Digital engagement is a key driver of economic growth, but the lack of reusable, verified identities is a significant problem that needs to be solved.
At present, there is no way for anyone to get a single, verified identity that can be used to interact with government services, employers, health providers, and other service providers around the world.
The digital economy is being held back by the lack of any means to provide trust in identity transactions, to ensure that individuals are who they claim to be, and to verify that the origin and destination of identity attributes are trustworthy.
Currently, there is no means of ensuring that all participants in digital transactions are accountable to establish trusted relationships with consumers, employees, partners, contractors, and suppliers using verified identity information.
Instead, most organizations have to rely on self-attested information from consumers with varying levels of assurance of identity and authentication. This means that organizations that need high levels of assurance, each have to establish their own, isolated processes for identity proofing and verification by collecting, validating, and verifying high assurance identity attributes, which is costly.
Therefore, there is an urgent need for reusable, user-centric, high-trust, verified identities that are globally interoperable and relatively low cost.
To address this need, a group of identify professionals have drawn up a proposal that was formally launched at the European Identity Conference (EIC) in September 2021. The proposal is for an international collaboration initiative to make reusable identities a practical reality by leveraging the high-trust identity information that has been verified by financial institutions, other regulated industries, and government identity services for reuse in any industry.
The Global Assured Identities Network (GAIN) proposal was drawn up by more than 150 identity professionals, and is aimed at making these existing high assurance identity attributes sharable between parties so that other organizations in addition to financial institutions can benefit from working with trusted identities.
The attributes can be shared directly with consuming organizations or, indirectly, via a wallet where the data is kept as verifiable credentials and later shared with the consuming organizations.
GAIN is a network to provide trust in identity transactions; to ensure that individuals have the credentials they claim while interacting digitally; and to ensure that the origin and destination of the identity attributes are trustworthy.
GAIN can be leveraged to identify and authenticate users, as well as to verify and validate identity attributes, with a focus on serving CIAM use cases, including onboarding and registration, authentication, and password/credential management.
The availability of such a system would benefit all the major stakeholders, which include potential future identity information providers such as banks, all organizations that require customer identity and authentication assurance, and end users seeking to access online services.
For identity information providers such as banks, participation in GAIN can transform identity verification processes from a cost to profit center; organizations that need to identify, validate and authenticate customers, employees, partners and suppliers, will benefit from reduced friction and increased conversion rates; and end users will benefit from increased privacy, easier onboarding and login processes, and have fewer login credentials to manage.
All these stakeholders have much to gain by joining this initiative and working collaboratively to make GAIN a reality.
The success of GAIN depends on numerous factors, but the participation from identity information providers and relying parties is key so that there are enough use cases to make the GAIN option relevant for end users.
— Anne Bailey, Senior Analyst, KuppingerCole.
Because we understand the importance of identifying, validating and authenticating customers, and because we are committed to helping your business succeed, KuppingerCole has a great deal of content available in a variety of formats.
This includes events, such as the free to attend KC Live Event on The Future of Identity & Access Management taking place online on 6 July at 14h00 CEST, which will consider how users will be verified in future and the role that decentralized identity/verifiable credentials/SSI could play when it comes to customer identities, as well as who could supply these identities.
To understand what GAIN is, what use cases it serves, who may be interested, and a quick explanation of how it works, have a look at this Leadership Brief entitled: GAIN Explained. For an explanation of global identity networks and to learn more about the business and legal streams of GAIN, have a look at the GAIN whitepaper entitled: GAIN Digital Trust.
Look back at the official launch of GAIN at EIC in 2021 in this session entitled: Introducing The Global Assured Identity Network (GAIN).
For an updated perspective, and an overview on GAIN, the supporting standards, and some use cases, have a look at this EIC 2022 session on GAIN Insight, and to hear more about bringing GAIN to reality, look at this panel discussion on GAIN Interoperability. And to find out more about GAIN in the context of enabling a “post platform digital future”, have a look at this panel discussion entitled: Protocols, Standards, Alliances: How to Re-GAIN the Future Internet from the Big Platforms.
If you would prefer to hear our analysts discuss the emerging concept of the Global Assured Identities Network (GAIN), to get a perspective on the benefits and challenges of reusable identities in general listen to this Analyst Chat on GAIN and Reusable Identities. Explore further aspects of GAIN, including uses beyond customer-related IAM and the challenge of privacy in such a hyper-connected network for PII in this Analyst Chat entitled: A Deeper Dive into GAIN. And catch up on the latest phase of the initiative in this Analyst Chat entitled: Putting GAIN to the Test, which looks at the list of participants, the agenda, and the potential outcomes of this PoC.
To put GAIN in context of the most active organizations working for global identity networks, have a look at this blog post entitled: Global Identity Networks: How to Leverage Them for Business Benefit.
For a perspective on where GAIN fits in the context of identity on a global scale, have a look at this blog post entitled: A Iot to Venture, More to GAIN, and for a perspective on where GAIN fits in the context of Decentralized Identity (DID), have a look at this blog post entitled: Trending at EIC 2022: Integrating Decentralized & Centralized Identity.
To find out more about Decentralized Identity, have a look at this blog post entitled: Decentralized Identity 101: What It Is and Why It Matters.
There is a massive uptake in external identity provides that deliver trusted, verified identities, which includes specialized solutions for identity proofing and authentication, as well as emerging global networks like GAIN. To learn more, have a look at this webinar entitled: How to Do Identity Right When Developing Digital Services.
Organizations investing in technologies to enable the use of decentralized identity can have a look at some of the related technology solutions that we have evaluated: