Time to Secure Identities as SACCOs Evolve

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Juan Rodriguez, EMEA Sales Director, Digital Identity Area, Entrust Datacard

With phishing, stolen identities, and weak passwords taking the lead in causing data breaches, Entrust Datacard has called on Savings and Credit Cooperatives (SACCOs) to place users and their credentials at the forefront of network defences even as they accelerate their momentum to on digital transformation.

While this reality is yet to catch-up with most SACCOs and their membership, it is emerging that infrastructure protection, network security equipment, security services, and consumer security software is key.

With banks spending billions a year on identity management solutions, it has become apparent that Saccos will not be an exemption as they continue to build their membership and invest in identity authentication in the financial services industry.

Juan Rodriguez, EMEA Sales Director, Digital Identity Area, Entrust Datacard.

Speaking during the premier East Africa SaccoTech Forum organised by CIO East Africa, themed Accelerating Automation for Socio-Economic Development, Juan Rodriguez, EMEA Sales Director, Digital Identity Area, Entrust Datacard said that while spending more on segments like security services and infrastructure protection may have been adequate a decade ago, today’s prevalent IT environments – an area that Saccos are keen to invest in – calls for an approach that takes identity security more seriously.

Since consumers, citizens and employees increasingly expect anywhere-anytime experiences – whether they are making purchases, crossing borders, accessing e-government services or logging onto corporate networks, their identity always has to be secure. To this effect, Rodriguez noted that Entrust Datacard offers the trusted identity and secure transaction technologies that make those experiences reliable and secure. Such solutions range from the physical world of financial cards, passports and ID cards to the digital realm of authentication, certificates and secure communications.

Historically, identity security has been in the background of most security strategies, while the focus has been on fortifying the network perimeter. This worked okay in the past because resources only existed within the corporate network, behind firewalls, on-prem. This made it possible to keep them safely insulated from the ‘world’ (read: internet), behind a heavily fortified perimeter.

With banks spending billions a year on identity management solutions, it has become apparent that SACCOs must invest in identity authentication in the financial services industry, where the ability to establish and verify the identities of customers and employees is fundamental to maintaining the members’ trust.

At the virtual forum hosting the Saccos industry regulators, SACCOs CEOs, Heads of IT and Chief Finance Officers (CFO) among others, Rodriguez said rapid growth in digitisation, new technologies and new user behaviours are revolutionising how banks interact with their customers and employees. That the process changes identity management obligations forever. As a result, banks are starting to re-evaluate their role in the identity supply chain a situation that will be inevitable for the SACCOs to follow suit at a time industry convergence and disruptive innovation around payments and commercial services gets even more intense.

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