What is Identity Proofing and Why Do You Need it?

The global market for identity and access management was $9.53 billion USD in 2018 and is expected to reach $24.76 billion USD by the end of 2026, showing a CAGR of 13.2% during the forecast year.

identity proofing market size in North America from 2017 to 2028

The identity and access market is growing at an unprecedented rate, due, in part, to the rising need for compliance management and the demand for mobility solutions.

In the case of an avoidable data breach, the costs come in the form of compromised data, lost resources, and fines under privacy legislation, such as the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).

The ability to accurately validate a user’s identity is key to any security infrastructure because of these very real concerns, making identity proofing a necessity. 

What is Identity Proofing?

Identity Proofing is the process of validating a user’s identity, or proving that they are who they claim to be. Though this process may appear to be standard authentication, such as a username and password combination, identity proofing is actually conducted before users receive their credentials to access an application or in conjunction with traditional authentication.

Identity Proofing of a girl with mobile
Facial recognition software scans the face of young woman holding smart phone at home

An identity proofing system includes:

  • Claimed identity: Information about a user’s declared identity when they register with an IAM system (who they claim to be).
  • Actual identity: Information that proves a user’s identification is genuine (who they are).

Identity proofing’s ultimate goal is to confirm that a user’s stated identity corresponds to their actual identity. In other words, that their identity is genuine and not made up or stolen. As a result, identity proofing is a first-line defense against today’s identity perimeter attacks.

How does Identity Proofing Work?

Before providing user access to your system, standard ways to verify identification include using life history (e.g., a credit report), biometrics (e.g., a facial scan), along with other variables. Additionally, you can manually verify your users’ identities by requiring them to present paper evidence (e.g., a copy of their passport) or by using online meeting technologies, like Zoom, to conduct an interactive verification.

Though many of us are used to using these methods in the past, they’re time-consuming, manual processes that do not scale well and inevitably detract from your users’ experience.

In today’s tech-dominated global environment, adopting virtual ways of identity proofing is the most streamlined and efficient way to go. However, there are certain guidelines that you should follow:

  • Strength: Obtain official identification documents as proof of identity
  • Validity: Verify the documents’ authenticity
  • Activity: Use other records to track the prevalence of the identity through time
  • Identity Fraud: Assess the danger of identity fraud by comparing it to the national fraud database
  • Verification: Ensure that the identity claimed belongs to the person who claims it

This virtual process can be completed automatically with the identity proofing system taking the following steps: gather information about the user, verify their claimed identity matches their actual identity, and accept their registration or access request.

All of these steps occur in real-time, without the need for human interaction, resulting in a secure authentication system that does not compromise the user’s experience.

Key Benefits of Identity Proofing

  • Accelerates Brand Value: Given how cyberattacks influence a company’s finances, reputation, and, most importantly, customer experience, anyone considering doing business with a company will undoubtedly investigate the robustness of a company’s cybersecurity. Identity proofing dramatically reduces cyberthreats and projects a company’s public image as a brand that cares about its customers’ security.
  • Enhanced Operational Efficiency: The saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is apparent when looking at the effects of cyberattacks versus proactively blocking those attacks.. The consequences of cyberattacks are difficult to manage and reduce an organization’s operational efficiency. However, implementing identity proofing blocks unauthorized access, dramatically reducing cyberattacks.  This Preemptively implementing identity proofing allows businesses to focus on establishing better security systems rather than constantly repairing the damage caused by cyberattacks.
  • Mitigating Identity Theft: During February 2019, an unauthorized entity gained access to an inactive data store at Capital One, exposing the names, e-mail addresses, and IP addresses of 106 million customers. Identity proofing helps avert these kinds of  potential data breaches at their source. Unauthorized users are prevented from accessing critical systems or records because a user’s identity is verified.

Identity Proofing Solutions

Identity Proofing from Imageware is a configurable turnkey solution that allows businesses to authenticate users’ identities as part of a seamless digital onboarding process.

To establish their identification, new users can take a photograph of their driver’s license or other government-issued ID card using their phone, and then take a selfie or provide additional identifying information as needed.

The Imageware Digital Identity Platform, comprising a comprehensive set of turnkey applications and sophisticated platform services that support the whole digital identity lifecycle, handles identity creation, onboarding, proofing, identity authentication, and user identification. To learn more visit here.


Cyber-attacks are becoming more common as businesses and people become more reliant on technology and cloud-based ecosystems. The advantages of identity proofing and cybersecurity are frequently overlooked by many businesses.

By enhancing privacy, the identity proofing process aids in creating a trustworthy brand in the minds of your customers.