2021 Predictions on Digital Identities, Data Protection and Secure Payments

It’s been a challenging year. Around the world, we’ve reacted to a pandemic, social change and a significant US election. It was a year that forced organizations to accelerate digital transformation strategies that enable remote workers and commerce amid rising cyberthreats from scammers and hostile state actors. IT and security teams worked tirelessly to enable their enterprises and have performed admirably.

The new year will bring new challenges – and opportunities as well. So we asked members of the Entrust team for their predictions on the year ahead. Because we owe it to ourselves to spend our energy on what we can learn from our 2020 experience.

The following are forward looking predictions for the year ahead from our experts…

Jenn Markey, Product Marketing Director − Identity is the new perimeter for a remote workforce

As we’ve seen social distancing restrictions lifted and then put back into place with the recent rise in cases around the world, remote work will continue to be a feature of office life for quite some time. Yet, perhaps this is a welcome change. A recent PwC study indicated that 55% of executives plan to offer the ability to work from home at least one day per week to most of their employees post-pandemic (and 85% of employees surveyed agree).

As a result, the usage of solid and frictionless identity proofing tools will increase dramatically. Identity proofing, originally designed for consumers to authenticate, will be adopted to facilitate the onboarding of new and existing remote employees. Digital signatures will also see a significant uptick. Countries outside of the European Union will adopt or follow eIDAS (electronic Identification, Authentication and trust Services), which regulates electronic identification and trust services for electronic transactions in the European Single Market, to support these developments and provide a strong legal foundation.

In addition to strides that will be made in digital identity, the need for physical identity will not be left behind as companies become more efficient with office space. Growing enterprises will still need space so the rise of remote working won’t cause the abandonment of offices across the world, but it may affect company strategy in the long term. Instead, it’s time to rethink the office as collaboration centers with a mix of physical and digital locations. Organizations will need to replan their visitor management strategy in unique ways that bring trust back to in-person meetings and gatherings post-pandemic. We expect to see more demand for tools that provide mobile identify verification prior to visitors coming on-site, and offer more fully integrated visitor tracking experiences.

Overall, enterprise IT leaders will continue to look for more ways to drive efficiency – how to get the most benefit and productivity while maintaining flexibility and employee empowerment. Our digital and physical worlds will continue to converge until it’s impossible to discern where one starts an the other ends. Central to navigating this new reality is your trusted digital identity.

Chris Bailey, Vice President of Strategy − Growth versus security in data protection

As we look toward a post COVID-19 economy, organizations will rapidly invest in new and more efficient ways to manage new customers, employees and devices. This will lead to swift increases in IT expenditure and expansion, but this narrow focus on business growth will lead to weaker security practices for several organizations − likely putting them at risk. Typically, significant changes takes organizations years to carefully plan and implement, with security risk mitigation a part of the equation. The resulting security risks of fast-turn changes will catch some companies off guard leading to more headline news of data breaches and reputational damage.

Andy Cease, Product Marketing Manager − Banking and the way you pay will transform

Banks and credit unions continue to look for more offerings to drive superior customer experience, balancing in-person, web and app-based services. Whether traditional or new challengers, successful banks will need to create experiences that are simple and efficient while building security, trust and confidence at every stage – from account opening to approval to the banking experience itself. However, with the economy moving past the Covid-19 pandemic in 2021 there will be a “back to branch” resurgence, with customers and members getting back to synchronous, face-to-face interactions. This will provide financial institutions the opportunity to reassert the unique value they provide compared to emerging fintech startups and large technology providers (Google, Apple, Amazon).

Finally, the use of contactless payments will continue to rise worldwide, including tap-and-go and mobile device payments. The uptick in consumer preference for these methods of payments over the last year were a result of a desire for a simple preventative measure against germ transmission, as well as convenience. Consumers do prefer the physical card, which has been extended into “card not present” e-commerce applications, but we expect as consumers get back into stores the contactless card will take over as the top payment credential over single interface cards, the mobile wallet and other modes of payment.

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*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from Entrust Blog authored by Adam Gothmann. Read the original post at: https://blog.entrust.com/2020/12/2021-predictions-on-digital-identities-data-protection-and-secure-payments/