May 10, 2023
Who Needs a Customer Identity Platform? You Do!
How a Customer Identity Platform Can Secure Your Customer Data and Drive Business Growth
If your company is like many organizations, you have multiple applications available to your customers. Each of these applications has separate accounts, login screens, passwords, and security infrastructure, which leads to a complicated experience for your customers. If you fall into this camp, it’s time to consider implementing a modern Customer Identity and Access Management (CIAM) platform.
Managing customer identities and access differs significantly from managing workforce users. Problems that are ranked as small or medium impacting workforce users tend to be quickly resolved and forgotten, but customer identity impacts tend to be significantly larger and more far reaching. These types of issues speak to the strength of the brand and reputation of the organization. If bad actors compromise your customer data, the results can be catastrophic.
Consequently, your customer identity management solution must be highly-available, have rock-solid security, and offer a seamless user experience.
In this blog post, we’ll explain a CIAM platform and what benefits you can expect from implementing one.
What is CIAM?
Customer Identity and Access Management (CIAM) is a subset of Identity Access Management (IAM) that covers the management of identities and access for an organization’s customers. Notably, CIAM seeks to provide the same type of functionality to customers of an organization that IAM provides for internal workforce users.
A CIAM platform is a software solution that addresses the unique requirements of managing customer identity and access (e.g., user registration, authentication, authorization, and access control). Modern CIAM platforms will typically handle large volumes of customer data, support social media login and other commonly-used authentication approaches, and enable a seamless user experience across multiple channels and devices. These platforms are usually offered by third-party Identity Providers (IdPs) such as Okta and Auth0 that are highly available and secure.Today’s CIAM platforms offer customers a single access point, username, profile, password, and a consistent experience with additional factors. Once the customer logs in, they will have visibility and access to all applications for which they are authorized. The legacy experience for customers requires them to be able to find their entry points to your applications, while the modern approach provides them with a more funneled approach regarding the customer experience and security.
Comparison of Legacy vs. Modern Customer ID Management Approaches
What Are the Benefits of a CIAM Platform?
Tevora has extensive experience helping clients implement state-of-the-art CIAM platforms. Over the years, we’ve been able to observe first-hand the substantial benefits they realize as a result of these implementations.
Here are some of the key benefits you can expect when you transition to a modern CIAM platform:
- Improved Customer Experience—Customers can access your environment with a single username and password, giving them visibility and access to all their authorized applications. In some cases, simply seeing that they are authorized to use other applications can expand their awareness and use of your products and services. By eliminating the need for separate accounts for each application, customers will have a seamless and consistent user experience across devices, removing obstacles to additional offerings and leading to increased sales for your company.
- Rock-Solid Security—By eliminating the need to store customer ID and password hashes in dedicated locations for each application, you reduce your attack surface and vulnerability to cyberattacks. You minimize security risks by relying on a highly secure and trusted third party to protect the single version of each customer’s encrypted credentials. Plus, you can leverage the robust authentication capabilities such as Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) offered by leading CIAM platforms to strengthen your security posture without needing to develop these capabilities in-house. Additionally, the authentication process is reduced to a single endpoint, simplifying security risks across each application.
- High Availability—CIAM platform providers realize the importance their clients place on the availability of identity data and go to great lengths to implement redundancy and other advanced technologies that ensure their platforms are highly available.
- Development Cost Savings—By transferring customer identity and access management functions to a trusted third party, you can reduce development costs and free up your developers to do what they do best—creating applications that delight your customers. It also allows you to accelerate your development cycles, which gets application improvements out to your customers faster. Most organizations implement a standard library that’s used to integrate with the identity platform, meaning authentication and authorization functions are already built for all current and future applications.
- More Accurate Identity Data—By consolidating customer identity data in a single database on your CIAM platform, you improve the accuracy and consistency of customer data, which leads to improved customer insights and better decision making.
- Improved Compliance—Using a CIAM platform can help you comply with data security and data privacy regulations such as the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) by ensuring that customer information is stored securely. When using a third-party platform, ensure they provide support for the standard you’re attempting to comply with, and they may be able to help simplify the process.
The Bottom Line
To sum it up, implementing a modern CIAM platform is a cost-effective way to help build and retain long-term customer relationships while ensuring that your customer identity data is secure and highly available.
Tevora Can Help
If you have questions about CIAM platforms, or would like help implementing one in your environment, just give us a call at (833) 292-1609 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.