Due in part to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses have become significantly dependent on online transactions. Consumers expect to access most necessary services through the Internet and across different devices and web applications, driving companies to adopt advanced technologies that can prevent cybercriminals from accessing sensitive data.
Among the security requirements that users expect and industries are incorporating are biometric and biographic information. Identity documents and knowledge of personal data or events are also used to guarantee the uniqueness and validity of an individual's identity before they can access a service or receive an entitlement.
Identity and access management solutions are being widely adopted by the public sector, healthcare, financial institutions, retail, education, telecommunication, transportation, and media and entertainment. A key concern across all these industries has been the increasing cyber threat landscape, where cybercriminals use advanced attack techniques supported by artificial intelligence and machine learning. The threats are diverse and keep increasing in volume, breadth, and complexity, as they help criminals steal sensitive data from an organization’s network. Therefore, businesses feel compelled to invest in consumer identity and access management to deliver frictionless and enhanced customer experiences.
Fortunately, the growth of cloud-based CIAM services that are easier to implement and require a lower capital investment has made it possible to adopt measures widely.
CIAM in Asia-Pacific
The highest CAGR in the global consumer identity and access management market is in Asia-Pacific, which includes major economies such as China, Japan, Australia, and India. The region has dynamically adopted new technologies and is expected to register high growth rates, particularly in China, the fastest expanding country in the region. It’s estimated that India will have 50 billion digital identities in three years, as local companies accelerate their adoption of cloud technologies and increase their demand for CIAM.
A key player in Asia-Pacific is Fujitsu, named to FORTUNE Magazine's 2020 List of "World's Most Admired Companies" two consecutive years. The company, founded in 1935 and headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, launched Fujitsu Security Solution AuthConductor Client in 2018 and upgraded it to V2 in 2019. The product includes biometric authentication and was first made available for Oceania and later rolled out to Asia and North America. V2 uses various authentication methods such as palm vein, facial and fingerprint authentication, and IC card authentication for PC logons. Fujitsu had a revenue of $7.466 billion for the quarter ending June 30, 2020.
Another major player in Asia is NEC Corporation, with development laboratories in North America, Europe, China, Singapore, and Japan. As of late 2019, NEC was the largest non-Chinese supplier of artificial intelligence (AI) surveillance technology globally and had developed several manual and automated border control solutions using leading-edge biometric technologies. After Huawei’s 5G equipment suffered a suggested ban by the United States, Nec Corp ramped up its small 5G network business with an investment of $596 million from NTT, the largest carrier in Japan. For the year ending March 31, 2021, the company expects an attributable net income of ¥90 billion ($846 million).
CIAM in North America
North America held a prominent share of the global consumer identity and access management market in 2019 and is expected to hold the largest one, $120 million, in 2020.
Among the key and innovative vendors are, from the US, IBM, Microsoft, Salesforce, Broadcom, Okta, Ping Identity, ForgeRock, and LoginRadius, and from Canada, Akamai Technologies. These companies have adopted various growth strategies such as product launches and enhancements, partnerships, and acquisitions to expand their market presence.
IBM, a prominent provider of consumer identity and access management solutions, launched VeridiumID in 2019. The product supports native iPhone and Android biometrics like Touch ID and third-party biometrics. As of September 1, 2020, IBM’s net worth was $109.82 billion.
Broadcom Inc. solutions include enterprise and mainframe software focused on automation, monitoring, and security. In 2019, the company announced they would be acquiring the Enterprise Security software division of Symantec for $10.7 billion. Symantec (through their Norton-branded services) operates with consumer and enterprise security and information management, offering multi-layer security and identity protection for desktop and mobile operating systems. NortonLifeLock’s net worth as of September 1, 2020, was $13.9 billion.
In 2020, Microsoft also partnered with Citrix to help Citrix customers transition to Microsoft Azure, while IBM and Wipro developed hybrid cloud offerings to manage security across different IT environments.
CIAM in Europe
Financial information is among the most sensitive data cyber-thieves try to gather. This is particularly important for economies with large financial and banking sectors, such as Germany, the UK, and Switzerland. For these countries, consumer identity and access management is paramount. With identity at the center of online services, banks understand that customer-friendly IAM is crucial for protecting highly sensitive customer data and ensuring seamless experiences.
German giant SAP SE is a leading company offering enterprise solutions for software and software-related services. The SAP Single Sign-On application allows users to access all IT systems with one password, protecting businesses from cybersecurity threats using smart cards, two-factor authentication, digital signatures, and encryption of communication channels. They also work with Kerberos/SPNEGO authentication tokens, digital certificates, and mobile sign-on. SAP SE’s revenue for the quarter ending June 30, 2020, was $7.425 billion.
In France, Thales Group (Gemalto NV), a company that provides services for the aerospace, defense, transportation, and security markets, acquired international security company Gemalto in early 2019. Their identity management and data protection technologies help more than 30,000 organizations worldwide and have a strong presence in Africa thanks to GhIPSS (Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems), which manages the country's interbank payment processing system. In 2020, Thales reported $3.2 billion order intake (up 17%) and $4.6 billion sales (up 16%), with the most significant gains belonging to their Defense & Security sector.
CIAM in Latin America
Finally, Latin America is a region that has seen significant growth in the consumer identity and access management sector due to the increasing connectivity in personal, urban, and corporate environments, and the adoption of big data, cloud computing, and IoT solutions.
In 2017, Mexico’s National Banking and Security Commission (CNBV) issued a regulation requiring all banks in the country to incorporate fingerprint scanners to be used by their clients at the time of account creation and for loan and credit card applications. For services transacted online, banks are allowed to use facial and speech recognition technologies. Companies like FacePhi (a global leader in Facial Recognition technology and Mobile Biometrics technologies) and Credence ID (mobile biometrics and credential reading technology) both have offices in Mexico City.
In May 2020, Seguridad América and Ubisecure announced a partnership for delivering Customer Identity and Access Management to new regions. Their identity platform can be deployed as IDaaS, cloud, or on-premise software, working for the Chilean, Peruvian, Argentine, and Colombian markets.
The Next Five Years
The growth of online transactions and, consequently, of cyber threats creates a strong demand for the identity and access management market across the world.
As companies adopt advanced technologies, the sector continues to grow thanks to product launches, partnerships, and acquisitions. It’s expected that the industry will grow from $7.6 billion to $15.3 billion in the next five years.
About the Author
Yisela Alvarez Trentini is an Anthropologist + User Experience / Human-Computer Interaction Designer with an interest in emerging technologies, social robotics, and VR/AR.