How Digital Identity Supports the Remote Workforce


In the recent past, you needed to report to work physically and stay the usual 8 hours a day in the office. However, that’s not the case today.  Things have changed very first as people continue to embrace remote working, thanks to technology and innovation. 

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many enterprises have managed to shift online with their customers and employees and can now enroll and authenticate information without meeting face-to-face.

Common Challenges with Remote Workforce

Without digital identity in place, many organizations face various challenges in managing and establishing trusted connections. That’s why businesses are exploring avenues to maintain the work cultures, security, and efficiency through digital identity, without which can lead to breaches, system outages, and insecure access, among other disruptions.

Some of the most common security challenges that come with the remote workforce include:

Secure Networks

With employees working in a variety of different locations, ensuring that each employee has a secure network to log onto can be challenging. This can be helped by making sure employees don’t use any free or public Wi-Fi sources. 

Access Management

Access management is key for the remote workforce. Ensuring that employees only have access to the things that are relevant for their role is important for preventing unnecessary data breaches and keeping confidential information in the hands of only those who own them. 

Security Breaches

One of the biggest fears of employers while managing a remote workforce is to have a security breach. In fact, 80% of security breaches result from issues brought about by remote work.  It is important to take preventative measures like multi-factor authentication and not storing your passwords to ensure that your information is kept safe. 

What is Digital Identity?

Digital identity is the process whereby computer systems give information in a digital form about a person’s real identity, organization, application, device, or business entity. It helps organizations protect their operations and customers against fraud through proper assessment and authentication of a user.

Digital identity creates a platform for web interaction with a business system without human operations. It also mediates relationships and allows both parties to perform online transactions.

Some of the attributes that make up your digital identity include login credentials, birth date, social security number, medical history, online search history, online accounts, online comments, etc. 

Benefits of Digital Identity

Digital identity can be beneficial to several aspects of your business.

Check out the different ways you can leverage digital identity during hiring and onboarding, employee management, and many others.

Hiring and Onboarding Employees

Usually, hiring an employee would take place in an office and physically, and you’d meet in person with the candidate. Unfortunately, it’s not the way it was before.

Digital transformation now allows you to hire employees virtually with ease. However, you need to ensure that you’re interviewing the right person for the position.

It would be best to verify that the candidate is not a cybercriminal with malicious intentions against your organization. Some people can forge documents or certification during the hiring process with the hope of getting the job.

Digital identity plays a crucial role in identifying such issues. The technology helps to extract data from the presented documents and verify using authentic techniques. It enables you to compare the candidate’s identification against the provided documentation.

If the candidate has no good intentions, it’s possible to identify and stop the hiring process before employing someone that can harm the company.

Various secure digital identification platforms help organizations to complete the hiring process with ease while working remotely. Without this solution, it may not be possible to hire and onboard a new employee remotely.

Efficient Remote Work Operations

As employees embrace working from home, organizations need to ensure that the staff passwords and accounts are secure. It should also ensure quick account recoveries from a trusted entity.

To fight the risks associated with sensitive information such as customer details and employee passwords, organizations need to protect the information from data leaks.

That’s why digital identity and access management remain crucial components for adequate remote workforce safety. The solutions help in the verification and identification of people accessing the data no matter where they are.

Effective Customer Service Experience

Today, most customers transact online anytime and anywhere; hence, the need for organizations to embrace digital transformation. During online transactions, customers use personal details such as account numbers and PINs. They need to key in the details to complete an online transaction.

There is a need to verify customer identity to ensure that the transaction matches their details in a world where there are high rates of identity theft and fraud risks. Organizations that continue to embrace digital identity while doing remote work have seen the benefits.

For some organizations, onboarding customers now take a few minutes, unlike when it would take days. There is also a faster turn-around during onboarding, and enterprises can now serve more customers efficiently. High levels of accuracy are also an added advantage that creates better compliance for organizations due to reduced errors.

Know Your Employees Remotely

During office meetings, you know who is present and with whom you share the confidential company information. You’re sure that the data is in safe hands since you can see everyone during the physical meeting. But that doesn’t apply to remote working, probably with team members that you last saw a few months back, and you may not be sure who the person is.

It’s possible that employees’ accounts and passwords were hacked, and you could be sharing information with a scammer because the person is not physically with you.

The good thing is that digital identity has a solution to that. It provides instant employee biometric identification and authentication. Employees can take a face pic and upload it for quick verification to help you know who you’re sharing the company information with.

Tips for Employers Managing a Remote Workforce

For those who are managing a remote workforce, the following tips are essential in ensuring security.

Set Expectations

You need to make sure your employees are aware of any and all expectations you have starting upfront. This includes any security, communication, and performance expectations you have. 

Use Two-Factor Authentication or Single Sign-on

It is commonly required to input your login and a password when logging into an account. Two-factor authentication adds another layer to your individual security. For example, it asks for another factor which could be a physical token or a personal question. A lot of people tend to use the same password across different logins or they use something they can easily remember. This often causes passwords to be easily hacked. This is why adding a two-factor authentication can help keep your accounts from being hacked. 

Single sign-on, on the other hand, uses a third party to verify users. This allows employees to only have to sign once and allows them to navigate the websites and applications that they have access to. 

Give Employees Company Devices

Remote workers can’t help but use their personal devices. However, this can lead to many problems. When employees start mixing personal work with company work, third party applications could cause data breaches.

Using company equipment not only can keep employees from mixing personal business with the company, but also allow employers to have a little more control over the software and security measures placed on the device. 

Encourage or Require Employees to Use Trusted VPNs

Using public or free Wi-Fi can cause data breaches. It is important for employees to access their work accounts on a trusted Virtual Private Network (VPN) or secure Wi-Fi networks.

Have Regular Backups

Especially while working from home, it is important to ensure that your employees routinely back up their devices. This helps prevent data loss. 

Set Up Regular Video Calls

In this day and age, it might be more important to set up regular video meetings than you would in the office. Not only does this help your communication efforts with your employees, but also helps you verify your employee is who they say they are.

Give Security Training

Ignorance can be detrimental to a company. One of the best things you can do is to simply teach your employees good cybersecurity practices such as how to spot phishing emails or password good practices to keep your company and themselves safe online. 

The Bottom Line

A digital solution that increases security, assurance, and flawless user experience while working from home can be the backbone of your enterprise’s success. The secret is to put stringent measures in place to authenticate identity. A sound digital identity solution with combined multiple layers of verification will help combat fraud, viruses, and other disruptions. When you know who you’re dealing with, you can be sure that your online interactions are safe. 

There is a huge possibility that the trend of companies switching to remote work is here to stay. Keep your company and your employees safe online by utilizing these tips on how digital identity can be used to support your remote workforce.  

About the Author

Abby Drexler is a contributing writer and media specialist on behalf of OneLogin. She graduated from the University of Tennessee with a major in Public Relations. She regularly produces content for a variety of technology and business sites. 



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