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4 Steps to Building Consumer Trust

Swaroop Sham
Swaroop Sham
Senior Product Marketing Manager, Security

As cyber criminals become more refined in their exploits, customers and their personal information are being increasingly targeted—and that poses a growing threat to organizations. Today, according to the Ponemon Institute, the cost of a data breach is $3.92 million, including non-operational factors like reduced brand engagement and compromised customer retention.

As a result, businesses need to ensure that they are protecting users at every stage of the customer journey: from registration and authentication through authorization and data privacy. The solution? A robust identity platform that provides the building blocks for a strong identity experience—without compromising usability. 

In this post, we’ll explore the four key customer touchpoints that need to be top of mind for businesses looking to foster customer trust and the identity tools needed to get them right. 

1. Start with secure registration

First impressions are important, and the registration process is one of the first opportunities for companies to encourage trust from their users. In today’s threat landscape, users want to share as little information as possible when they create an account. However, businesses still need to have enough information to ensure that they are onboarding a real user—and not a bad actor creating a fraudulent account using a synthetic identity

A secure approach to registration can include identity proofing, which verifies and authenticates an individual’s identity against other sources of information. Companies can also support social authentication—where users can create a new account based on their Google or Facebook account details—or federated identities, which allow users to log into one service using their credentials from another.

2. Authenticate across the board

Once they’re registered, customers expect seamless authentication experiences that give them access to the services and applications they have signed up for. Since a user’s account will likely host their personal data, this process needs to be able to keep bad actors out, preventing threats like account takeovers via techniques like credential stuffing—which can be costly to both the customer and the organization.

As such, companies need to be able to ensure that they confidently know who the user is, which applications they have access to, and that they can only reach those applications. The most effective tactics for ensuring this include: 

These methods will help users to safely and securely access their applications from anywhere on any device—leading to happy customers that are willing to spend more on your business. 

3. Embed authorization

Authorization helps businesses confirm that a user has the right level of access to an application and/or resources. Giving customers too much access can go as far as compromising an organization’s APIs and other key systems, leaving it vulnerable to a breach.

To prevent this, businesses need to implement:

  • Role-based access control, which enables them to easily establish and maintain authorization policies
  • API access management to secure authorization beyond your network 
  • Centralized identity administration and monitoring capabilities

These tools help organizations guarantee that users only have access to the information they need. They also ensure a seamless user experience without compromising the business.

4. Embrace consent and privacy practices

Under recent regulations like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), organizations are increasingly responsible for ensuring customer consent for the gathering, storing, and sharing of their data, and using that data in an ethical way. 

Complying with these regulations is reliant on having an identity platform that integrates with best-in-class privacy platforms. This will ensure customers feel more comfortable sharing their data with the business and engaging with their applications.

Build trust with your customers

Customer trust is a key contributor to a business’ bottom line. As such, organizations need to be able to protect their customers and their data from the moment they register an account, through to authenticating and authorizing their access. 

To learn more about how you can build trust with your customers every time they interact with your applications, check out the following resources: 

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Swaroop Sham
Senior Product Marketing Manager, Security

Swaroop Sham is a Senior Product Marketing Manager for Security at Okta. His main focus areas include Multi-factor Authentication, Adaptive Authentication, and Security Integrations. He recently joined Okta, bringing with him over 10 years of experience in cybersecurity. He previously worked at Sift Science, Proofpoint, FireEye and F5 Networks. Swaroop has a Master's and Bachelor's degree in Computer Science.