Cyber security and trusted online identities are vital to digital transformation

From the internet of things (IoT) and self-driving cars, to e-government and online payments, critical digital transactions are growing exponentially.

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The need to preserve the integrity of data that is exchanged and to safely authenticate the individual carrying out the transaction has become crucial to realising the promise of digital transformation, across all segments of the economy. Data theft and identity usurpation are growing concerns for consumers, companies and public bodies alike, and the need for reliable and convenient security solutions has never been greater.

That places digital security and trusted identity technologies among the key corporate investment priorities in the technology, media and telecom (TMT) industry. Both digital security specialists and large technology conglomerates have been active consolidators in the market, acquiring complementary technologies in biometrics, identity and access management and encryption. European digital security and trusted identity providers have been particularly active, with the recent acquisitions of Morpho by Idemia and Gemalto by Thales aimed at creating world leaders in the digital security industry.

“Trusted digital identities are vital to the broader development of secure digital transactions, which also includes ensuring the safety of connections of objects and data. Consolidation is likely to continue in this segment driven by the need to complement digital security and identity technology portfolios,”

- Daniel Weisslinger,
co-head of TMT corporate finance at Societe Generale CIB.

These large players, together with a growing number of start-ups, are combining basic technologies in biometrics, secure elements to offer innovative and ergonomic solutions for a wide variety of use cases, ranging from online customer authentication and mobile know-your-client services for banks, to secure machine-to-machine (M2M) communications in industry or the military.

Biometric tools are already a key component of the move to improve digital identity certification and offer user-friendly solutions across various end markets, including banking, airports, citizen administration and healthcare, to name a few.

The IoT security market is projected to have an accelerated compound annual growth rate in the coming years, according to a study entitled "Forecast: IoT Security, Worldwide, 2018" by the consulting firm, Gartner. In a release1, which was issued in March 2018, the US firm explained having conducted a survey of organisations that are already active in IoT, and found that almost 20% had observed at least one attack on their systems in the last three years. It projected that worldwide spending on IoT security will reach $1.5bn in 2018 and then roughly double in size to $3.1bn by 2021..

1 Source: https://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/3869181

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The underlying demand for new technology is not expected to be slowed significantly by concerns about security, however. There will instead be a greater premium on increasing security and improving the testing of new products. Self-driving cars are one example of a new technology where there is clear demand, but broad consumer adoption cannot begin until both the core technology and the security of the user’s identity can be guaranteed. The same applies to military application of drones and self-directing missiles, where the identity of the ultimate user must be secure.

Digital security will remain a major issue for consumers, companies and governments, but advances in identity certification will help to ensure that neither growth, nor the pace of corporate consolidation will lose momentum.

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