From employee badges to student IDs, identity management remains an integral part of access control and physical security.

However, traditionally physical forms of ID may become obsolete within the next decade, according to Jesse Franklin, Senior Vice President U.S. & Canada at Incode.

Benefits of digital identity management

Digital authentication has risen in adoption throughout the past decade, and user demand increased due to the COVID-19 pandemic due to the contactless nature of digital solutions, according to Franklin. "In a recent third-party survey conducted among 1,000 respondents, an increasingly large number of [users] agree that they would commit to a fully digital lifestyle where they could use digital authentication for all daily processes," said Franklin.

Aside from convenience, users have shown a concern for the security of their personal information, according to Franklin. "Personal information has become more sensitive than ever following spikes of cybercrime and identity theft, making [users] more attentive to how their personal information is being used and stored," he continued.

"In fact, our research shows that most [users] think that authentication conducted digitally would be more secure than legacy methods for accessing money at a financial institution."

Preparing for the digital ID wave

The digital identity management wave is already here, with the pandemic catalyzing a shift to online and contactless security. Franklin expects this shift to extend into the long term.

"By 2030, I predict that physical forms of identification will be obsolete, with all, if not most, businesses having some form of digital authentication in place," he said.

Security leaders looking to make the shift in their organization can follow the below steps to securely update their identity management systems. "Enterprise security leaders should prepare to convert their systems to become fully reliant on digital authentication methods," said Franklin. 

"First, they need to fully analyze their organization’s security posture and vulnerabilities in order to activate a successful authentication system. They then must activate a secure database, regularly updating their records of those barred from building access who may pose using false credentials. Digital authentication technology will continue to advance and will soon become the standard for all physical security settings."