LIVE FROM GSMA MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS SHANGHAI: An increasingly connected world means increasing need for security and one of the best ways to secure user identity is the SIM, claimed Dr. Walter Schlebusch, CEO of Giesecke & Devrient, at the second keynote session of MWC Shanghai’s opening day.
The challenge the industry faces is how to “reconcile the hunger for digital services with the need for digital protection and strike a balance between convenience and security”, reflected Schlebusch.
With six to eight devices per subscriber expected in 2018, “the SIM can be used to flexibly manage millions of devices while generating more revenue and enhancing customer experience” as it ticks four essential boxes: it is personal, secure, portable and universal.
User behaviour shows that any successful service needs to be attractive and easy to access. If registration and authentication processes are too cumbersome, users will break off the transaction or disengage, he explained.
Service providers try to increase security by asking users to create complicated passwords which are too hard to remember, making it necessary to set up password recovery options. All this could be solved through a universal access code via the SIM, he argued, especially now that the phone has become the main entry point to access the internet.
“I’m not talking about one password but a unique code that allows all users to access any digital service in a secure and simple way which will mean no scrambling for passwords.”
He cited GSMA’s Mobile Connect programme as a great example of this, offering convenient yet secure mobile user authentication.
Naturally, this means operators will play a key role in the future of connected devices and will become “indispensable” in the setup of seamless integration of devices and services in the personal digital space.
Benefits for operators are manifold, Schlebusch stated, as new services enhance customer loyalty.
“Safeguarding identity is a precondition without which no business can be conducted and a lasting relationship with the service provider and customer cannot be maintained,” he concluded.