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The Link Between Experience and Trust

Think about a recent online interaction. Maybe you were buying something or applying for something. How did the experience make you feel?

A great online experience is simple, fast and reliable. And when that great experience is consistent, it builds trust.

That’s why it’s crucial to understand the link between government service and trust, said Dean Scontras, Vice President of State, Local and Education at Okta. “State and local agencies are modernizing their technology and transforming the way they serve their residents,” Scontras said.

Service Excellence in Government Helps Rebuild Trust

Identity and access management (IAM) are critical infrastructure for digital services, according to Scontras. “Every online experience starts with identity,” he said. “When your identity infrastructure is simple, secure and reliable, your overall service quality improves dramatically.”

Scontras said two specific capabilities have the biggest impact.

Strong, multi-factor authentication. “It might seem counterintuitive,” Scontras said, “because traditionally strong security controls meant more end user friction. But that’s no longer true. We help agencies protect their residents’ personal information, while also making multi-factor authentication simple and easy.”

Single sign-on. “The average American interacts with many different agencies over their lifetime,” Scontras said, “but legacy government technology forced people to create different accounts and re-enter their information for each agency separately. Today, we’re enabling agencies to provide a single, secure account with single sign-on across agencies. That kind of simple, seamless experience goes a long way toward rebuilding trust in government.”

An Inviting Experience Without Inviting Fraud

Pandemic unemployment fraud cost an estimated $45.6 billion, according to the Labor Department. Does simplified online experience make it too easy for fraudsters?

“Absolutely not,” Scontras said. “The problem is outdated technology that lacks modern identity-proofing and authentication.” For example, some bad actors used the Social Security numbers of federal prisoners to apply for state unemployment benefits.

Okta and its identity-proofing partners put a stop to the scheme. “We helped states stem the tide of fraud in a matter of days, while also easing the heavy operational load that bots and fraudsters created on government systems, Scontras said. “They were able to provide important benefits faster to the people who needed them.”

Cloud-Based, Modern Identity for Government

Okta is the modern identity cloud for government, providing the complete and universal set of capabilities that improve cyber posture and improve digital experiences. Identity is also the first pillar of zero trust, the modern cybersecurity approach that all levels of government are adopting.

“At Okta, our mission is to enable the government to deliver on its mission: serving the American people,” Scontras said. “We power IT and cyber modernization, improve online experiences, and stop identity theft and fraud. And we’re even helping state and local governments find the grant funding they need to get started. Once they’ve begun their identity journey with Okta, the great improved efficiency and service uptime pays for the rest.”

This article first appeared in “Your Guide to Building Constituent Engagement,” which offers ideas on how to increase engagement with your community.

Photo by Joshua Hoehne on Unsplash

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