July 16, 2012

Passwords, Passwords, Passwords! You’ll find password management consistently near the top of any list of agent pain points. The choice that independent agents offer is a fantastic value proposition for consumers; however, the ability to offer choice brings with it the complexity of managing the myriad passwords and password protocols associated with each carrier.

In order to address this agent concern, I’ve joined representatives from other insurance companies, vendors and trade organizations to form the ID Federation, Inc. Our mission is to promote information security and identity management for trusted transactions across the financial services and insurance industries for purposes including but not limited to reducing transaction friction, lowering cost and bolstering independent agent access.

Using the guiding principles of:

  • Security
  • Efficiency/Ease of Doing Business
  • Cost Reduction
  • Interoperability, and
  • Standardization
we aim to create and promote the adoption of standards that solve for this complexity.

IMPORTANT TERMS AND CONCEPTS
  1. Federation — Refers to technology used to accomplish our mission of removing multiple passwords
  2. Trust Framework — Also known as operating rules, this document contains the business, legal, and technical rules which implement federation technology
  3. Trust Framework Entity — The entity, ID Federation Inc., owns the Trust Framework documentation and its strategic direction

Our work will benefit independent agents by moving them from the sticky note nightmare of managing multiple password protocols to a simple, secure logon, no matter which carriers or vendor solution they use. Carriers and vendors will be able to lower their help desk operating costs by eliminating frequent password reset requests and authentication issues. Management system vendors will have standardized technical implementations and common legal agreements that enable them to offer products that connect agents to multiple carriers, and by managing authentication for all applications centrally, they can reduce coding and maintenance, and more efficiently scale authentication.