Digital Maturity in Security:
Optimizing ROI with Emerging Technology

Technology & IAM: Working Together to Strengthen Cybersecurity in Financial Services

Ping and Simeio share how threat actors are leveraging emerging technologies to enhance their attack attempts on the Toward Digital Maturity in the Financial Services Industry: Taking the Next Leap webinar.

We discuss the vulnerability of identity in financial services and how institutions can safeguard themselves. With a digital-first approach to identity and access management, many organizations are seeing a 186% ROI and nine-month payback. 

Check out the full webinar where we dive deep into the following concepts:

  • Identity control plane is both the first line of attack and first line of defense.
  • Customer experience drives ROI and time to value.
  • Identity orchestration is king. 
  • Advancing technology is shaping the future of financial services.

Ready to speak to an identity advisor?


Good morning, good afternoon, and good evening and welcome to this exciting webinar. My name is Adam Price I’m the director of product and solution marketing at Ping Identity and I’m joined by one of my friends and close Partners from Simeio, Angel. So perhaps Angel, you’d like to introduce yourself?  

Good day, good morning, good evening, good afternoon, Adam. Nice to see you again, yes. Angel Cruz here from Simeio, senior manager at Simeio, and it’s great to do this with you Adam.   

I know we’ve been collaborating for some time and it’s ready to get this started.   

Fantastic. Well Angel, thank you so much for joining us, and today we’ve got a few topics to discuss. Right, we’re talking about digital maturity in financial services industry and the all-important role of identity. So, I’m really eager to kind of dig into that so let’s go. But before we do that let’s just, for the purpose of our audience, introduce who Ping and Simeio are. So, Ping Identity has been around for over 20 years.  

We are one of the preeminent identity and access management vendors in the industry. We manage over 8 billion identities globally across all the GEOS and also serve 59% of the Fortune 100 and for us we have a very compelling Ping Identity Vision which is all geared towards a converged identity and access management platform for all identity use cases and needs irrespective of deployment settings. So, for us this is really a driving mantra. So, Angel, perhaps you’d like to say something about Simeio.  

Yeah sure. So Simeio, we’re one of our great Partners partnering here with Ping so we we’ve been in a business here over 10 (close to 15) years now we’re a little different as opposed to other folks we’re partners, and we handle all domains. One of our greatest partners is Ping for access management but we also do IGA. We do PAM and we also do CIAM along with that we’re partnered with all those major platforms within those pillars for your all your entire IAM journey. 

We do a lot of identities, close to 100 million identities over a ton of applications for each company we have clients that arrange from different markets we’ll be focusing today on Financial Services which we have a lot of clients there and what the struggles are. So happy to be on board here. 

Well thank you very much. So, Angel, let’s kind of dive into this. I’m a strong believer in doing context setting first, and you know we frequently in the identity industry as a whole look at identity from a lens of security and this is basically relevant in the financial services industry you know. We see very much that identity is both the first line of attack but also the first line of defense. So, the first line of attack because malicious parties tend to exploit weak credentials wherever they can. Whether that’s across consumer workforce or partner access journeys and the first line of defense because identity can also help to recognize and mitigate those particular known attack vectors so we kind of see the identity control plane as being really critical to driving that security agenda across the entire Financial Services industry.  

So, I just wanted to kind of get your view on that, I wholeheartedly agree with you. I think as everyone can see in the news you know there are a lot more. Cyber-attack is almost weekly now right exploiting some sort of vulnerability within identity specifically you know a lot of them in financial firms and I think it comes along with you know the Advent of Technology. That’s coming up how attackers are also leveraging new upcoming emerging Technologies and I think you know as providers and as also financial firms should adopt the same.  

So, identity I think is always the most vulnerable because you’re you can have your insider threat you can have folks that just you know are weak in compliance and can be heavily exposed or you can even have you know legacy infrastructure that exposes your identities specifically when it comes to Fin Services workforce and client data are paramount.  

Right, specifically paramount in client on a client side because that is your money maker so yeah this is great context here and it’s actually being played out today in the news you know it’s interesting you say that because you know typically if you look at you some of the other verticals when we think about identity you know we tend to associate identity with authentication and authentication don’t get me wrong is a very important use case however in financial industry.  

I believe particularly in retail banking, the industry has really thought about how authentication/authorization convergence identity blind spots, Identity Governance Administration how they all play into securing you know customer accounts customer data. 

Mission critical infrastructure, so, as you say, this is not just about securing consumer accounts but Workforce accounts partner accounts and that mission critical infrastructure which as we know is being increasingly targeted by these malicious AC. 

Yeah, I agree. I mean it all comes together right I mean it just it just does because how you laid out your convergence there will depend on you know your weakest link of your convergence is your vulnerability. So, you could have strong authentication. You can have strong authorization or weak authorization or strong authentication. A weak first line and that that’ll be your vulnerability.  

So, it all matters. It definitely all matters. Andrew, I’m just curious from your perspective, being a seasoned veteran in this industry. Have you seen this agenda move up of the all the priorities in in in financial services space? I mean have you seen how have you seen this evolve?  

Yeah, it varies from, you know, different clients that we have specifically. You know there are some clients that we have that are smaller than others and each one will handle it differently. But everyone is very well aware what the vulnerabilities are and what is happening in in the news. So, you see a lot of development happening specifically with biometrics, specifically how do we protect our workforce compliance training is through the roof how do we protect our client data. You know what are we doing, to once they log in how are we protecting them from if they’re remote how do we know it’s them that they’re remote?  

How we’re protecting our mobile devices with them with their identity how can we leverage now emerging technologies things like AI to alleviate some of this this burden for us and take us to the next level. So, a lot of my clients are doing that each one will take some maybe a solution out the box and develop around it obviously you know user experience is paramount when you apply a new discipline or a new deployment and a lot of specifically in financial services, they’re very concerned about that. 

And actually, Angel, that’s a very useful segue onto our next kind of contextual set here which is the customer experience right and as I mentioned before identity comes from these roots of being a kind of a security discipline. However, we’ve seen a significant shift in that and actually, you know, comb robust identity access management has to be able to address the security dynamics that we discussed about but it also has to be able to drive a better customer experience.  

So again from our perspective we’re seeing that identity is almost in a sense a risk or kind of an obstacle to delivering a good customer experience particularly when you think about a lot of these financial service providers particularly the big players you see a lot of legacy you see a lot of fragmentation across those solutions but also identity is in many ways the opportunity to unlock those new experiences to build that unified of customer needs to be able to drive that personalization across all channels so we kind of see the identity orchestration is really a key enabler in our agenda.  

So just wondering what your perspective on that.  

Yeah, I agree orchestration, I think experience I mean, I think to me and I’ve been seeing this for the last probably five years gone of the days where you know you have your big bank just drop a platform on everyone this is it this is the GUI we need to use. We’ll train you how to use it right and then you know you need to do these things on a yearly basis, and this is what we need to live with that’s no longer the case right.  

The longer the case now is specifically when it comes to client using the data it’s more of a your customer is your Workforce that’s going to drive your budget right so if you have unhappy people complaining you have say line of business CIOs that are complaining say listen this this GUI or this experience is taking way too long for the value that you’re bringing to my business. 

Because technology is disrupted to business right so that’s the first thing they’re going to come and say you’re disrupting my business and you’re just making it harder I’m losing money right specifically in New York right. So I think user experience when it come if you make it flexible enough if you make it interactable enough that a high Lev people within the business say okay all I need to do is click here. I understand this it’s very contextual. I’m done and I mitigate a lot of regulatory requirements with that simple experience you’re going to get kudos from your user your user base and that’s going to say that’s going to give you funding for next year. 

Specifically, if you start graining some credibility with the with the lines of businesses which are now going to fund you can actually deploy something that you want to do in the coming years so user experience is paramount. It’s everything. I see it everywhere nowadays and implementation and everyone will be fine with it. That’s not the case anymore now, it’s got to be highly customizable for the user you know.  

It’s interesting is say that because I think we notice from our perspective that the buying committee so financial service providers who procure identity and access Management Solutions those decisions are no longer just being made in IM departments they’re no longer being made even in its departments. Like I say, the lines of business are driving our agenda and they’re expecting looking at for example something like know your customer KYC checks right there is a direct correlation between customer stickiness/loyalty and upsell and the KYC experience.  

They have all the experience they have when interacting with the call center agent or consistency in their experience when they’re using a web portal versus using a mobile application. So customer experience is becoming much more important and the buying committee and the stakes are improving and I think that’s really pertinent especially at a time when there are so many digital disruptors in the market right and they’re coming in and they’re developing end-to-end experiences that kind of blow the incumbents away. 

So it forces incumbents to completely kind of reimagine their game and think about how can we get more out of IM am Investments right so that’s a great that’s a great point no that’s a great point because you are you are right there is new technology there are new companies that are very well aware of this capitalizing on the user experience and making the incumbent say, “okay I just can’t you know continue to run on my Laurels here. I need to adopt.”  

So that’s definitely happening you see that happening with the incumbents with their Cloud versions that making more usability and better user experience as opposed to you know what they had before to compete against these companies. Now granted, you know you have you have big Financial Services firm are probably going to go with established companies that have a good foundation resource base to support the user as opposed to going to a newer company that may have a better experience.  

But it’s still the competition and you know there’s all there’s always a kind of dollar sterling whichever currency of the world you might be using that that applies. I remember when I was before doing identity, I was working for a biometrics provider and we were in in conversations just when Covid broke out around how some of the biometrics technologies could be rolled out to help streamline customer call center interactions.  

Because obviously most of the branches were closed down during the lockdowns and customers were forced to use digital and use customer call centers and as a the key driver here was not necessarily well want to deliver better customer experience but we have to drive a better ROI because it’s so expensive to deliver an increasing volume of traffic into our call centers right so the kind of dollar amount that comes out of this is also equally as important.  

I would even add time to value. Time to value now is even being talked about I mean we we’re invited as a partner with many of these companies when we do deployments to committees right and they specifically ask you know what’s my time to Value here. 

Because they’re trying to figure out what’s the ROI they’re trying to figure out what is what is the user overall user experience packaged at all are they getting their actual value for what they spent.  

So valid point Adam time to value good point for sure well actually you know that’s again a useful segue into thinking about where are we going to be in the future in this industry you obviously, we talked about a myriad of problems that you know these providers are seeking to address and how they’re using to using identity to help to unlock some of that value.  

But you know we’re seeing that this is one of the most changeable industries globally wherever you go whichever part of the world you’re in this is a highly evolving and highly Innovative industry and you know a lot of our customers that we’re engaging with particularly the big Enterprise Financial service providers they’re not just looking to solve their problems today but they’re also looking to future proof their Investments and they’re looking 10 15 years out right and we’re looking to ensure that identities will be flexible enough to meet those challenges.  

So I’m just wondering if you’re seeing any of that at your end as well yeah I am I mean I think always in the financial services firms are always ahead of the game on this I find them to be the most forward-looking probably because they have budget to do that especially when you know people investing in blockchain and even looking at AI a lot.  

I think a lot of most of my companies are investing in AI looking at you know how can AI help us in the future how can it make our life easier in terms of you know maybe automatic identity verification behavior analytics. Things like that, stuff that would take a very long time and a lot of you look up and spreadsheets. Where now you could have you know someone just do it for you so yeah that’s the trend it’s happening a lot and AI and machine learning is just one of the Avenues that’s you know it’s kind of hot now.  

I think you’ll see everyone talking about it but there are some values there that you know that can be had if deployed correctly. I think we’re still you know couple years away but the Investments are happening now exactly to your point there it’s about being made now for the future and you know from my from my perspective what we’re seeing here certainly in I’m based in the UK so from Amir region and also to a certain extent APAC is this kind of move towards an API-first mentality. 

Some of the most progressive banks that we have here in the UK adopting an API-first mindset where they’re looking to use Financial APIs to help them Drive their embedded finance and agender to help them Drive open banking open finance at the same time meeting compliance requirements which are becoming more and more stringent so that that’s really important and the other thing that we’re seeing as well is that the entire ecosystem is growing very rapidly to deliver those offerings to be in that space to be competitive.  

You need to be able to really ensure that you’re opening up access to your wider ecosystem of third-party providers and with that come risks and again these malicious parties going back to the security angle are frequently targeting those weak vulnerable spots in that so again identity has a big role to play in that perspective as well agreed.  

100% should agree so I mean let’s kind of move on with this and we’ve heard a lot being talked about this kind of concept of I am convergence and I personally you know saw this initially coined by Gartner and Gartner was talking about convergence mostly to describe how across Workforce identity access management convergence across different capabilities across the entire life cycle is really key.  

But actually if we expand that convergence more broadly than that you know I kind of see the convergence is really particularly in this industry is around being able to connect older and be able to meet all the identity use cases so consumer identity use cases Workforce partner trust the third party provider use cases today and tomorrow and again this is not just about authentication so you see on this slide here I’ve listed some of the capabilities that we believe are really critical towards it am convergence and let’s not forget underneath that as well there’s flexibility you know many big financial service providers are saying hey we’ve got a transition to the cloud.  

We believe in the cloud that might be so but many of them are still operating in self-managed and hybrid deployment settings and they’re expecting that flexibility so I’m just wondering what’s your kind of take on the kind of convergence angle within the scope of financial service yeah I think there’s many benefits to that I think you know if you wanted to name some you have you know maybe cross platform compatibility you have integrated Access Control policies. 

Unified identity you know there’s different things that you can harmonize together whereas standing doing it stand alone and just think of the overhead with that as opposed to having a converge model where everything could be handled from One Source right and handle all your policies that way and I think you know a lot a lot of companies are moving towards that are realizing that that this is the correct model to not to deploy it you know it does take some time it take some skill sets there. 

But I think you know if your ROI will outweigh eventually what you currently have today right so there’s no denying you know what convergence brings there’s no denying you know the savings that convergence will bring you and it will take you to the next to the next level of your discipline and you know.   

I’m also having conversations here with some of our customers and partners and they’re saying hey we’re looking to reduce our I am footprint from Circa 12-13 vendors to four it’s quite interestingly enough a lot of them say you know what I want to converge but at the same time I don’t want to give you know any vendor the keys to the kingdom right we’re not going to go from 12 to one we’re going to go from 12 to 4 right.  

Yeah so that consolidation is real and it’s really kind of here to stay particularly in financial services and you know I’m also seeing some of the more progress financial service providers think about how they can use verified credentials how they can use top identity verification capabilities to really differentiate themselves you know from the pack as well so this is not just about the core IM am use cases but also about these kind of more Innovative use cases that are kind of perhaps maybe one or two years from Mass adoption.  

I think you know part of the convergence and we we’ve been experiencing this some in some of our clients it’s the numbers game right I think you get you get a top-down approach depending on the economy to say we you know wow we have X amount of vendors here doing x amount of things. 

Why can’t we just consolidate here and I think you know and one of it is yeah like you said we don’t want to put all our eggs in one basketball one vendor doing everything here and kind of spread out spread the risk out.  

But then, you know, you have to go with start looking at okay what do these companies actually do for me you what are their discipline what are the technologies they’re using. How do they stand out with others? And again, I go back to you know companies like Ping who have been in the industry forever and have a significant footprint here and it’s undeniable you know the best in breed and what companies like. You know in banks will always fall back to that so yeah it’s happening for sure it’s about trust it’s about trust isn’t it at the end of day it’s all about trust that reliability and scale and it’s also about being able to again some of our customers you know to millions or hundreds of millions of identities and it’s like they’re entrusting us with their core business.  

So actually you know from your perspective obviously ping has been working with SIM for a very long time with trusted and established partners and you know how is this looking from a kind of implementation perspective right because you talk about time to value and that implementation piece you know is also important so how are you seeing that kind of converged IAM tool set capability play out and help to kind of facilitate that that kind of deployment. 

I that I think it’s a great question because I think you know us being partners for so long and have been through many deployments and large-scale deployments with large Fortune 500 companies Fortune 100 companies to say the least. And you know it having us both as partners in the times of value that we bring and the ROI that we bring we bring not only we bring Ping’s award-winning platform we also have Simeio that we bring to the table that are fully trained and certified on each platform and have done this with ping with many deployments in different companies and different markets right.  

So we’re able to leverage our experience and come to the client and say this is where you are in terms of your maturity this is where you are in terms of where you want to be and this is how we can bring you to where you want to be in your journey right and along using all Ping offers with all the technologies that they have and that’s that is what a partner does right and that’s brought value to us as a partner to many clients as we solutioned me many deals in the past fascinating and you know I think there there’s also another thing that we should talk about here as well we kind of touched it briefly earlier on talking about the orchestration control plane.  

And again, we’re seeing orchestration is really important and you know many people when I when I on a speaker circuit asking what what’s orchestration and you know ultimately the orchestration is about the process of building testing deploying and iterating those access Journeys across any identity type and we’re seeing that historically particularly of Legacy IM you know these have been kind of hardcoded. 

So in order for you to build a New Journey you got to have the sufficient resource to be able to build them and that’s not really agile and so we’re seeing particularly in financial Services where there’s a kind of a you know a demand for continuous and agile Improvement around how these Journeys work across these access Journeys the orchestration and being able to use these kind of no code Lo Cod access tools to be able to accelerate that is really important so I’m just wondering if you’re seeing that at your end as well. 

I mean orchestration is King like you have it here on a slide. And it goes hand in hand with the user experience right I can’t tell you so many times you know I had a client can tell me you know how do you I need a better Journey. I need a better Journey for my folks are they go you know they the current orchestration is not working how do we how do we make this better? 

Proper orchestration will give you scalability and will bring you compliance. It’ll improve a lot of efficiencies for you and the best bonus about that is it’ll improve the user experience. So when you give the user a good journey through that whole workflow and layer accomplishing a number of things at the ease of use. It’s a win-win for your team who’s actually doing the work tying all the building blocks together have you have you know you have it here in the slide efficiently and mitigating the risks and you get a win-win when the user complies accordingly doing all the services that it needs to do at a high-level rate. 

So orchestration is King and I would say that it equals to user experience as well yep exactly and I think you know certainly when engaging with development teams and Engineering teams there’s this kind of notion of right developer experience as well and I say that might not be the primary purchasing decision. But it certainly features up there and it’s getting more and more prominent. Certainly in UK I noticed that everybody’s talking about the rapid rise of open banking adoption but actually if you look at surveys on the kind of developer ratings on open APIs they’re really low and developers are saying well maybe consumers are taking up open banking services.  

But by the same token these APIs are not developer friendly and so we cannot do as much as we would like to do so that’s equally as important isn’t it that kind of DEX component as well so I agree and tying it back as well you know we talk about you know frequently you when you and I engaging with stakeholders in our worlds you know we talk about this at a kind of a product technology level. 

But it’s I think it’s really important as we discussed before to bring it back to value and we’re seeing that some of our customers have been able to secure a significant increase in the ROI on a on a particularly on the customer identity Nexus management investments. We’re seeing a significant rapid payback on these on these benefits so that value driver is becoming much more of an important consideration so I’m just wondering when you’re engaging with the customers.  

And you helping them deploy how are you helping them to derive value from their investment yeah so that’s a great question like I mentioned before. I mean that’s a question that’s being asked in committees today right only because people are more conscious of what they’re paying people are more conscious of what the deliverables are and then and what we promise right so what we bring to the table is that we have done this before x amount of times we will assign you can and an architect and that and a partner that will help you drive through this. Now granted, yeah, there’s sometimes you know as we know you get many clients that’ll come with a very aggressive schedules and then we have to apply our expertise there and then, you know, deliver on that Time to Value.  

But a lot of that is you know in In fairness I think you know people ask for a lot of things and see what you can deliver and it’s part of our function and my job to just Lea back to you and give you the full understanding of this is what we’re capable of doing at this time and give you your greatest value right to push forward so yeah I mean this is this is something that’s present in all my meetings specifically when it comes around you know the time where we’re getting close to our deliverables to be completed you know and they start measuring okay this is how much we delivered in this amount of time you know this is the value that you’ve given me and a lot of times you know of course you know it this.  

Answering a question like this successfully will generate more business definitely you know and actually when you start tying some of that all together we in the initial title for this webinar is around you know digital maturity and how identity can help to drive that in financial services.  

I mean from my perspective, I think for me those value drivers you know are effectively a marker of digital Maturity right I mean you have technical KPIs that also establish that at scale But ultimately it’s the ROI be able to drive the market share that you can that you can that you can that you can tap into and with excited developments like embedded Finance.  

This is also about new markets that you can tap into right so actually bring it back to that kind of initial question you know how can identity drive you know digital maturity in financial services I if you had to kind of distill that into maybe two or three things that you wanted our audience to take away what would those things be how do how do we drive maturity in digital I mean I think it’s going to it’s going to take us into the world now.  

I keep saying it’s in AI right I think it’s something that we’re seeing more and more things that we’re unable to do today or it requires a lot of ROI or requires a lot of time I think leveraging new tech emerging technologies would be able to mitigate that quickly right and not only in development work. Which is happening, you know, there are a lot of companies that are doing that today that’s being you know vetted but that’s coming again in the future but things like you know RIS space authentication there are there are a lot of global companies that have Global presence globally and how do you how do you maintain security with different restrictions in different countries in a uniform manner.  

That’s a challenge today that requires a lot of man work that requires a lot of advisory teams a lot of audit teams how can technology help you do that right behavioral analytics you know how do you evaluate person’s behaviors in in in different cities different countries right and derive intelligence around that to help you create mitigating controls right automated identity verification and authentication who knows right maybe AI can help you do that in an automated fashion right that there’s many there’s many ways I think that protecting this the digital maturity is going to mature because of these emerging Technologies. And it’s going to happen I think very quickly within the next five to 10 years.  

Adam I believe right it’s going to happen fast yeah we should put a bet on that angel that’s for sure right but we talk about you know AI as well you know AI and machine learning is so important to what we do because from a kind of an access perspective context is King as well right and being able to understand map ingest and then you know use access and risk signals to be able to drive real-time decisioning in those access journeys. 

It’s so important and to your point there it’s not possible to collect and manually you know manage these access signals you need AI in to help you make sense of that introduce the appropriate level of decisioning risk-based access control and you know this is not just about you know I think from my perspective this is not just about the first party access signals but it’s also about the third party access signals and you talk about Biometrics for example and you talk about identity verification, I think Financial service providers from my experience they want extensibility. 

They want one platform that helps to meet these complex identity use cases today and tomorrow but also they W to have you know interoperability with a whole bunch of ID providers a whole bunch of you know risk management SCA providers don’t have to spend six months integrating with each one individually right on just spot on yep 100% yep so that’s kind of bringing all together this is this is this is the challenge tell you what working in this industry is super exciting because it’s moving so fast.  

And it’s changing so quickly so I just think of where we were just you know a year ago at Chad GPT where we are today right that’s how fast it’s moving and that’s how fast the Challen it’s the challenges will grow along with that right as you know the wrong guys the black Hatters will also leverage this technology so we need to keep it into par exactly yeah perhaps next year this time next year we can have another webinar where we talk about these same things but from a different perspective.  

Who knows right so agreed let’s do it let’s do it angel I’m super grateful for you for joining us and taking the time really grateful and we’re super excited to continue our long-standing partnership with Simeio to help to solve our customers’ needs in the financial services industry and beyond. 

 Just before we wrap up, I just wanted to allude to some of these resources that we put together for our audience so feel free to access this deck and be able to use this resources to further read into this. Feel free to contact us obviously if you wish to discuss this further.  

So with that, Angel thank you so much and thank you for having me.  

Yes sir, thank you for having me great time here as always and let’s do it again.