The Re-born Identity

 In Digital Transformation

One of the goals of digital transformation is making huge amounts of data from across the enterprise available to lots of people across multiple devices, in an easy to view and intuitive format. From smart city portals to healthcare apps, from digital banking to employee engagement, digital transformation suddenly unleashes enormous opportunities of seamless access to vast stores of information and better decision making. Fantastic! What could possibly go wrong?

Well, security for one.

While most digital transformation projects focus on the nitty-gritties of bringing the data from multiple and varied data sources into new age experiences through well-designed APIs, the experience of the end user when it comes to security is usually an after-thought. And while users are sold on a new world of AR and VR, where you can open doors literally with the blink of an eye, when it comes to security, we still got to deal with keeping track of numerous logins, multi-step sign-ins and verifications, demands to change passwords every six weeks, and password policies too complex for most AIs to cope with!

If you are like me, it’s enough to drive you to bad habits, as you look for ways to work around the stringent requirements. And what that means for your organization’s data integrity is pretty clear.

So, what’s the alternative?

Persistent Systems recently partnered with Nok Nok Labs, an innovator in modern authentication and a founding member of the FIDO Alliance (a non-profit for developing standards-based, interoperable authentication) to transform password security features and reduce friction around signing in for app-based services consumers. Its motto is “overcome password pain”, which I think we can all relate to.

Modern authentication replaces the password with biometric authentication – a fingerprint or eye test, a blink, touch or even your voice.

As Nok Nok Labs founder and FIDO visionary Ramesh Kesanupalli explains, “In our view, a user authenticates to a device, and a device authenticates into a network – security is that simple. These two layers of abstraction allow you to attach biometrics – a blink into a camera, touch on a fingerprint sensor, or spoken phrase into the microphone – which are absolutely unique to the user and offer a wonderful level of privacy. It’s also a much more elegant and easy user experience.”

There’s actually a great video explaining what Nok Nok Labs does in more detail here.

The partnership also follows our recent agreement with USAA – a FORTUNE 500® financial services provider that serves members of the US military and their families – to license some of its authentication technologies. These too extend beyond traditional passwords and security questions.

We feel the time has come where we can start using standards-based solutions specifically designed for modern computing requirements and the Internet of Things. Without a doubt, the adoption of cloud computing and the mobile device ecosystem requires the ability to move beyond the username-and-password paradigm of the past.

The collaborations with Nok Nok Labs and USAA are also great examples of how we are growing our partner ecosystem with start-ups and technology innovators to offer simpler but safer ways of taking part in digital transformation, both for app service providers and consumers. Here’s to saying goodbye to user names and passwords sooner rather than later.

Author: Siddhesh Bhobe, Head – Innovation & Marketing, Digital (@siddheshb)

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