The challenge of identity managementEnterprise Times spent two days at Cyber Security Connect in Monaco. During the conference, we had an opportunity to talk to Ira Goldstein, Senior Vice President of Corporate Development at the Herjavec Group. One of the ongoing challenges in security is identity management. The constant theft of credentials due to security breaches means organisations need an alternative to username and password.

Goldstein sees the start point for identity management is organisations taking stock of their current solutions and identifying the weaknesses and strengths. This can be easier said than done. Many organisations have multiple solutions for managing identity. Staff identity systems are often separate from customer identity systems.

Ira Goldstein, Senior Vice President of Corporate Development, Herjavec Group
Ira Goldstein, Senior Vice President of Corporate Development, Herjavec Group

For those organisations where customer identity is central to what they do, the solution must be simple for customers to use. According to Goldstein, the one prevalent and most public challenge around identity is customer identity management.

From an IT perspective, the solution lies in tools. The problem here, as Goldstein sees it, is the sheer number of tools out there and who owns them. In any high value market such as identity and cyber security, there will always be a large number of companies. Goldstein called out the number of mergers and acquisitions in the identity space. He highlighted the role of the private equity companies who are buying multiple niche solutions to create a larger unified suite offering.

One of the biggest challenges for identity is its proof. Is that customer really who they claim to be? Can that person really be trusted? Is that object real or fake? Despite the legislative and compliance requirements in this area, they all struggle with the immutability of an identity. Goldstein believes that verification of an identity at source is the key.

When individuals interact with businesses, they hand over parts of their identity as part of the process. This, says Goldstein, creates a huge attack surface given the number of organisations that have a little piece of your identity. Goldstein talked about the problems for both individuals and organisations in solving this and where self-sovereign identity fits.

To hear what else Goldstein had to say listen to the podcast

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