June was a busy month in the world of identity. SecureKey executives attended and presented at the top identity, privacy and payments events in the industry—Cloud Identity Summit (CIS), IdentityNORTH, and Payments Panorama, respectively. Each conference was chock full of great discussions on the top trends, issues, and disruptions facing the industry, and here’s a recap of the highlights and key takeaways from each.
Cloud Identity Summit
CIS has become the pinnacle event for identity security, and we look forward to this conference every year. Ping Identity didn’t fail to excite the crowd yet again with their innovative ideas, impressive speaker line-up, and overall fun activities for attendees.
This year’s CIS focused on the intersection of privacy and identity—something SecureKey has talked about for a while. So joining other “Identerati” to discuss and share experiences on how we’re respectively incorporating both into our offerings was a highlight for us.
Not surprisingly, passwords dominated several session topics and discussions on the show floor, as passwords continue to be the Achilles heel to online service access. Bob Blakely of Citigroup and Ping Identity’s Pamela Dingle poked fun at the some of the common passwords consumers still use, with Pamela declaring, “It’s official, ‘123imcoolerthanyou’ is a great password.”
But there was one theme that especially stood out to us: Blockchain. With Blockchain technology being all the buzz over the last couple years, this movement to cryptocurrency is starting to become a reality. However, as Blockchain start-ups increasingly emerge on the scene, we’re seeing a gaping hole—identity. Nobody is solving identity problems as it relates to Blockchain. Steve Wilson of Constellation Research has a good take on this in his CIS recap.
Another theme we heard a lot at CIS was how identity is central to everything, and specifically, to our phones. Consider that everything we have—credit cards, social info, email, etc.—are in our mobile phones. We’re already using phones for single sign-on access and it will become the de facto authentication method moving forward.
Lastly, CIS—as per usual—ended with an “identity parade” down Bourbon Street that led us to the wrap party at the House of Blues. We’d be lying if we said we didn’t get a kick out of the Identerati parading down the street with hats and beads. Identity for the Win!
We talked about SecureKey’s participation leading up to IdentityNORTH in a previous blog post, where we included Andre Boysen’s thoughts around digital identity and authentication, but the event further showed us how progressive the Canadian identity space is right now.
There was a lot of talk around the work DIACC is doing to gather resources and develop critical paths for identity in commercial services. The Government of Canada is already making significant strides in this area, allowing citizens to access its online services with their trusted banking credential. This federated identity model was a hot topic at IdentityNORTH and SecureKey CEO Greg Wolfond tackled this on a panel he participated on with NIST, TD, and the Province of British Columbia. The panel shared best practices and experiences on privacy design in practice, taking a look at how TD and Province of British Columbia are using a federated identity model to simplify and secure access to online government services. The NIST shared its vision for a user-centric identity ecosystem where privacy is paramount. Andre Boysen also discussed blockchain and it uses for federated identity in the breakout sessions.
In Calgary, Greg also presented at Payments Panorama, the biggest stage for Canada’s payments sector. Identity and privacy took center stage at this event. When it comes to accessing online services, consumers want and expect convenience and security. This presented an interesting discussion among attendees—in their quest to provide low costs, citizen convenience and identity certainty, service providers are eager to provide all three without sacrificing privacy.
This is where federated identity makes sense. As part of SecureKey’s Concierge service, the Government of Canada is working closely with the country’s largest financial institutions to simplify and secure online service access. Solving identity requires the best capabilities from government, financial institutions, telcos, and security technology providers to deliver a solution that offers security, privacy, usability, and affordability as key metrics.