Faced with increasing competition and regulatory demands, financial services organizations are finding themselves caught between two particularly conflicting aims: innovation and security. On the one hand, they’re feeling the pressure to offer convenient access to services and applications to both their customers and employees. On the other, they must manage the very real risk of data breach and ensure compliance with a never-ending list of regulations.
The Race to Innovate in Financial Services
To address the need for innovation, many enterprise organizations are currently undergoing digital transformations, both in how they work and in how they serve customers. The upside of offering digital tools and features to employees and customers is efficiency and competitive market differentiation. When you put the most relevant digital apps and functions in the hands of your customers and employees, you may very well enjoy a competitive advantage over other companies that haven’t caught up yet.
For many tech-savvy digital consumers, mobile access to their financial systems is a priority. For example, they’ve come to expect that insurance companies will offer mobile apps for things like accessing their policy documents and billing, and for initiating/tracking a claim. Your customers are just happier when they can enjoy the convenience of innovative services. Meanwhile your employees are also empowered to do their jobs more efficiently and spend more time on value-added activities.
The Importance of Security
While you must remain innovative to remain competitive, there are also additional risks to manage. Enterprise security must remain a core focus, as exposing more digital touchpoints and access to resources creates additional entry points for hackers and criminals to exploit. This can, in turn, increase the potential for identity theft, account takeover or fraud.
To mitigate this risk, some are choosing to prioritize security over innovation. They might do this by minimizing the number of access points to financial accounts and tools, so that the scope of security is more manageable. Or they simply wait until a new technology has moved farther along the maturity curve, so that the vast majority of their risk concerns have passed.
Both of these approaches may maintain security, but they do so at the expense of convenience and experience. While this may seem to be the least risky way forward, the reality is that hesitating to implement digital innovations because of security concerns is costing financial services organizations millions or billions in potential value creation opportunities.
Finding a Balance with Identity and Access Management
Those financial service providers who prioritize both innovation and security are positioned for competitive advantage. But how do you strike this balance? It starts with identity.
When you’re dealing with people’s money, you must ensure individuals are who they say they are before giving them access to financial instruments and systems. Identity and access management (IAM) helps you ensure only the right people have access to the right things. Using technologies like secure single sign-on (SSO) and adaptive multi-factor authentication (MFA), IAM gives you the peace of mind that both your customers’ and your enterprise’s security is managed to the highest standards.
At the same time, identity and access management enables you to confidently move forward with—even accelerate—your digital transformation initiatives. When you have the assurance that your customers are who they claim to be, you’re empowered to give them the same type of convenient access and engaging experiences that they get from their favorite retailers and tech providers. And you’re able to give employees access from anywhere at anytime, maximizing their efficiency and productivity.
Identity and access management solutions enable large enterprises to achieve the best of both worlds. Instead of viewing security and innovation as opposite ends of a spectrum, you can rely on identity-defined security to achieve both. Using a person’s identity as the connective tissue and shared key among distinct digital applications, you’re able to give your users a more cohesive experience and quicker, more convenient access to new capabilities and resources—all without sacrificing security.
TIAA: Raising the Bar for Financial Services
TIAA offers banking, loans, investing, insurance and planning; a wide breadth of offerings in the financial services space. TIAA has partnered with Ping Identity to enable SSO with secure inbound and outbound connections to a diverse set of applications. Using the Ping Identity Platform, they’re able to strike an optimal balance of security and convenience, and provide access to a range of employee and customer tools.
TIAA’s Director of Security Services, Rob Davis, will share more during a webinar on March 15, 2018. Join us to hear Rob discuss:
how IAM platforms can help financial services organizations strike the critical balance between innovation and security
how TIAA leveraged the Ping Identity Platform to securely manage customer and employee identities, SSO and access security in a hybrid IT environment
TIAA's lessons learned and technical examples of future identity initiatives