DSG: What you need to know about Digital Identity

6 Mins read

DSG: What you need to know about Digital Identity

As we continue with Cybersecurity Awareness Month, it would be fitting to touch on Digital ID before wrapping up the month.

Digital Identity is a big topic right now, and for a good reason. With the rapid digitization of our lives, the amount of data we create and share daily continues to increase at an alarming rate.

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“Digital Identity is one of the cornerstones of the digital economy”, Juri Rates, Prime Minister, Estonia.

The problem is that much of this data isn’t being stored securely, which leaves consumers more vulnerable than ever to hackers and cybercriminals who can use that information maliciously.

To make matters worse, our digital footprint extends to many different social platforms, websites, and payment platforms; therefore, different digital identities make it hard to keep track of who we are permitted to track what behaviour and for what.

According to Gartner, “The convergence of fraud detection, identity proofing and authentication represents an opportunity for a comprehensive approach to securing digital channels. The orchestration of these complementary activities is a strategic consideration”.

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What is a Digital Identity?

A digital identity represents a person, organisation, or other entity in a digital environment. It can include all types of online accounts and log-in credentials, as well as any information associated with those accounts. This information can include name, address, phone number, email address, payment information, proof of residence and more. Digital identities are increasingly important to cybersecurity as more and more of our daily activities are moving online. This shift has led to an increase in the amount of sensitive information we share online, which has put digital identity protection at the forefront of the cybersecurity conversation.

Why is digital identity protection so important?

So far, we can see that digital identities play a key role in many aspects of our daily lives. However, little thought may be given to the security risks associated with these accounts.

The truth is that many of the digital accounts we create are susceptible to cyberattacks, which can lead to a host of negative consequences for both individuals and businesses. For example, if a hacker can gain access to your email account, they could use it to send malicious phishing emails from your address. Similarly, if hackers can access your social media accounts, they could post malicious content on your behalf. You might think that you would notice if someone used your account in this way, but it can be difficult to detect if your account is being misused if you don’t check it regularly.

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“We need trusted access for all. Digital identity is the building block towards trusted access, authentication and privacy” James C, Smith, CEO, Thomson Reuters, on privacy.

According to research, the average time to find out about a data breach in a firm is 206 days, and the average time to recuperate from a data breach incident can go up to 70 days.

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Types of Digital Identities

There are many different types of digital identities, including login credentials for various services and accounts, social media profiles, mobile apps, and much more.

Login Credentials: are the most common type of digital identity, including information such as your email address and password.

Social Media: Social media accounts are another common type of digital identity.

Mobile Apps: Many of us create accounts for mobile apps, which are used to gain access to a wide range of services. While many of these apps are designed for daily use, others are used for communication with co-workers, such as office chat apps.

Digital wallets: A growing number of people are using digital wallets, especially in Africa with low penetration of credit cards and debit cards to make purchases online, which can pose a severe security risk if not managed. People also use digital wallets to store sensitive information such as credit card numbers, bank account information, and other personal data. This can be risky if you aren’t taking proper steps to protect that information.

DSG: What you need to know about Digital Identity

How does a digital identity breach occur?

A data breach occurs when an attacker gains unauthorized access to sensitive information.

Most data breaches occur due to the negligence of the website owner or the hosting provider. In other cases, attackers use malicious software (malware) to infiltrate the website’s security systems and gain access to sensitive information.

If hackers gain access to your login credentials and other sensitive data, they can use that information to break into other accounts associated with your digital identity.

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Digital Identity Protection

Given all of the risks associated with digital identity protection, it’s essential to take steps to protect your digital identities and sensitive data.

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McAfee, for example, makes it easy for you and the entire family to stay safer online. Their Antivirus prevents, detects, and eliminates malware and viruses on all types of devices – like phones and laptops – and helps keep your personal data and devices safe so you can connect confidently. Customers Enjoy 24/7/365 protection for everyone’s devices from ever-evolving online threats without interfering with the browsing experience. You get alerts to sidestep risky websites, links, and files when browsing online to help protect your devices and their personal info. It is simple to install with 1-click fixes for all your devices — including desktops, laptops, smartphones, and tablets — and easily manage them from a single dashboard. Our customers trust us to protect over 600 million devices. Keeping you safer online is what we do best.

To create a relevant online consumer experience, advertisers today have long relied on data and cookies to identify valuable audiences for their brands. As programmatic technology advanced, so did the adoption and application of identity solutions and data management and enrichment platforms (DMPs). But over time, privacy concerns arose, and demands were made to make significant changes to consumer control and consent.

Privacy is more than a human right, it’s an asset

Once the go-to tool for digital marketing, third-party cookies are on the way out as a form of identification; marketers need alternative strategies to ensure they are keeping pace and maintaining relevance. What does the fall of the cookie (a “cookie-less future) mean for businesses and experts across the board, and what impact will it have on brands’ ability to create relevant online experiences for consumers?

We “as consumers “ want control over our data, and therefore POPIA  ( Protection of Personal Information Act ) and GDPR insist on “the right for transparency and the right to be forgotten “ or the right to have access and control over the data being collected about consumers.

In a cookie-less world, “permission-based marketing “is a critical success factor. Companies’ goal is to increase the level of permission over time to get to know their customers better and be able to personalise their products and services based on consumer preference.

DSG: What you need to know about Digital Identity

A Cookie-less Future

Since their main purpose is identification, cookies are used mainly for exactly that: telling websites who you are. As you might imagine, cookies are helpful for many applications, from maintaining login sessions to delivering ads through contextual targeting.

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This form of implicit data collection will change to explicit, whereby we must get permission first.

According to Google, their plan to phase out third-party cookies in Chrome is part of a larger strategy of creating a privacy sandbox with open standards for tracking users while protecting their privacy.

However, the end of third-party cookies does not mean the end of tracking – and the need for valid end-user consent to process personal data will persist long after third-party cookies, and the technologies replace them.

Privacy and security concerns are the biggest reasons behind the cookie phase-out. As a result, most buyers and sellers think the phase-out will actually benefit digital advertising in the long term.

On the contrary, your website will still need to ask for and obtain the explicit consent of users before any data is allowed to be stored on a user’s browser, regardless of what technology is used, be it third-party cookies, local storage or trust tokens.

Your website will still be required to inform its end-users about whatever technology you use to collect personal data, including its provider, purpose and duration, and to document safely the obtained consents, and to renew them at least annually.

Consent is the platform for compliant tracking today and in the future.

The basic idea that a person online gets to say “yes” or “no” to strangers who want to collect their personal data is simple and powerful. That is why we launched a few years ago to ensure that we manage consent and information security and provide consumers with the ability to always feel that  “ It is about me, and it is always optional “.

Building trusted and customer-centric relationships across integrated ecosystems is a critical success factor for digital transformation.

#DoingSomethingGreat is putting consent at the heart of Digital ID and data privacy.

DSG: What you need to know about Digital Identity
Source: Yaron Assabi
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