How to Do Identity Right When Developing Digital Services

In the digital age, digital experience heavily impacts the success of businesses. A main element of digital experience is the registration, authentication and authorization flow. Instead of developing this per service, organizations are well-advised to rely on standards and services provided via APIs. This also helps in reducing the complexity in implementing standards support, such as for OAuth and OpenID Connect (OIDC). Authlete provides a platform that supports simplified integration of OAuth and OIDC capabilities as well as Financial-grade API (FAPI) support into digital services, while shielding the complexity of the protocols by handling these in a backend service.

Martin Kuppinger


Commissioned by Authlete

1 Executive Summary

Delivering digital services fast and in the right way decides about the rise and fall of organizations in the digital age. Success is based on many factors, from the business model to delivery at time and cost, to the digital experience and the attack resilience and trustworthiness of digital services.

Identity, and in particular the onboarding journey and recurring authentication and authorization, play a vital role in a successful digital journey. Authentication and authorization are a major element of both digital experience and security. With authentication and authorization being at the forefront of every contact with the consumer, customer, or citizen, it must be seamless. On the other hand, authentication and authorization also impact the level of assurance and thus the level of security of digital services.

A challenge that arises in many organizations is that digital services, such as banking apps or other complex applications with a frontend app and backend services, or partners' customer touchpoints that leverage APIs of the services, require a close integration of authentication and authorization capabilities. Many of the common IAM (Identity and Access Management) and CIAM (Consumer IAM) standard solutions don't deliver the level of integration that is required. On the other hand, building on authentication and authorization backend services for the common protocols, specifically OAuth and OpenID Connect (OIDC) is challenging and error prone. The main reason is that it is not just about a simple protocol, but that such protocols consist of a huge rain of specifications and thus require complex protocol and token handling.

Speed, reliability, and security in delivering digital services are essential, but difficult to achieve in times of skill gaps in IT, and when building complex solutions. Organizations thus are well-advised in building on services that help in offloading complexity in development and operations.

Authlete provides a solution that helps in simplifying the usage of OAuth and OIDC in digital services, by providing an OAuth/OIDC server that can be integrated into the digital services, and backend services for handling the complexity of the protocols and the tokens used by these protocols.

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