Identity, Security Program Controls/Technologies

The most overhyped identity trends, according to cybersecurity investors

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Abstract virtual fingerprint illustration on a modern coworking room background, personal biometric data concept.

LAS VEGAS — Cyber solution providers are often quick to tout their offerings as the hot new trend. For both potential product users and product investors, the object is the same: separate the truly promising solutions that are ready to take off from those that are more likely to grow slowly or fizzle out.

At the CyberRisk Alliance’s 2023 Identiverse conference in Las Vegas, a panel of cyber investors and innovators offered their takes on which identity and access concepts are overhyped — at least for now, until further advancements are made or certain obstacles are overcome. Here’s what they had to say:

Bob Anderson, VP of private equity firm Great Hill Partners

“Right now, there are a lot of companies that are trying to build identity wallets and reusable credentials. Long-term, I absolutely believe that that’s a smart play. But I think it’s going to take a lot longer for those companies to actually get traction … and there are going to be fewer winners, long-term, in the space than people are expecting. [That’s] one area that I'm less bullish. …”

Kathleen Peters, chief innovation officer at data analytics and consumer credit reporting company Experian

“One that I think is going to eventually materialize, but … is going to take some time is verification of children online. There are a lot of states that are passing legislation right now who want to make sure — for the safety of children — that we validate [that] they can use certain applications, see certain content, that kind of thing. I think some of the initial ideas are coming from some of the state legislatures about having parents scan their driver’s licenses. Every time A kid wants to watch a TikTok, it’s just not going to work. So I think there’s a lot to do there. … This is going to be a really tough challenge and a lot of opportunity for innovation, frankly.”

Identiverse panelists
From left: Identiverse investors panel moderator Travis Jarae, CEO of Liminal; with panelists Bob Anderson, of Great Hill Partners; Kathleen Peters, of Experian; and Visa's James Mirfin. (Bradley Barth/CyberRisk Alliance)

James Mirfin, global head of risk and identity solutions at Visa:

Biometric identification … I think the adoption of that at scale retail [will be challenging.] And your average consumer today doesn’t understand, necessarily, the difference between [using] biometrics on their device and walking in and scanning their face or their palms and other biometric[s] in store. And so I think with the regulatory environment and privacy environment, and just the consumer education side of things I think that's probably [an example of an over-hyped concept].”

Bradley Barth

As director of multimedia content strategy at CyberRisk Alliance, Bradley Barth develops content for online conferences, webcasts, podcasts video/multimedia projects — often serving as moderator or host. For nearly six years, he wrote and reported for SC Media as deputy editor and, before that, senior reporter. He was previously a program executive with the tech-focused PR firm Voxus. Past journalistic experience includes stints as business editor at Executive Technology, a staff writer at New York Sportscene and a freelance journalist covering travel and entertainment. In his spare time, Bradley also writes screenplays.

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