What are the biggest questions and opportunities in digital ID and authentication today? In light of several breaches involving stolen passwords, there is a growing consensus that passwords are no longer an adequate solution for authentication. Hence why many organizations are turning to advanced authentication to help manage access and improve trust among customers and business partners. Banks are moving away from traditional passwords to some form of one-time passwords. In particular, solutions that send one-time passwords to a mobile phone have proved popular with customers and have enabled the bank to enhance its data security while trimming support desk costs. Other businesses are developing and implementing more advanced authentication technologies such as biometrics. For example using facial and voice recognition and fingerprint scanning for customer access to mobile apps. The hospitality companies are allowing pre-registered hotel guests to bypass the check-in desk and tap their smartphone or Apple Watch to unlock hotel room doors. In highly regulated sectors, the process of verifying the applicant is who they say they are when they are registering, can often involve some level of physical interaction and verification. There is a significant opportunity to move to a digital only user registration process that is privacy enhancing, secure and compliant. Ultimately, consumers are more likely to adopt digital services that provide authentication mechanisms that are frictionless, easy to use and is enabled through seamless registration process.
What is UMA (User-Managed Access)? Why should the average Canadian care about UMA? The ability to share various resources in a secure, convenient, privacy-enhancing manner is the foundation of Digital Economy. This ability requires complex permissioning for access (who can access what, when, and how). UMA (User-Managed Access) is the new standard for resource sharing and control. Pre-UMA standards required tight coupling between the services controlling access to resources and services managing access policies. As a result, users had to manage access policies to their resources at multiple locations, without a consistent user experience, security and/or privacy. Various relying parties (consumers of the resources) also were challenged by inconsistent user consent collection mechanisms. UMA solves the above-mentioned problems by providing the standards-based architecture for building resource sharing ecosystems with unified permissions management experience, while avoiding the security and integration challenges of hub-based resource sharing models.
Where will Canadians see the biggest change in financial services as we continue to digitally evolve? The financial services industry has experienced a significant shift in customer expectations over the past few years. Once limited to the industry's traditional set of one-size-fits-all products and services, customers are now increasingly wooed by disruptors' tailored offerings and often seamless, digital purchasing experience. This trend will only grow stronger, especially as disposable income shifts toward digital natives (those who grew up using internet, computers and mobile devices). This demographic not only has a different set of expectations, for example almost exclusive use of mobile banking, but is also more comfortable with financial products and services provided by FinTechs and other non-traditional technology players.
While traditional institutions still enjoy high levels of customer trust today (partly due to customer inertia), to remain competitive in the future they will become more customer-centric, analytic and digitally focused. In particular, we will continue to see innovations in the customer acquisition process (i.e., path to purchase), where disruptors are best placed to take advantage of the customers' migration from traditional touchpoints such as branches and call centers to digital ones like robo assistants and mobile platforms.
Registration and authentication are often among the first set of interactions that the customer has with any digital service. Hence why digital ID and authentication is key to providing a digital service that is easy-to-use, privacy-enhancing and secure. This will lead to a better customer experience and drive further digital innovations in the financial services sector.
What should Canadians be most excited about? As more and more services can be accessed on-line it is becoming increasingly difficult for Canadians to remember all of the usernames and passwords that they need to in order to access those services that they have taken considerable time registering for. In order to simplify their lives they default to using the same username and password wherever possible and this increases their risk of cyber attack and compromise. As Canadians become more digitally savvy and more aware of the privacy and security concerns related to operating in the digital world, they are demanding easier, more secure and privacy protecting ways of sharing information and accessing services on-line. From a business perspective, for small and medium companies, moving their business on-line means having to invest and maintain expensive IAM systems which can prove to be a real barrier to entry for many and this is impacting Canada's ability to effectively compete in the Digital economy. Even mature businesses that have made significant investments in authentication schemas for on-line access and have moved many of their transactions on-line are challenged in moving their more complex services on-line as the underlying business processes rely on validation of data that is only available via paper based documents and in many cases this has been codified into regulatory policy and legislation. All of this is impacting Canada's ability to compete successfully in the Digital Economy. Canada’s Digital Economy represents approximately three per cent of Canadian GDP, which falls short of the G20 GDP average of over 4 per cent. Compared to Canada's G20 peers, Canada ranks ninth, and our ranking continues to slip. For a country that has one of the highest on-line access rates, this is unacceptable. The good news for Canadians is that considerable work has been undertaken over the last couple of years to find ways to create easier, more secure, privacy protecting ways of accessing services on-line. In typical Canadian fashion the public and private sector have collaboratively come together to establish a set of auditable business, technical, and legal rules applying to interactions between organizations when dealing with identification, authentication, and authorization to access resources for the whole of Canada. This Pan-Canadian Trust Framework (PCTF) is currently being alpha tested to ensure that the draft rules function as designed under various scenarios so that the PCTF can be published and made available for use by the rest of Canada. This work is the foundation upon which the commercial sector can innovate and develop products and services to support an Identity Ecosystem that will provide the ultimate user experience while at the same time ensuring security and privacy are protected and can cost-effectively help Canadian businesses and the public sector to move their businesses and services on-line.
Describe someone who you believe should attend IdentityNorth 2016? Why would this experience be beneficial for them? IdentityNorth 2016 is a must attend for anyone who has to deal with solving identity, authentication or authorization of access to resources challenges. Technologists, regulators, policy advisors, people charged with advancing an organization's digital agenda or anyone else who is involved with ensuring the delivery of safe and secure on-line transactions should attend. The conference provides access to some of the world’s leading experts in the evolution of the digital identity from a technology and policy perspective. The structure of the conference is a healthy mix of thought stimulating presentations and expert panels. Attendees will learn about what has been accomplished in the past year, what is coming, and what more still needs to be addressed. The second day is dedicated to addressing the digital identity topics of greatest interest to attendees in a more informal setting that is conducive to the exchange of ideas. While much has been accomplished there is still much to do to ensure that the digital economy can be enabled while at the same time safeguarding citizens and businesses. IdentityNorth 2016 provides a unique forum for like-minded individuals to come together to help define the future.
What Attendees are saying
“The only conference in Canada where one can meet the who’s who of knowledgeable people and champions of digital identity to discuss the real issues and opportunities in this space.” Dave Nikolejsin, Deputy Minister of Energy and Mines at Government of British Columbia
“A fantastic platform bringing together Canadian thought leaders and key industry experts to promote innovation in digital identity and authentication.” Mike Vanderkaden, VP Corporate Development, Equifax Canada