Five key trends that will shape digital identity and security in 2022

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[ This article was originally published here ]

As we ring in the new year, I asked my colleagues from around the Digital Identity & Security business to share their thoughts about the technologies that will shape 2022.  

From connected healthcare and 5G through to identity wallets and sustainable finance, continue reading to discover which innovations will take central stage this year.   

Medical IoT will continue to be of the utmost importance  

Something which, out of necessity, has been a big feature in the last couple of years isn’t set to go away any time soon. The entire world is still in the grip of a global pandemic which makes leveraging all modern options for safe, resilient and flexible patient care as important as one could imagine. Remote consultations and digital treatment methods are becoming more widely adopted, and the acceptance of wearable medical devices continues to grow, which means a closer connection between patient and practitioner. 

What’s more, an increasing number of hospitals are adopting smart technologies, cloud platforms, and connected surgical equipment that leverage AI and real time communications to speed diagnosis, improve treatment or even to conduct remote surgery miles away while reducing costs. Of course, keeping patient data private and secure is paramount as connected healthcare takes off. 

Increased adoption of identity wallets for citizens  

Identity theft and financial fraud increased massively over the past couple of years, with fraudsters taking advantage of vulnerable people during the pandemic to get access to their personal information and assets. In 2020, consumers in the US alone lost over $56bn to identity fraud. Fortunately, technologies such as digital identity wallets exist today to not only provide citizens with more peace of mind around their personal data, but also to help them access public services more easily.  

2022 will see a rapid investment in digital technologies such as identity wallets to enhance the operations of governments and citizens around the world. These provide a “trusted, yet convenient and scalable ways to verify and share identity data between parties in a transaction”, according to Gartner®’s Hype CycleTM for Digital Government Technology 2021 report. Digital identity wallets promise citizens greater control over their data while offering service providers the capability to enable new service models that depend on sharing identity data.  

With the European Commission recommending member states to issue digital identity wallets from next year, we’re likely to see many EU countries starting to adopt this technology in 2022.  

Embracing sustainable practices in finance  

Consumers around the world are now more than ever demanding sustainable initiatives from businesses. We’ve already seen large financial institutions and banks taking steps towards becoming greener by offering green loans to businesses. They are also encouraging consumers to adopt digital statements and online banking that help reduce the use of paper and associated transportation activities.  

Incorporating practices like card recycling as well as eco-friendly products such as the Ocean Plastic® Card made of reclaimed marine plastic waste collected by Parley for the Oceans, has also been front of mind for many financial services organisations in the past year. Furthermore, banks such as Italy’s Findomestic have started switching their entire cards portfolio from PVC to PLA eco-sustainable cards, and in 2022 we’re going to see many more following suit! By changing to sustainable card options, banks help divert plastic used in the estimated 6 billion cards made globally from the waste stream.

Accelerated digital transformation for people and things  

The digital transformation of industries that commenced a few years ago and was significantly accelerated by the pandemic, will continue to take central stage for many organisations this year. eKYC and enrollment systems are critical enablers of the digital experience. Combined with a rapid adoption of eSIMand5Gthese technologies will continue to reshape the operating environment and create a host of new possibilities for telecom operators.  

2022 will see the introduction of even more eSIM-capable devices, enabling instant connectivity for users, anytime and anywhere. Recent announcements by Apple and Visible, requiring operators to prepare for eSIM, will trigger a boost in eSIM adoption. There will also be an increase in use of eSIM in the cellular IoT domain. For example, we’ll see commercial drones gaining further momentum, with innovative use cases that are currently in pilot stages becoming mainstream. As the technology continues to mature, we’ll see a growth in drone-led applications across a multitude of sectors in 2022 including delivery, energy, inspection, emergency services and agriculture. Other IoT use cases, like smart cities, will also benefit from eSIM technologies.

2022 will be the year of mandatory multi-factor authentication  

Organisations have long struggled with the implementation of Multi-factor Authentication (MFA), balancing data protection against ease of use and convenience for employees. However, in 2022 huge industry players such as Google and Salesforce are deciding to make MFA a requirement to access certain services. With attacks on the rise and many other providers expected to follow suit, companies will need to rethink their relationship with the security practice, particularly in line with the rise of remote and hybrid working. 

What are the key trends in IoT, mobile, payments and authentication you’re expecting to see dominating in 2022? Let us know in the comments below or by tweeting us @ThalesDigiSec. 

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