Financial sector has evolved into a digitally capable, technologically savvy industry. It has also embraced various breakthroughs in IT Security while maintaining robust workflow based operations. Harnessing mobile technology to better consumer engagement in a secure manner is a revolution we are witnessing in the present times. Banking and financial institutions are reaping the benefits of using mobile banking in the recent past. This has given the institutions – operating in B2C and B2E applications – opportunity for enhancing customer engagement, reducing operating costs, and up-selling or cross-selling services. Banks now intent that their customers use less of traditional brick-and-mortar banking, and instead use mobile facilities for paying bills, checking account details or even apply for loans and credit cards.
As handheld devices make inroads into financial domain, it becomes important to safeguard the process.
In the current business scenario, app-driven mobile activities emphasize the need for Identity and Access Management (IAM) capabilities that could be delivered to both mobile devices as well as mobile apps. Integrating IAM for mobile users bridges the gap between device endpoint and Enterprise IAM. This is done by extending two-factor authentication, identity federation, single sign-on, enforcement, ad-hoc policy deployment, along with other services.
- Going beyond legacy IAM: For catering to today’s evolving mobile banking environment, it is imperative to look beyond legacy approaches to IAM. A robust and flexible IAM system needs to focus on providing user authentication without impacting consumer experience, supporting dynamic cloud-based services and providing data exchange and integrating multiple consumers in a secure manner. Adoption of seamless IAM processes, such as SSO – mitigates risks and gives better user experience without compromising the data of the users. By securing the environment across the apps, it allows the users to get access to enterprise resources as well.
- Creating identity intelligence: IAM solutions are able to provide rich set of reporting and analytics features which enables banks to proactively document usage. It also helps in getting information about application utilization, inactive users as well as login activity. It enables identifying users who have weak passwords, get insights into users, logins, apps, events as well as provide audit trails for demonstrating compliance as per cyber-security, together with privacy regulations. Security User Behaviour Analytics (SUBA) is on of identity intelligence solutions.
- Customizing IAM as per requirements: IAM system needs to be flexible enough to accommodate changing IT security environment and technological requirements, such as adapting secure systems for biometrics, sensors, and customized device authentication. Further, tablets and smartphones have now become a necessity for consumers, and it has been predicted that by the end of the year 2019, North America would have more than 90% of the mobile population owning smartphone devices. With consumers using various types of devices – including wear-ables – personalization and customization of the applications provided by institutions have become the need of the hour. Also, many organizations are now moving away from supporting standard application to be in sync with consumer and business needs. Thus, one of the key components for information security is having a highly customizable IAM system.
- Catering to BYOD: Most organizations are now adopting approaches such as Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)/Chose Your Own Device (CYOD). These approaches give flexibility and a say to employees in making use or using the device of their own choice for gaining remote access to access sensitive corporate data or premium business applications. For accessing their information, consumers prefer using their mobile devices and thus, IAM has become a key component in mobile computing security. In such a scenario, IAM is required to provide appropriate access to various apps, tools and data to the users, in a time-critical manner.
- Supporting cloud-based services: The need for providing access to applications that are hosted on cloud, together with managing identities on cloud – including protecting Personally Identifiable Information (PII) has become a reality. Creating a hybrid operating model might be necessary, wherein, Identity as a Service – IDaaS – would need IAM agents for operating in an organization efficiently and governing access. This will enable providing legitimate access to employees even on the go and third-party to internal apps, while blocking any unauthorized access.
- Enhancing regulatory compliance: Mobile apps, if not secured, could lead to unauthorized access of privilege information, including sensitive data such as financial transactions or credit card details, personal information etc., by employees or any third party vendor. This may lead to identity theft, financial fraud or malware distribution, denting the image of banks and causing huge financial losses. It has also been found that mobile app developers are not stringent about following documentation or security guidelines. IAM system helps organization meet their ever challenging business demand. Focusing on setting up capabilities for supporting access management and access-related needs might be just one of the areas that IAM is able to accomplish. As IAM has been evolving, organizations are now looking at enterprise-based solutions which are adaptable for securing all customer data. A strong IAM program also circumvents attacks from the tools used by cyber criminals including reconnaissance, privilege escalation, remote access, data exfiltration and social engineering.
The bottom-line is, IAM solution gives significant advantages to both financial institutions, stakeholders and consumers, and it is indeed a solution that the banking system can totally ‘bank’ upon!