Why Fintech Firms Need Cloud-Powered Identity Management to Grow

The UK’s fintech sector is a global success story, generating an estimated 60,000 jobs and contributing $7 billion annually to the economy. Thousands of start-ups are offering innovative solutions to common challenges, using new technologies and processes to succeed in what is already a highly competitive space. But in the quest for cloud and mobile-driven growth, managing employee identities becomes key — supporting greater business agility while mitigating cybersecurity risk.

But only with Identity as a Service (IDaaS) solutions can IT leaders in the sector truly achieve these goals.

Driving greater agility

Cloud and mobile app-based platforms sit at the centre of the fintech universe. Together with DevOps-based approaches, they enable start-ups to react quickly to market changes — offering innovative new services to end-customers and productivity enhancing tools for employees. This is paramount in an industry where disruption is king.

You can be the most disruptive company in the world, but if you don’t get cybersecurity right, all that good work can come crashing down. Fintech firms deal with highly sensitive and highly regulated financial and personal information. The key to protecting it is identity and access management (IAM).

It’s not just about repelling external threats to your IT systems and data. Employees can be your strongest asset, but also your weakest link. Human error is the number one cause of breach incidents reported to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). Clicking on phishing links may hand log-ins to cyber-attackers: in fact, Verizon claims that 80% of hacking-related breaches use stolen and/or weak or guessable passwords. Even a simple email error could see sensitive data accidentally leaked outside the company. Malicious insiders offer an even greater challenge.

That makes it all the more important to ensure:

  • New employees can access systems securely, from day one
  • Staff access rights are restricted on a principle of least privilege
  • Departing employees are offboarded as soon as they exit the company

The case for IDaaS

Good cybersecurity is the foundation on which business success can be built. But legacy IAM solutions simply don’t fit with modern, cloud-based systems: they’re costly and time-consuming to integrate and unable to support the drive for greater agility. The answer is cloud–based identity (IDaaS), allowing secure access at the cloud app-layer rather than the perimeter. Quick and easy to set-up and deploy, these solutions offer the scalability and reliability that on-premises alternatives simply can’t compete with.

The Okta Identity Cloud offers

  • Single Sign-On (SSO) access across multiple applications and platforms
  • Adaptive Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) for enhanced security, with support for SMS push notifications, Google authentication, and Okta Verify with Push
  • Lifecycle Management allows integration with Slack, and comprehensive control over lifecycle states with automation and customisation
  • Compliance with complex financial regulations across diverse regions
  • Consistent user experience globally for customers and employees
  • 100% of employees protected with Adaptive Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

These aren’t just theoretical benefits. Leading fintech players like Funding Circle are already seeing concrete improvements thanks to the Okta Identity Cloud. One example is their IT department, which has seen an 80% reduction in helpdesk password reset requests.

To find out more about how Okta can help manage and secure your extended enterprise, read our new white paper, Driving Agility in Fintech: How IDaaS Can Help Firms Innovate their Way to Success.