Building Digital Trust Through Modern Governance Technology

Nicholas J Price
We've been so inundated with usernames and passwords that it's difficult to keep up. It's proving to be even more difficult to find a safe place to store them. While businesses encourage users to concoct strong passwords with a complicated variation of capital letters, lower-case letters, numerals and other characters, it's challenging to enter such a password every time you need to log in. If you make one tiny mistake, it could get you locked out completely. The security questions don't always help either when you can't remember the right PIN or answers.

What about the difficulty of storing your usernames and passwords? Since it's impossible to remember them all, most people either have a written list, a spreadsheet or some type of online program for storing usernames and passwords. Whether you store them online or under your mattress, it creates yet another security risk.

With all the hype about cybersecurity and sophisticated hacking, the challenges in remembering usernames and passwords trigger our frustration to some degree. With so many advances in technology, it stands to reason that there should be easier ways to log into apps. The problems and frustrations with passwords also call to attention whether these passwords actually do the job of protecting information. Are usernames and passwords becoming outdated technology? If they are, are they doing anything more than adding to the cost of doing business?

Modern Cybersecurity Calls for Modern Log-In Technology

The media has reported much about the sophistication of cybercriminals. The sophistication of cybersecurity measures has also grown by leaps and bounds. The fact is that knowledge-based authentication was developed when technology was fairly static. Technology moves faster today, and the process of using unique usernames and passwords is becoming ineffective, inefficient and outdated. The reality is that anyone who has your correct username and password can get into your account.

The authentication processes that have become so common can't tell if you are who you say you are. By contrast, newer technologies have developed, such as geolocational data, device IDs, facial recognition and thumbprint recognition, that are more reliable technologies that can better prove that users are who they claim to be. These strategies vastly improve the trust between businesses and users or consumers. Rich context strategies veer from the black-and-white, yes-or-no mentality of who is really behind the controls and trying to gain access to a particular program. These types of log-ins may be the catalyst that helps companies find an appropriate balance between true security and creating a more seamless transition for ease of entry.

Changing the Perception of Consumers from Bad Actors to Valuable Customers

The old authentication technologies strive to keep people out by assuming they are bad actors. Newer technologies help to develop digital trust by providing companies with greater assurance of the user's true identity quickly. With verification out of the way in short order, companies can get down to the business of serving their customers. New log-in processes can and should be simple, intuitive and without the requirement of usernames and passwords.

Today's consumers have high expectations. They want top-quality products and services delivered with professionalism. They want as much information as possible about the products and services they use before they make a purchase and they want warranties and around-the-clock service after the sale. By streamlining the initial contact point, it prevents customers from feeling like villains before they can earn the prestige of being considered valued customers.

Newer technologies can help companies learn more about their customers from the start of the relationship and follow and respond to their needs every step of the way. Faster, more targeted authentication methods will optimize the users' experience while giving heed to risk strategies.

Examples of New Adaptive Access Capabilities

Two companies stand out as frontrunners in biometric technology for everyday users of electronics and mobile devices ' Apple and IBM.

Apple uses technology called Touch ID, which relies on fingerprints to unlock your Mac computer, authorize purchases from the various Apple stores and pay with Apple Pay. The user merely must place their pointer finger over the Touch ID button, which, upon recognizing the fingerprint, allows them access to the application. Touch ID allows multiple users up to three fingerprints for their user account and a Mac will store up to five fingerprints total. Mac users can also use Touch ID to automatically fill in usernames, passwords and credit card information when using Safari and some other apps.

IBM is also breaking away from traditional forms of authentication methods. The company recently launched new access capabilities with a program called IBM Cloud Identity. The software takes into account the full context of every user's attributes, including behavior, device, network environment and activity, to gain access to a rich set of insights that helps them verify users' true identities. The tool takes advantage of flexibility by having the ability to enforce multi-factor authentication if it identifies high-risk users or develops suspicions of fraud. The technology can be used on all devices ' from laptops to mobile devices ' for seamless entry, often without passwords.

These types of technologies are the tipping point for the future of authentication. Technology is moving away from letting anyone in who has the right information and moving toward newer technologies that allow users to enter a system when their biometrics prove their true identity. Such new technologies also provide the advantage of having the capability to adapt access requirements based on the level of risk the user poses. These technologies are moving in a direction that finds the happy medium between a smooth user experience and tightened security.

These types of technology serve as a nice complement to board management software solutions for your board by Diligent Corporation. Diligent also uses advanced technology with granular permissions so that only authorized users may enter the system. Diligent Corporation is an industry leader in board management software and sets the pace of innovative technology in the governance space now and for the future. It's the place where you can find all the best governance tools where they are also fully integrated and can be used by accessing one highly secure platform, which ensures overall efficiency.
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Nicholas J. Price
Nicholas J. Price is a former Manager at Diligent. He has worked extensively in the governance space, particularly on the key governance technologies that can support leadership with the visibility, data and operating capabilities for more effective decision-making.