Identity is the Key to Digitizing Government Services
Written September 19, 2022
The need to modernize government services and make them accessible to a wide range of individuals is growing. Access to essential confidential information, such as tax returns, driver's licenses, medical data, etc., is a requirement that governments must now account for in their budgets and plans. The plans must also ensure, that crucial information can be readily accessed and more importantly, secure.
The capacity of the government to offer essential services digitally is not only economically prudent, but it is also the only method to reach a population that is geographically expanding. Because security is the basis upon which trust is created, it is critical that a secure IAM platform be implemented to effectively provide these digital services to a growing population.
For years governments have taken a fractional approach to identity and access management (IAM) due to legislative requirements, with different divisions and departments maintaining their own identity management system. Factor in the complexity of physical ID cards like driver's licenses and passports needing to be used in combination with generic logins and passwords to verify the identity of digital users online, and this creates a sure recipe for confusion and fraud. While the pandemic boosted the use of numerous identification tools and techniques, acceptance has still been mixed by both the general population and the cybersecurity community. In a recent study conducted by Mckinsey and Company, which explored the success rate of digital moderation, out of 165 countries, only 46 were able to partially implement a solution successfully.
Why identity and IAM are the foundation of government modernization
It is necessary to have a shared vision for identity; a vision that safeguards user privacy while at the same time making transactions simpler. This should be the case irrespective of the channel that the user prefers to conduct business in, be it the physical world, the digital world, or even some combination of the two, such as the metaverse. Everyone in the identity ecosystem may work more autonomously toward a similar goal if they share a singular vision.
The appropriate IAM solution has the potential to improve governments' connections with the people they serve while also contributing to the overall safety of the nation. By bridging the gap between traditional IDs like driver licenses and passports and residents' digital footprints, governments not only increase national security, but also make it simpler for citizens to access and get crucial personal and national information.
5 Key considerations when selecting the right solution
1. Security: Fragmented systems can result in larger threat vectors for which a hostile actor or nation-state may exploit. With uniform, standards-based solutions, threat vectors are reduced and simplify application of compensating security controls like risk-based authentication and monitoring solutions.
2. Convenience: Not all citizens are technologically inclined, and governments must do what’s possible to ensure that technology is accessible to all. A system that meets web accessibility guidelines makes the service easy for people of various ages, languages, and abilities. Another form of convenience is providing a “one-stop shop” login experience across government services, reducing registration confusion, and allowing consumers to access services in a simplified, uniform manner.
3. Choice: It is effective to provide citizens the option to reuse an existing account rather than requiring them to learn yet another username and password combination in order to access modernized government services (Apple ID, Google, banking providers, etc.) This gives users the ability to select the mode of data access that best suits their needs while still satisfying the prerequisites for adequate data protection.
4. Scalability: As more services need to be linked and made accessible to constituents, it is important that IAM services can scale to meet user and service demand. By putting in place a strong IAM solution that is compatible with modern systems, new services can be made rapidly available, while still maintaining confidentiality and integrity protections that citizens expect.
5. Reporting: The ability to report on the usage of systems as well as abnormalities will help governments quickly assess systems and create trends, patterns, and key performance indicators (KPIs), which in turn can help the government understand what its population needs, how they interact with the services, and what solutions may require improvement to bolster service adoption rates.
Consumer trust and acceptance are critical to the success of modernization. By building public trust, you promote acceptance, making the effort to modernize simpler. The process of seeing the end result and working towards achieving a singular vision is not without its own obstacles. There will be challenges that governments face as they move towards an innovative identity solution, but these challenges are unsurmountable and shouldn’t deter an organization from moving forward.
KeyData has been guiding a large Provincial Government' digital identity initiatives through a market-leading SaaS solution, replacing the challenges that were caused by their fragmented identity and access management systems. The new solution is currently enabling over 500,000 citizens’ and businesses to access Ministry services through a common sign-on experience and centralized dashboard.
Want to learn more?
If you are a member of a government entity looking to mature or simply review your IAM framework, KeyData can assist you on your IAM journey. KeyData's flagship service is Identity and Access Management (IAM). We concentrate all our efforts on IAM. The KeyData advantage is based on our people and our knowledge. Our team is made up of a highly skilled group of engineers and consultants who specialize in Identity Governance and Administration, Privileged Access Management, Customer Identity and Access Management, and Cloud Security Posture Management. Our team has a strong track record of providing end-to-end IAM services, from requirements gathering and roadmap development to full implementation, training, and managed support. Don't hesitate to get in touch with us right away for a free initial consultation.