cheek Forecast

Looking ahead to 2016, we're excited to see change and innovation on the horizon in Identity and Access Management. It's an industry that is rapidly evolving as the pace of digital business quickens, and identity data is needed to drive advances in multichannel customer experience and improve revenue.

Many companies across a range of industries are sharing their predictions of what we can expect in the New Year—so many in fact that we're getting tired of seeing predictions. So instead of creating another prediction list, we decided to take a different approach.

We've come up with a list of what will NOT happen over the next twelve months. Not only does this approach shake up the steady cadence of prediction lists this time of year, it increases our odds of accuracy. 

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Topics: Data Management, Consumer Identity and Access Management