Digital Identity Management: How Can You Win Customer Trust?

Trust holds the foundation for every successful business. But, if the business organization exposes its valuable customer data, can it win customer trust? The answer is NO, and the organizations know this well by now. 

Digital Identity Management

With accelerated digital engagements, businesses are emphasizing creating a well-defined identity security strategy to safeguard their most critical assets, like sensitive customer data. While their intentions are in the right place, their strategies are not potent enough to prevent unauthorized access of malicious cybercriminals and consequent data breaches. As we can see, large organizations like GoDaddy, Microsoft, and Facebook have been the victim of such sophisticated attacks, incurring substantial revenue losses. 

The first and foremost priority of every organization is to ensure the utmost security of the customer data. Today’s evolving customers are acutely aware of the implications of data breaches and how the misuse of their sensitive information can jeopardize their personal and professional lives.

Customers are concerned about how their data is being used by the company. As perimeter-focused security architectures are taking a backseat in this fast-paced digital economy, enterprises are looking forward to inculcating identity-first security measures to protect the “perimeter-less” networks.

Now that the industrial cross-sections have embraced digital transformation to accelerate productivity and operational agility, it has become critical to win and maintain customer trust by implementing strategic digital identity management practices. Besides managing identities for contractors, vendors, employees, and business partners, organizations must gear up to secure machine identities for strengthening customer relations. 

Inefficient management of digital certificates causing missed certificate expirations, rogue certificates, and sudden network outages expose the network to several security vulnerabilities like compromised keys and bad actors forging certificates to gain access. Such unfortunate occurrences can be a huge blow to winning customer trust. 

Buyer’s Guide for Certificate Lifecycle Automation

Let’s see how you can win customer trust with the help of efficient digital identity management. 

Implement Encryption

Encryption guarantees data confidentiality by prohibiting cyber criminals from intercepting the data over a network. Public key infrastructure (PKI)  is crucial in creating a trusted and safe connection between a server and a client (user). PKI encrypts the data via the network’s communication channel by using private and public keys for encryption and decryption respectively with the help of digital certificates. 

PKI encompasses the application of both symmetric and asymmetric key encryption and enhances the privacy of messages and sensitive information. It uses public key cryptography as the basis for encryption, with the underlying principles, procedures, and policies being part of the overlying ‘infrastructure’ that is in tandem with TLS/SSL protocols. PKI authentication procedures through the use of digital certificates are an effective way to enhance data privacy and security. 

Data is most vulnerable when it is in transit, between one server and another. So, it is enterprise-critical to invest in encryption in transit for protecting the data. Similarly, encryption at rest ensures data governance and compliance. Encryption is pivotal to safeguard the confidentiality of data, using strong cipher texts and guaranteeing that none other than proposed recipients should have access to the information. 

Invest in Hashing

Hashing is a mechanism by which a huge block of data is reduced to smaller data blocks (bit size) in a particular order, by using an irreversible cryptographic hash, which is a one-way function. The same input will always produce the same output, and any change in the input will change the output (hash code) drastically. The hashing algorithm is highly complex and therefore it cannot be reversed, thus making it a safe option to enhance the security of digital identities. 

Hashing provides a secure method to retrieve data. As it is a one-way function, hashed passwords cannot be stolen or modified, and a stolen hash code is useless as it cannot be applied anywhere else. Digital certificates follow a hashing mechanism, where the hashed certificate file is digitally signed by issuing certificate authority  (CA), thus double-checking that the electronic communication is authentic. Hashing mechanism enhances the security of the machine identities and attests to the fact that the entity at the other end of the channel is genuinely the one with whom the session initiator wants to communicate.

Practice Role-based Access 

To win customer trust, it is imperative that you protect sensitive information from falling into the wrong hands. Role-based access control (RBAC) guarantees that only authorized personnel can gain access to operations and objects, based on their organizational responsibilities, intent, and identity. 

The U.S. National Institutes of Standards and Technology (NIST) came up with the RBAC approach as a better and more efficient alternative to discretionary access control (DAC). If an entity does not require access permission to complete any given task, he/she should not have access. This approach restricts each user’s access only to resources required for his/her job role. By controlling individual access, you can prevent attackers from disrupting network applications, sites, and devices. 

The goal of every information security program is availability, confidentiality, and integrity. Access control is pertinent for organizations that operate on hybrid and muticloud environments where critical resources, data, and applications reside both on-premises and in the cloud. Access control is also a key component for achieving a, where various multifactor authentication procedures are implemented to verify access to the company network. 

Meet Compliance Mandates 

Organizations from diverse industry verticals maintain compliance with industry standards like the General Data Protection (GDPR), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX), Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH), Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS), and Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) to establish that systems are secure and customers can trust them with their sensitive and confidential information without being worried about their data being misused. Meeting compliance mandates helps you to contribute to global corporate security strategies, boost IT infrastructure efficiency and win customer loyalty and trust. 

In the healthcare segment, HIPAA and the HITECH Act provide regulatory mandates to secure Personal Health Information (PHI) from unauthorized access and data exploitation. 

In the banking and financial segment, PCI-DSS introduces the framework necessary to develop a complete card data security process including detection, prevention, and proactive response to any security incidents. 

SOX aims to prevent corporations from indulging in fraudulent investments and improve financial disclosures. According to the GDPR policies, organizations must inform customers how their information is stored and used, such that intentions of data collection are transparent. All these regulatory measures adopted by several industries aim at securing data privacy and digital identities. 

You need to apply a strong security solution to protect digital assets like keys and certificates from getting exploited by malicious attackers. It is crucial to implement certificate policies for regulating issuance, validity, trust levels and meet compliance mandates. 

Implement Multifactor Authentication (MFA)

Implementing multifactor authentication and risk-based authentication (RBA) adds extra layers of security to your network infrastructure. For instance, if the system detects any unusual activity like password change or access from another IP address, users will be notified about the same, asking them to verify the particular action. 

This verification approach requires two or more identifying credentials, for example, a user password and a one-time password (OTP) sent to you via text message or email. Most organizations use MFA to secure their communication as it is more efficient than single sign-on (SSO). MFA is a core component of the Identity and Access Management (IAM) model, which requires multiple verification layers thus reducing the risks of possible security breaches. 

AppviewX can Help!

AppViewX CERT+ helps you in managing certificates and keys across various technologies in varied hybrid cloud and multi-cloud deployment environments. Certificate lifecycle management (CLM) in CERT+ simplifies all certificate operations between CA and the applications where certificates are to be used, thus securing machine identities. 

Do you want to manage your machine identities better?

Tags

  • certificate lifecycle management
  • digital identity management
  • PKI
  • PKI management
  • SSL Certificate Lifecycle Management

About the Author

Debarati Biswas

Senior Specialist- Product Marketing

A content creator and a lifelong learner with an ongoing curiosity. She pens insightful resources to address the pain points of the readers and prospective buyers and help them make well-informed decisions.

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