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Overheard at the KuppingerCole European Identity and Cloud Conference 2022

Overheard at the KuppingerCole European Identity and Cloud Conference 2022

July 12, 2022 | Anastasios Arampatzis

The European Identity and Cloud Conference 2022, hosted by KuppingerCole Analysts, was held in Berlin. The lineup of sessions, talks and tracks highlighted a key message – identity is the foundation for success for every modern enterprise.

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A shift of focus: identities the driver, composable enterprise

IT teams must ensure that products and services being created are safe, secure, reliable, and available. Cybersecurity and identity today are at the forefront of the digital business, with identity being an enabler and zero trust cybersecurity acting as the foundation for secure delivery.

As Martin Kuppinger noted in his opening keynote, new themes are now emerging. “Decentralized technologies” such as Blockchain and “composable enterprise” in the form of orchestration, APIs, and business processes. Organizations can leverage identity, security, and decentralized technologies in the framework of a composable enterprise (where an organization moves away from single, large applications and leverages the API economy, as explained here).

Identities are the driver behind all evolving business models, said Anil Bhandari of ARCON TechSolutions. Identities are enablers of growth, efficiency and enhanced digital experience.

Decentralized technologies

The promise of an economy based on decentralized technologies puts the user into the center of everything – business transactions, ownership information, and any kind of data representing humans or machines through credentials and tokens. Decentralized technologies also enable a world without intermediaries where individuals interact directly with any type of institution or individual – to buying stock, consuming content, buying an apartment or a vehicle, lending money or gaining access to a service.

The decentralized economy has attracted an unprecedented level of innovation and creativity. For example, more than 200,000 developers are writing code on Ethereum, making it the fastest maturing distributed ledger right now. We are witnessing a growing number of start-ups disrupting traditional business models in the finance industry and beyond. But we also see the growing risk associated to this dramatic technological and economical shift.

Crypto Scams hit decentralized systems hard

Crypto scams and fake digital wallets destroy both the credibility of decentralized initiatives and “traditional” security. The damage caused by breaches exploiting such weaknesses can be significantly higher in decentralized systems than anywhere else. 

To secure the decentralized future of enterprises, we need to:

  • Understand the fundamentals of a composable enterprise
  • Utilize decentralized identities (also known as Self-Sovereign Identity) as the core element of a secure, user-centric world
  • Create, manage and license digital assets in Web 3.0 through new standards, protocols and technologies such as the Interplanetary File System (IPFS)
Identity and privacy

Maybe the most intriguing speech was the one delivered by Dr. Emilio Mordini, Chair of the Ethical Committee of the European Association of Biometrics.

Privacy is often confused with personal data protection. “The confusion between privacy and personal data protection has generated a technical conception of privacy, framed in terms of risk management and technical ability to protect or to penetrate the (informational) private sphere,” argued Dr. Mordini. Therefore, most privacy issues have turned into issues concerning various degree of data anonymity and ownership.

However, there is a distinct difference: Personal data is an economic asset. Privacy is about individuality.

In other words, we are confusing money with persons. “Privacy is the integrity of our identities in relation with other people and our social context.”  Personal identity means that each person is unique. Dr. Emilio Mordini concluded that “Privacy, Identity and Dignity are thus the three facets of a same prism. To protect one of them, you must protect them all.”

The European Identity and Cloud Conference 2023 will take place in Berlin, on May 9-12, 2023.

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About the author

Anastasios Arampatzis
Anastasios Arampatzis

Anastasios Arampatzis is a retired Hellenic Air Force officer with over 20 years of experience in evaluating cybersecurity and managing IT projects. He works as an informatics instructor at AKMI Educational Institute, while his interests include exploring the human side of cybersecurity.

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