Global Trends Shaping Digital Identity in 2024

The digital identity landscape continues to evolve, marching towards innovative and transformative trends. The trends shaping this area are diverse and range from advanced biometrics to the seamless integration of artificial intelligence and machine learning, all aimed at enhancing identity security, compliance, and user experience. This is a crucial element of successful digital transformations, and is the center of your business. Business owners from various sectors are recognizing the value of digital identity solutions, not just as a means to enhance identity security, but also to streamline the identity journey, improve customer experience and mitigate risks. The global digital identity solution market is projected to grow from nearly $34.5 billion in 2023 to nearly $83.2 billion by 2028 at a compounding annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19.3%, according to a report by MarketsandMarkets, a market research platform. This growth not only highlights the importance of digital identity, but also sets the stage for a closer look into the trends shaping this industry in 2024.

Top Digital Identity Trends in 2024

1 – AI and Machine Learning in Digital Identity

As AI continues to evolve, more digital identity technology vendors are devising innovative developments by implementing behavioral and predictive analytics engines in their technology platform, enriched with AI-driven identity threat detection, monitoring and response features. This will change the way organizations approach digital identity controls (authentication, authorization, administration, auditing, governance and compliance) in a positive way, to become more proactive than reactive. However, with the adoption of AI, organizations will need to make sure the risks associated with AI and identification of new threats are identified, managed, and treated within the Risk Management Program. We believe that AI can elevate an organization’s security measures while enhancing user experience and operational efficiency.

2 – Rise in Biometric Authentication Adoption 

Digital identity programs improve access to digital services. As more organizations are expanding into digital channels to meet user demands, the cyber-attack surface and risk is becoming much wider. There is a rising concern, specifically in the financial sector, over deepfakes and AI-generated attacks – as such, organizations are moving away from traditional identity verification methods, to facial, fingerprint or iris biometric verification technology, which delivers convenience and accessibility for customers while at the same time unmatched security challenges for adversaries. More financial institutions will recognize how biometric verification will realize the benefits that technology can have, in balancing security with customer experience. However, similar to any other technology adoption and transformative trends, this will introduce new risks that must be identified, evaluated, managed, and treated in relation to authentication.

3 – Rise in Zero-Trust Adoption 

We will continue to see more organizations moving towards the adoption of zero-trust architecture, with a focus on “never trust, always verify”. Zero-trust architecture necessitates a thorough knowledge of all networks and application assets, not just conventional IT endpoints. Organizations can proactively reduce attack surfaces and mitigate risks by closely monitoring and validating each access request. We believe zero-trust is a multifaceted approach and requires a culture change along with a careful investment of time, money and resources to operate.

4 – Regulatory landscape will continue to evolve 

Regulatory landscapes are increasingly complex and continuously evolving, with new mandates like the EU cybersecurity directive NIS2 in the EU, compelling businesses to implement data-centric security measures accordingly. It’s important for organizations to be proactive rather than reactive to implement structured business operations and security strategies to meet these regulatory requirements and avoid significant penalties, and IAM should form a fundamental part of your organization’s journey to NIS2 compliance. Nordic Cyber Group (NCG) recommends a phased approach before you start with your NIS2 journey, which includes mapping of systems in scope of NIS2, performing gap assessments with on-going security framework initiatives, performing risk assessments to identify the focus areas, and defining responsibilities. 

5 – Growing importance of PAM 

Privileged accounts are considered the keys to your kingdom. According to Verizon’s 2023 data breach investigation report, 74% of all data breaches last year stemmed from human error, abuse of stolen or weak credentials, or social engineering. Organizations are recognizing Privileged Access Management (PAM) as not only an important security feature, but also a crucial enabler for digital transformation, and in 2024, we will see the growing importance of global PAM programs, whilst organizations will be acting swiftly to enable PAM across their entire business fleet. We will also continue to see many digital identity vendors consolidating their portfolio to provide holistic identity security services.

Our Considerations in Adopting Future Digital Identity Solutions

NCG has vast experience with cybersecurity frameworks and methods to support you in adopting future digital identity solutions. Below you can find several key points for your consideration as you embark on your digital identity transformation journey:

1 – Holistic Identity Security Approach

Treat all components of your identity ecosystem with equal importance, from consumers and employees to devices and applications. Neglecting a single element can impact an organization’s pace of innovation and efficiency. Explore opportunities to resonate between consumer and enterprise identity management, and find innovative ways for existing capabilities to reduce operating cost and provide more control over your identity landscape.

2 – Privacy-centric Identity Security Approach

Organizations can navigate the complexities of digital identity and privacy, ensuring that privacy requirements are not just an afterthought but a fundamental component of your identity and security business processes. Gather only the necessary data and maintain a clear overview of the identity data fabric across IAM components and business applications, ensuring transparency and efficiency in managing digital identities.

3 – Prepare to Become AI-ready

To ensure your organization is primed for AI integration across technology products and applications, prioritizing data quality is crucial. Effective AI deployment relies heavily on high-quality data, particularly in digital identity management. This necessitates the standardization of identity and group management processes within IAM frameworks, establishing uniform naming protocols for identities and groups, and ensuring business operations are accurately reflected in IAM policies.

4 – Human-centric And Outcome-driven Approach

Identify business outcomes which can be supported by a digital identity program, such as consumer retention or streamlining HR processes. Advocate towards providing identity security services for the entire organization, and design your information and roles in a way to enable the least privilege principle, which is integral to a human-centric digital identity approach.

5 – Risk Assessments

As the cyber threat landscape is continuously evolving, digital identity infrastructure is becoming the primary target for cyber attacks. Conducting thorough and regular risk assessments supports organizations to identify and address vulnerabilities related to user access and privileged accounts, which are critical to maintaining the integrity of organizations’ business critical systems and data.

How We Can Help 

At NCG, we understand the evolving landscape of digital identity, and its significance in today’s business environment. We provide tailored solutions for every customer as we understand every customer’s requirements are different. Our expertise, frameworks, and methodologies can support your organization in navigating these trends, whilst ensuring strong security measures.

Whether you require innovative solutions for identity threat detection, knowledge on biometric authentication tech, or compliance health-checks on the continuously evolving regulatory landscape – NCG can help you stay ahead in today’s dynamic business landscape.