At this year’s European Identity & Cloud Conference (EIC 2022) that we hosted in Berlin from May 10th to 13th, some topics stood out from all the vibrant discussions and enlightening presentations. My #1 topic is the emergence of integration between decentralized identity (DID) - also referred to Self-Sovereign Identity (SSI) or as verifiable credentials - and traditional, centralized IAM (Identity & Access Management) and CIAM (Consumer IAM).

DID has been a hot topic at EIC for many years, but more as an innovation that is somewhat separate from traditional IAM. This started to change with last year’s announcement of GAIN (Global Assured Identity Network), which is sort of a semi-centralized (or semi-decentralized) model for identities.

To find out more on these topics, have a look at this blog post entitled: Decentralized Identity 101: What It Is and Why It Matters and this Leadership Brief entitled: GAIN Explained.

DID and IAM convergence a hot topic

This year, a lot of talk has been about how to converge these worlds. How to enable authentication with a decentralized ID and the proofs in the wallet to an enterprise, be it as employee, business partner, or customer? How to issue proofs for employees and others into their wallets?

Integration is rather straightforward, based on standards such as OpenID Connect and their upcoming extensions. Decentralized IDs can just become another means of onboarding users, based on all the verified information in the wallets, and letting users in, based on a successful, decentralized authentication. This allows for simplification of onboarding by relying on proven data, as well as relying on a strong proof of identities. Process and identity vetting costs can be reduced massively that way.

Beyond that, in policy-based authorizations, the proofs from the wallet can be used for delivering attributes used in decision making. If a proof isn’t valid anymore, this will become effective immediately.

The journey has just begun

There are many applications for making traditional IAM more efficient and powerful by integrating the decentralized and centralized identity approaches. That journey has just started, and to me this was the #1 trending topic at EIC 2022.

Here are some links to presentations and panel discussions at EIC 2022 that looked at various aspects of decentralized identity: