What is Customer Identity and Access Management (CIAM)?
Customer identity and access management (CIAM) is an identity technology, used by various organizations to control a customer’s access to multiple applications and services. One of the primary works of CIAM is to assist companies in delivering an enhanced user experience while protecting their user data and managing customer identity.
A CIAM solution generally offers a number of features, this includes customer registration, Single Sign-on (SSO) Authentication, two-step verification, account and User management, Passwordless Login access management, directory services, and other data access policies.
CIAM key benefits
- Seamless login experience / On a day-to-day basis employees of an organization, use multiple applications, all these applications have their own ways of authenticating the users. Sometimes a user might be asked to authenticate themselves multiple times as they switch from one application to another. This is where an effective CIAM solution comes into play. All the digital channels can get integrated with a single CIAM solution by providing one point of entry to access all the applications. There is an option for social login as well, where users can log in to their respective applications by using their social login credentials. An effective CIAM solution allows the administrator to track and collect data from their user’s interaction with websites, applications, or related apps.
- Identity and Access Management: An ideal CIAM solution effectively manage digital identities as well as their access to various applications, platforms, and systems. It also manages the identities of customers, employees (people in general), software (applications), and devices.
- Secure customer data from theft and fraud: As per a report, more than 80% of customers limit or stop interaction with any brand if they are associated with any data breach incidents. This shows us how deeply customers are concerned about their data security and related issues. CIAM helps in securing customer data through encryption. Care is taken that even if the data is “in rest” (stored in databases) or “in transit”, and it gets intercepted by hackers it would be of no significance to them.
- Data protection through MFA and adaptive authentication methods: Since password management can be a tedious task for users, they tend to re-use the same password for all the services they sign up for. And so a CIAM solution secures such passwords through MFA, considering various factors such as IP, device, time, and location.
- Easy and quick migration: A CIAM solution generally works in sync with the existing system. Here, customers can easily migrate without hampering the workflow and impacting user experience.
- Self-Service: CIAM platform allows customers to perform a range of activities, such as updating profile data, preference management, password reset, and much more. CIAM allows companies to deliver a consistent and personalized experience, which includes web, mobile, and other digital platforms using a centralized customer profile.
- Lifecycle management: A business is always in the process of developing and deploying products at every stage, these products are also managed across a range of platforms. A comprehensive CIAM solution looks over the designing, deployment, operations, and maintenance of a product across a number of platforms. A CIAM application lifecycle management creates a framework for not just product development but also managing the software over time.
Essential elements of CIAM
- Single Sign-on
Single Sign-On (SSO) enables end-users to log seamlessly to a single application and automatically get logged into a whole set of essential applications. Let us take an example of Google, where a user logs into their Gmail account and automatically logs into all the other Google platforms, such as YouTube, Google Drive, etc.
Generally, any workforce identity management solutions support thousands of employees, vendors, and related stakeholders, with a pre-defined set of software and applications. Whereas CIAM has to scale not just hundreds or thousands in fact millions of users. This is more often observed during peak holiday seasons or any major event.
Almost all CIAM solutions support the Multifactor Authentication feature, to protect users against any kind of credential theft. In MFA in order for a customer to get access to any system or resources, they undergo multiple verification checks. These include passwords and a one-time OTP, biometrics, etc.
On the other hand, modern-day CIAM solution consists of Ai powered, adaptive authentication. These utilize contextual and behavioral analytics, additionally, they consist of administratively established frameworks and policies. It determines, what authentication factors can be applied to any customer for a particular situation.
Difference between CIAM and IAM?
Generally, an IAM system for an employee is utilized to gain access to internal services, this often includes a user portal. Whereas a typical userbase of the CIAM system is generally website users or mobile app visitors, they directly log in to the website without having to go through a third-party IAM vendor portal.
Usually authorization model of CIAM can be easy to use than IT use cases, generally, customer roles are limited, in comparison to IAM where a wide array of roles are found internally within an organization.
An IAM system has a robust authorization capability, it can also handle a few cases of CIAM authorization use cases. This is possible as long as user attributes and group membership can be programmatically modified.
Points to keep in mind for choosing the right CIAM solution for your business
- Check out the online reputation of your CIAM provider
Before considering the services of any CIAM provider, one should do an in-depth background check. The kinds of services they have delivered in the past and read reviews of businesses currently utilizing their services.
- Do they provide on-premise and cloud support?
Go for a CIAM solution that offers, both on-premise and cloud support. The on-premise solution offers business control over data, which can be managed and handled by the company’s own IT administrator teams. Whereas cloud-based security enables businesses to scale rapidly with very less effort.
On-premise security tools, on the other hand, offer a level of security and control that’s simply not possible in the cloud. An on-premise solution provides businesses with control over all the data, managed and handled by their own dedicated IT staff. On-premise solutions also provide significantly better threat protection than that available in cloud deployments.
- Scalability and customization option
One of the primary functionality of CIAM is to support a huge number of users. The frequency and number of users accessing a product are important as it directly affects a product’s usability and its cost. Azure Active Directory, Google Cloud, and Amazon Cognito enable access to millions of users. Talking about customization, certain IAM service providers offer various customization and personalization services to their customers. Since it is better suited for a small and consistent client base, hence it is possible to accumulate customer data and offer them a personalized experience to their clients.
- Frictionless UX
An effective CIAM solution, offers users a seamless user experience, across channels. A modern solution is such that it enables users to capture relevant data and allows customers to create their profiles with ease, without having to undergo lengthy registration processes. This can be achieved by having fewer to no passwords across channels and customer devices. Customization and personalization build confidence in the eyes of the customer and help to establish trust in the brand. An example of seamless authentication is enabling users to log in through social media using OpenID Connect (OIDC) support.
How Does CIAM Protect Customer Data?
Users on a regular basis utilize a range of applications and platforms for their personal and professional use. That can be a lot of credentials to keep a track of and remember! Here’s where CIAM comes into use, customer identity management is crucial to keep users’ accounts secure.
With the help of an efficient CIAM solution users get a second option to add an additional layer of security in the form of either a second authentication factor or through social login. This offers much stronger protection for a user’s account.
Users get access to a secure dashboard where they get unified access to all the applications at one point. The whole system is overlooked by the IT department, keeping a track of all protocols, and security software and also looking out for any malicious activities.
miniOrange’s CIAM solution offerings
- Cloud Hosting:
When CIAM solutions are hosted on the cloud, it enables organizations to leverage it across various platforms, environments, and devices. A solution that is cloud hosted is relatively easier to upgrade and also dispatch.
- Platform-based functionalities:
When the platform incorporates various services and features into a single user experience, which is single to understand and implement
- Strong authentication
Protocols such as SSO and MFA, help the solution in identifying identity thefts and prohibit malicious bots from sending fake traffic to the website.
- Scalability & Integration:
Any customer app initially or later will witness thousands and millions of users, and this number may keep increasing as the business scales. Therefore, the CIAM solution must be able to adapt to newer integrations keeping in mind the fast-paced growing user base.
- 24/7 Support
miniOrange offers support in various formats such as well-organized FAQs, extensive documentation, email, and 24/7 telephonic support
- Quick reply, no automated chatbot responses
We realize the importance of time and so for any kind of communication or query, we respond within a matter of few hours only. We avoid automated chatbot responses, as it saves our prospects a lot of time.
- Interface customization options
We at miniOrange enable ample room for modification and deliver a personalized and user-friendly experience to customers.
CIAM and IAM solutions share a similar base, even then any traditional IAM solution is not a replacement for a CIAM solution. The unique use case of extensive uses of IAM needs a scalable and flexible solution on top of existing IAM features. Those additional features branching out of a basic IAM are called CIAM.
Additionally, CIAM solutions are required to authenticate and authorize consumers, who are accessing any kind of applications and services that are public facing. They are developed to support, millions and even billions of everyday users. They are engineered to support social login and further integrate with various business verticals such as sales, marketing, and various business systems. Further, CIAM is governed by data privacy regulations as well as constant regulations such as GDPR.
It is now possible to secure your workforce, users, and clients through our Customer Identity solution with miniOrange Cloud and On-Premise IAM Solutions. If you are looking to integrate CIAM Solution book your trial with us right away.
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