Nearly 90% of IT Pros See Gap Between Customer Experience & Digital Security

Staff Report

Tuesday, December 11th, 2018

Eighty-eight percent of IT professionals point to a gap when trying to balance customer experience and digital security, according to the 2018 Digital Identity Authentication Index.

The survey, which was commissioned by Equifax, indicates IT professionals are investing more of their budgets to close this gap. However, more survey respondents are investing more heavily on strengthening their collective customer experience.

When survey respondents break down their investments, nearly 10 percent more is allocated toward customer experience improvements versus security.

"More than half of IT professionals use legacy technologies to support their authentication strategies, which is alarming. If IT doesn't prioritize adopting more advanced solutions and processes, they leave their organizations and their customers vulnerable to fraud, which will negatively impact the customer experience," said Ken Allen, senior vice president of global identity and fraud at Equifax. "Customer experience and security can't be an either-or thing for organizations anymore."

Cost, effort and time involved to implement, and staff resources are the top barriers deterring survey respondents from adopting more sophisticated fraud detection and prevention technology. Nevertheless, IT professionals are exploring more advanced methods of ID verification/authentication methods.

While passwords are still the most frequently used ID verification/authentication method by IT professionals surveyed, many are interested in implementing biometrics or federated digital identity. Physical biometrics bested behavioural biometrics, with 64 percent of IT professionals expressing interest in adopting for their organizations. Most felt physical biometrics would be better for the customer experience.

A small group of early adopters (29 percent) already use federated digital identity. Federated digital identity is the result of linking a consumer's digital identity and the attributes, which are stored across multiple, unrelated identity management systems.

"Identity verification through a universal digital identity can solve the customer experience and protection challenges so many organizations face," said Allen. "No more password juggling and frictionless fraud assessment creates a win-win for organizations."

To learn more about the 2018 Digital Identity Authentication Index, register for the Dec. 12Merchant Risk Council webinar focused on the rise of digital identity. Equifax experts will discuss the survey findings and the benefits of universal digital identity.

For the 2018 Digital Identity Authentication Index, Equifax commissioned a blind survey of more than 500 U.S.-based IT professionals in October 2018. The margin of error for this survey is plus or minus four percent.