Consolidating identity management will help banks manage security operations

21st June 2007
By IB Staff Writer

Security is a fundamental requirement for banks as they fight a battle on all fronts against fraud, identity theft and account breaches. Banks need to invest in consolidating identity management across the enterprise so that end-users can have a single sign-on across all product systems, channels and locations in order to facilitate and simplify identity management.

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It is critical that banks use strong identity management for both customers and employees to ensure they can monitor and analyze who is accessing which systems and data and when. Banks must control every aspect of identity management, from user IDs, passwords and authentication to controlling access levels and monitoring usage.

Identity management must be extended as single solution across all channels

Multifactor authentication remains an important piece of the security picture for banks, but, regardless of the strength of authentication or any other such security measures, some breaches can occur, meaning that banks cannot depend solely on multifactor authentication as a means of preventing fraud.

Identity management enables banks to ensure that the right people have access to the appropriate information - whether its customers accessing their data, or giving staff access to everything they need to perform their jobs.

Identity management is a key element in the battle against fraud, particularly by internal staff, as it provides a basis for analytics to be carried out. It enables data usage by individuals to be audited and monitored to ensure that any 'suspicious' activity is explained, and can also be an element of analyzing how employees work together to detect whether internal staff are collaborating as part of their day-to-day jobs or potentially working together to gather data for fraudulent purposes.

As staff roles can and do change, banks also need to ensure that permissions are kept up to date so that new access levels are granted swiftly, but also that old ones are removed.

Single sign-on will facilitate a better identity management system

Banking systems have grown in a siloed manner and, as a result, employees often have different sign-ons for different applications. While this is inconvenient for employees, it also means that application administrators have to go into individual applications when they want to change permissions and access levels.

This is compounded by the fact that banks often also have separate systems for each channel and product line. While this is a headache for administrators and end-users alike, it also makes it harder to analyze end-user activity across the bank for business and fraud intelligence purposes.

Banks need to invest in consolidating identity management across the enterprise so that end-users can have a single sign-on across all product systems, channels and locations. By investing in single sign-on technology banks can manage the administration of identity management from a centralized point across the enterprise. This eases the ID burden on staff, as well as making identity management simpler for administrators, thus enabling them to keep up to date with all changes.

On the customer identity management side, banks must ensure that customers have access to the appropriate information, that they are behaving in the manner expected of them regardless of the channel they are using and their activity is monitored across all of the channels that they have access to.

Standardization, automation and analytics key to strong bank-wide security

While banks need to have strong security solutions in place to manage individual elements of their operations, it is critical that they combine them with a cohesive security infrastructure that enables them to have a clear view of the threats they are exposed to at any given point in time across the entire enterprise.
'End Intelliext

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