How CIOs Can Address Identity Management Challenges

Digital transformation has exposed cracks in traditional identity management. To stay safe--and open up new opportunities--CIOs need a new approach.

For data-driven businesses, identity remains one of the biggest ongoing challenges. As a result, the data that makes up an identity must grow and change to help better protect people, enable growth and curb the spread of bad data and synthetic identities. Within a wide range of critical sectors—such as banking, insurance and finance—the drive toward digital transformation has exposed the many flaws that exist within traditional identity data. 

Now, it’s up to CIOs to do what it takes to address these data-related issues. This means implementing an all-hands-on-deck approach that relies heavily on new types of data, as well as proficient data managers.

The problem with identity data

Synthetic identities are highlighting holes in the traditional consumer credit identity data. And as critical services such as banking, insurance, health management and finance have completed the shift to digital-first environments, the flaws in traditional identity data are more apparent. To authenticate and truly understand people, data needs a more robust layer of identity beyond social security numbers, data from credit bureaus or device identifiers. Increasingly, those data streams are corrupted by inaccurate or fraudulent information. Once bad actors get into the consumer identity system, bad data spreads. This makes it more difficult to establish a usable identity for critical services. 

Leaning in on identity to find fraud-free data

Professional identity data is a good source for fraud-free data. It’s not often that resume data such as a person’s employment history, professional connections and educational background, job title and current industry, for example, is falsified. People don’t often commit fraud to secure a job in the way they do to secure a loan. This additional layer of identity can be a key component to help clarify who people really are and help expedite access to important services like commercial lending, insurance claims and other financial products. Although professional identity data is more accurate, it’s much harder to find so CIOs need to consider partnering with reputable data companies who have access to this type of data.

Getting a bigger picture about identity

Innovative data providers now offer high-quality, highly accurate B2B data products that can help power this next generation of digital identity solutions. For IT and data managers, identifying and investing in this type of high-value data partner will help mitigate the risk posed to any sensitive venture by identity fraud. In the past, companies have turned to things like device ID, URL and web cookies. But this doesn’t fully capture the reality of the times.  For example, personal and professional devices aren’t currently separate for many employees, especially as working from home continues. People are more than just the sum of their online activities, and the picture is even murkier when an individual’s personal and professional activities are commingled. Professional data can help to put consumer behaviors in context and allow businesses to understand the personal and the commercial identity of an individual. 

There are new challenges that must be addressed to fully understand identity. One example is seeing someone’s professional life as clearly as their consumer life. The concept is that the line between someone’s personal and professional life online is eroding, or already gone—just think about how many people you know with side hustles, running their own businesses from their personal laptops. Only by seeing this bigger picture of the “whole person” can companies really get that bird’s eye view on identities and strategize accordingly. By tapping into fraud-free data insights from reputable data providers, CIOs can be assured of the validity and accuracy of the identity data.

CIOs can take proactive steps to circumvent identity challenges. Although inherent problems exist with identity, solutions are available. By identifying experienced data managers and investing in the right type of high-value data partner, CIOs can mitigate the risk of the challenges of effective identity management.

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