The BIC brings together some of the world’s best companies and brightest solution providers in an effort to change the very basis of cybersecurity to a model that places the rights, privacy and security of human beings front and center, in an effort to stop exploitation, cybercrimes, corporate losses and compromises of trust in our governments, enterprises and agencies.
This might seem like an odd mission for a coalition focused on cybersecurity. The casual observer, regular citizen and loyal customer might believe that cybersecurity is already all about people. Why would we need a Better Identity Coalition to make it come true?
In reality, cybersecurity has a long history of being about protecting things and not humans.
Shattering the Layered Security Model
Technology evolved from systems that were originally completely isolated, so it shouldn’t be surprising that the human element wasn’t initially a consideration in security design. Computing systems were stand-alone in the early days, with no corporate or global networks to even consider. Then networking arrived, providing a neatly defined perimeter around a company’s digital assets. Information security had its beginnings in a world of layers that surrounded data, not people. Humans have always been a part of the equation, but in a world where data is kept safe by these boundaries, humans were simply given keys in the form of an account with a password to keep that data safe.
Then, something changed with the network. It went worldwide.
When client-server technologies put digital tools into the hands of every worker at every company, productivity exploded. So did data. The digital age brought both successes and excesses that quickly jumped over the barriers, fences and perimeters that were built to contain them. The World Wide Web shattered the layered security model by giving a user the ability to traverse a digital universe free of boundaries but also full of risk.
From Securing Systems to Securing Identity
Ping Identity was born in the enterprise just as the power, capabilities, features and risks of an internet-enabled business world was truly taking off. Our founder and CEO, Andre Durand, recognized the value of identity long before it became fashionable to talk about the subject as anything more than the administration of access to accounts and passwords handed out to employees. Andre saw something powerful and empowering in the notion of a digital identity, even if the technology and business worlds hadn’t caught up to that vision.
Andre wasn’t alone in the security space or the corporate world. The mid to late 2000’s produced the first group of technologies and practitioners who focused on and promoted the importance of identity within the frameworks of security and privacy. It was a long journey for all as we struggled with a control that is relatively simple to describe but extremely challenging to implement.
Are you who you say you are? Are you doing what you are supposed to be doing? Do you have what you are supposed to have? The core foundations of identity, in the form of three simple questions: authentication, authorization and approval. Managing these three components separately has vexed companies, governments and organizations around the world for more than two decades simply because the vast majority of the attention, effort and budget aligned to cybersecurity has been focused on technologies that still support a layered security model with boundaries and perimeters. Even though users and bad actors leapt over those perimeters years ago.
Ping Identity Joins the Better Identity Coalition
Now in 2020, the need to protect humans in the digital realm seems obvious. After years of effort by an untold number of advocates and security professionals around the world, digital identity is spoken about now in boardrooms and legislative halls as if it has always been a priority. And the leaders and experts in the field who have stayed the course are now being given the opportunity to bring their experience and innovative thinking to companies and governments around the world. The Better Identity Coalition is one of the ways this is happening today.
In recognition of a world that has moved beyond isolated systems and locked-down perimeters, Ping is honored to join some of our largest customers and our most valuable partners in the Better Identity Coalition’s efforts to navigate cybersecurity towards a model that addresses the security and privacy of citizens and consumers in the 21st century.
The BIC focuses on five pillars in an effort to define, promote and ultimately protect digital identities. Ping Identity supports these initiatives:
Prioritize the development of next-generation remote identity proofing and verification systems.
Change the way America uses social security numbers.
Promote and prioritize strong authentication.
Pursue international coordination and standardization of identity systems.
Educate consumers and businesses about better identity solutions.
Protecting Humans in a Digital World
Protecting digital identities means much more than preventing the theft of a credit card number. Human-centric cybersecurity means stopping the crippling economic damage done to individuals and families by synthetic fraud, saving children and other vulnerable populations from exploitation and victimization, and safeguarding the reputations of those who share something privately but suffer unfair or even illegal disclosures of those private moments. It means protecting people’s livelihoods, their safety, their interactions with others, and in some cases, their very lives.
A great deal of work remains to be done, not just in the form of identity-centric security and uplifting controls for enterprises, but in the creation of human-focused laws and regulations that obligate corporations and governments to protect the digital versions of their consumers and citizens.
Visit our website to learn more about Ping Identity’s commitment to securing digital identity.