Consumer Identity and Access Management (CIAM) is a fast-growing specialty within Identity and Access Management (IAM). CIAM solutions are designed to address specific technical requirements that consumer-facing organizations have that differ from “workforce” or Business-to-Employee (B2E) use cases typically served by IAM systems. While traditional IAM worked well for the enterprise with internally facing requirements to address their employees, organizations quickly found that they needed to provide a better digital experience as they began reaching out to customers and gathering information about using its products & services.
Consumer IAM systems provision, authenticate, authorize, collect, and store identity and other information about consumers from many and sometimes unauthoritative sources. Improved user experience often manifests through consumers' mobile devices or social networks and provides an easier onboarding experience. CIAM has also diverged from traditional IAM in supporting baseline features for analyzing customer behavior and collecting consent for user data usage and integration into CRM, connected devices, and marketing automation systems.
Although CIAM provides many benefits to the consumer regarding user experience, there are challenges for the organization implementing a CIAM solution. For example, customer identities may be orders of magnitude larger than the employee identities enterprises have been managing. Organizations must also be concerned about privacy compliance, such as GDPR or PSD2, and compliance with new and demanding anti-fraud and other regulations is required.
Figure 1: KuppingerCole CIAM Market Sizing Estimates
Given these challenges, there are also new opportunities created by CIAM: many enterprises plan to use the stream of rich customer data collected in these systems for marketing analyses.
The term “CIAM” encompasses consumers, customers, and citizens, depending on the business or type of interactions a deploying organization has with the end users of their CIAM systems.
Common features of CIAM solutions include:
- Ability to scale consumer or customer identity magnitudes higher than enterprise/workforce IAM systems
- Self-registration for consumers or customers
- Multi-factor authentication options
- Social login support
- Fine-grained access control to resources and data
- Risk-adaptive authentication
- Native, or the inclusion of 3rd-party fraud and compromised credential intelligence
- Marketing analytics based on customer data, built-in or via interface to 3rd-party products
- Privacy and consent management
- Enhanced user experience
- White labeling with the client enterprise’s brand
- Integration with IoT devices linked to customer identities
- Ability to utilized APIs and Software Development Kits (SDKs) for integration of web and mobile apps with the CIAM infrastructure
- Adherence to industry standards and protocols such as JWT, OAuth2, OIDC, and SAML.
In the IAM market in Japan, NRI SecureTechnologies offers its Uni-ID solution as a customer-facing IAM (CIAM) product, supporting both B2C and B2B use cases. It was first developed in 2008, rebranded, and relaunched as Uni-ID Libra in mid-2017. NRI SecureTechnologies became a Nomura Research Institute (NRI) subsidiary in 2000. NRI Secure was the first Japanese company to obtain an OpenID Connect Certification. With its headquarters in Tokyo, NRI Secure provides security consulting and solutions. Currently, NRI Secure claims 20-plus large Japanese automotive, financial, retail, media, and telecom customers with over 100 million consumer identities served by Uni-ID Libra.