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Digital identity is a core element of business, more essential than ever before as the workforce becomes increasingly more mobile. The key to enable more efficient work is to remove barriers to onboarding and access for employees within the organization, and those partners, suppliers, and contractors outside the organization while adding additional security to the onboarding and lifecycle management of identities. A way to do this is to leverage a network of trusted identities. This whitepaper discusses the approach to operationalizing validated identity data for enterprise workforce use.

Commissioned by Liga

1 Executive Summary

Digital identity is a core element of business and becomes even more essential as the workforce becomes increasingly more mobile. Digital identity is a key enabler of the business as well as a security measure. In order to adapt to the changing business context, the enterprise must be able to manage the lifecycle of workforce identities – including employees, contractors, suppliers, partners, and more – in a way that both facilitates trust and proves validity.

The workforce of today not only accesses systems and resources from any device, anywhere, but also increasingly works with other organizations in the role of contractor, supplier, or partner. The complexity of onboarding and managing these different users in a highly secure way is often unmanageable, meaning that organizations resort to trusting external organizations' processes when zero trust approaches should be prioritized. While this paper primarily discusses onboarding the workforce and partner organizations, applications for consumer identity and access management (CIAM) should also be considered. Onboarding consumers should work towards minimizing their churn and drop-off rate, which requires a thoughtful and intentional onboarding design especially when Know Your Customer (KYC) regulations must be followed. Onboarding and issuing access is not a one-time task, but is often a repeated cost for organizations without significantly increasing the security. Solving the challenge of onboarding in a way that reduces repetitive tasks and boosts security must take a higher priority to meet the changing needs of today.

A compelling way to enable business to continue smoothly while adding additional security to the onboarding and lifecycle management of identities is to leverage a network of trusted identities. By utilizing the eIDAS framework that is already in place and operationalizing it for private sector use, organizations can pull from a pool of verified identities when onboarding, validate that the identity data of the employee, contractor, partner, etc. is active and issued by the correct source, and enroll strong authentication tokens for continued use. Liga's GlobalID is operationalizing this trusted network of identities for the European market.

This method should be considered by organizations that need to reduce the complexity and increase the confidence they have in their relationships with employees, partners, contractors, suppliers, and others. It also opens up compelling opportunities for secure and very flexible multi-factor authentication (MFA), including smart cards and other tokens. Minimizing manual identity verification by automating these processes is a key cost savings for organizations considering leveraging a trusted user network for onboarding and supporting MFA, single sign-on (SSO), and moving towards passwordless.

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