COVID-19 and Secure Digital Experiences: Five Lessons to Consider

Panel Discussion at Fotografiska. Photo: Fanny Martinez

Although it is probably still too early to deep dive into the consequences COVID-19 has had on different industries, let’s have a look at some tendencies trending in the field of digital identity and security.
Find below five thoughts we took with us from our Breakfast Seminar in Fotografiska, Tallinn.

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1. Coronavirus-fuelled change

It’s no news that certain industries have been hit harder than others. It can also be said that some, such as e-commerce and delivery, have flourished. However, in finding means for survival, company culture can become a determinant equal to the industry. While some businesses rely on state support, others are creatively reorganizing their concept. One is certain, office work will most likely never go back to the level it was on 1st of January 2020. Most companies are forced to rethink work and where value is created.

2. Are you “e-sure” enough?

Estonia is internationally recognized as an e-state. Currently 99.9% of state services* can be accessed online, and this is largely thanks to the national adoption of digital identity in Estonia. However, the question whether people understand the consequences of their online transactions, remains. With the physical presence contributing to this understanding, how to achieve a similar certainty in the digital world?

*Notary service as the most recent addition, and divorce being the only exception.

3. Your phone is not your friend!

Beliefs such as “But my phone knows, who I am!” are still widespread. The only thing your phone actually knows is whether the face or fingerprint presented today is the same as the one inserted during the inception. Your phone doesn’t really care to whom this face belongs.

4. Identity ≠ access ≠ authorization ≠ authentication

“Identity management” and “access management” are two separate things. If you don´t know the difference, look for specialist help (even more so on the software than hardware level). Another piece of practical advice: if you don’t know what to do, do nothing. If something needs to be done, it becomes clear very soon. 

5. Multi-factor authentication

Consider multi-factor authentication. In many use cases, a set of characteristics or attributes can be of more importance than merely identity. Aim towards integrity and understand the nature of data relevant to your undertaking.

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Thoughts above were presented during the Panel Discussion “Digital Identity in the Post-Pandemic World”. Many thanks to the moderator Tiit Paananen (VP of Engineering at Veriff), Tõnu Tammer (Exec. Director of CERT-EE at Estonian Information Systems Authority), Tanel Tammet (Professor in Tallinn University of Technology) and Kalev Pihl (CEO at SK ID Solutions). Our kind regards go also to ForgeRock, the co-organizer of the event.

Martin Valler (CTO at Icefire)

Would you like to know more about Icefire´s experiences with Identity and Access Management? 
Read our CTO Martin Valler´s interview in “Life in Estonia” magazine!

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Photos by: Fanny Martinez
Written by: Liis Serk

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