What is Identity Security?

What is Identity Security?

With the onset of digital transformation, customers have come to expect a quick, easy and seamless service. That’s why businesses in turn have become more focused than ever on delivering a superior user experience.

Part of this transformation has been to remove the administrative burden through manual processes, especially when it comes to signing contracts and forms. This rapid rise in digital innovation has changed the way we interact. Whether you are a consumer or a business, trust plays an integral part in how we conduct our business digitally.

When it comes to transacting in the digital world, it is imperative that your business is protected against potential risks that specifically target digital identities. Put simply, we need to know that who we are dealing with or entering into a contract with, is actually who we think they are.

Identity Security – what is it?

Identity security is all about protecting digital identities and that includes employees, contractors, third parties, customers, and even machines. Not only does it ensure that all users are who they say they are but also ensures they are only performing functions that they are authorised to do. As a business, you need to make sure that only authorised users have access to sensitive information and that your data is never compromised.

The implementation of identity security involves defining and setting up user roles. As a business, you need to understand who requires what access. And you also need to be able to modify or remove that access as and when required.

Another aspect is the creation of policies that define and govern the access throughout that specific digital identity’s lifecycle. It’s all about creating access controls. These types of controls include how you authenticate identities accurately. As well as the process of authorising each identity with the proper permissions and access. All while ensuring that the entire process can be audited.

Identity Security and Electronic Signatures

Electronic signatures and identity security work hand in hand to create trust between two parties. Electronic signatures use encryption technology to prevent unauthorised editing of the document at any stage of the signing process.

When electronic signatures have been combined with identity security, there is no doubt as to the validity of the signer’s identity and this type of authentication also prevents unauthorised users from signing any documents. In other words, it protects the integrity of the signed documents.

Can you afford to ignore identity security?

A report by the Identity Defined Security Alliance (IDSA) showed that 84% of organisations experienced an identity-related breach and surprisingly, 96% of those breaches could have been prevented.

The same report investigated the impact of these breaches on various organisations and the results showed, “malicious attacks on applications or systems (32%); a period where IT systems were unavailable or degraded (28%); and products, services, and solutions delivered by the organization being compromised (21%). Seventeen percent indicated they were a victim of a ransomware attack.”


If you are still in doubt, there are a host of benefits to implementing identity security controls within your business. These include the protection of sensitive/confidential information from unauthorised access and the protection of privacy. Which as we all know with POPIA has become crucial for all businesses. This is especially applicable when it comes to protecting your customer’s personal information. Ensuring that only authorised users have access to it.

By not prioritising identity security in your business, your bottom line is likely to be impacted and your reputational risk is heightened. Businesses need to be proactive when approaching digital security. Especially with the rise in remote work, identity security needs to be at the forefront of any technology strategy. After all, in this digital age, you can’t do business without technology, and you certainly can’t afford to use technology without identity security.

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