Man in front of fingerprint scanner showing identity system

A Modern Identity System Can Positively Impact the Bottom Line – Here’s How

The rapid shift to digitisation across all sectors has augmented Singaporean businesses’ exposure to cyber risks. The Smart Nation and Digital Government Office (SNDGO) recently reported a 44 percent increase in data leaks by the Singapore Government in 2020.

As cyber threats multiply in volume and techniques used to target the institutions and their users become increasingly sophisticated, there is broad recognition of the need for entities to strengthen data protection accountability. Amendments to the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA) in February introduced punitive measures to hold these individuals accountable for the reckless handling, or intentional mishandling, of personal data.

Organisations need to put in place policies and processes to secure and manage the identities of their users. A modern identity and access management (IAM) system is critical to manage access across multiple operating systems, devices, locations and applications, based on what a user should be able to do and what they will need over time. Beyond compliance, it also touches nearly every aspect of the business and have a measurable impact on the bottom line.

Reduce maintenance costs

Managing the identities of employees, business partners, or end customers without a secure, updated IAM system can be expensive. Maintaining a legacy, decentralised IAM system is usually a full-time job for at least one developer. In addition, dealing with identity-related issues such as lost passwords takes up the majority of IT support desk’s time.

The maintenance costs of in-house identity are high even to maintain and keep the existing system running so users can log in and access resources. When businesses improve their custom IAM systems, those costs skyrocket. Auth0 customers regularly report that if they attempted to build the same features themselves, it would take an entire team of developers.

Ensure compliance and security

Identity-based attacks are a pervasive threat. Without a sophisticated, secure identity solution, organisations need to prepare for the risk of regulatory fines and the myriad costs associated with data breaches.

Today, hackers the world over use authentication as their preferred gateway to attack. Verizon’s 2020 Data Breach Report found that the most common forms of data breaches are identity-based: phishing and attacks using stolen credentials. These broken authentication attacks mean huge expenses for businesses, in the form of application downtime, lost customers, and IT costs. The average cost of a data breach for Singaporean companies was S$3.61 million per incident, according to the Ponemon Institute.  Thwarting these attacks requires IAM features such as brute force protection, multi-factor authentication (MFA), and rigorous access control.

Promote Innovation and improve CX

An IAM system can drive innovation. Every hour your developers spend on authentication is an hour they’re not improving your core product. By buying instead of building authentication services, the business frees up resources to focus on developing and improving other functions.

Streamlining authentication also improves UX and shows users that they’re dealing with a cutting-edge business. Consumers want the continued promise of speed, convenience, and choice from an enhanced digital offering and for businesses operating online today, that translates to a need to provide customers a frictionless user experience.

Thankfully, technology is getting better at identifying authentic users based on a series of clues that determine an overall risk score. Security best practices like Multi-Factor authentication (MFA) and Breached Password Detection are examples of ‘good friction’ and should be standardised across all organisations. Even though they interrupt the customer journey, they provide valuable reassurance that a business has a good handle on the security of their users’ accounts.

Having a secure and extensible IAM solution is one of the best defenses against the current environment. As businesses operating in Singapore adjusts to new regulatory guidelines in managing technology risks, a modern IAM solution can provide both a quick business win and long-term value by decreasing costs, increasing revenue, and making businesses more adaptable in a shifting technological and legal landscape.