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What is an Identity Authority?

What is an Identity Authority?

In today’s interconnected world, the concept of online identity has evolved well beyond mere usernames and passwords.

Without authenticating your identity online, you are exposing your business to identity theft, lost customer trust, and possible severe financial losses due to compliance violations. As a result, ensuring trust online has become a key priority for businesses that extensively rely on digital interactions.

Identity Authorities are the bodies responsible for managing and authenticating digital identities. In this blog, we will introduce you to the role of Identity Authorities in boosting trust and how they can help you – as a channel partner – manage multiple digital identities securely. 

The Complex Landscape of Digital Identity

Maintaining and managing digital identities can get quite complicated, especially if your business is growing.

Scale of Digital Interactions

In today’s always-on world, many organisations are heavily dependent on digital communications and electronic transactions, which increases the attack surface for data breaches and other cyber security threats, as well as identity theft.

In the digital economy world, having verifiable digital IDs is essential for maintaining customers' privacy and protecting sensitive information.

A digital ID or digital certificate is used to verify the identity of individuals or organisations on the internet to increase customer trust and prevent financial losses due to identity theft or compliance violations.

Managing Multiple Identities

Managing multiple identities can be quite complex and risky. Within your organisation, the same user may have more than one physical or logical identity on different systems. These include passwords, user IDs, and permissions.

As your organisation grows, having multiple identities for so many users can present numerous security and management challenges.

Digital certificates issued by Identity Authorities enable you to focus on your core business while making sure that your digital IDs are properly and managed and maintained by a trusted entity.

What is an Identity Authority?

An Identity Authority is an entity that verifies individuals and organisations on the internet and issues digital certificates for them.

Roles and Responsibilities

The primary roles and responsibilities of an Identity Authority include:

  • Issue or revoke digital certificates
  • Protect personal identity data
  • Verify and authenticate identities
  • Encrypt user-server connections to prevent intercepting cyber attacks
  • Increase trust over the internet
  • Provide access policies and controls to prevent unauthorised access to sensitive data
  • Maintain audit trails related to digital identity activities
  • Manage different user attributes for each digital identity
  • Maintain compliance with regional and international compliance standards

Benefits for Businesses

Working with a reputable Identity Authority offers a range of advantages for your business, which include:

  • Improved security. High-profile Identity Authorities utilise rigorous verification processes before issuing businesses digital certificates, minimising the chance of identity theft and data compromises.
  • Increased customer trust. Partnering with a reputable Identity Authority can make customers more willing to benefit from your products or services.
  • Compliance. Different compliance standards enforce strict identity verification and data protection controls. Partnering with a trustful Identity Authority that complies with relevant regulatory compliance standards enables your business to maintain compliance, establish a chain of trust, and enhance brand reputation.
  • Free up resources. Outsourcing the entire process of managing and maintaining digital identities allows you to focus on value-adding business activities while also keeping your digital identities safe.
  • Global influence. Public Certificate Authorities (CAs) operate globally, so a digital certificate from a reputable identity authority enables you to expand to new markets in different parts of the world.


Why You Should Partner with an Identity Authority

If you’re a channel partner, collaborating with an Identity Authority can upgrade your game you on several fronts.

Credential Management

For channel partners, focusing on your core business initiatives while also handling your complex credential management needs can be challenging.

An Identity Authority takes the entire credential management process off your plate. It continuously verifies and issues digital certificates for new users and revokes compromised certificates, with little involvement from your side. As a result, you’ll be able to direct your time and resources more effectively, while also maintaining security and trust across your entire digital landscape.

Enhanced Security

An Identity Authority offers advanced security solutions that ensure safer transactions and a higher level of security for your organisation across different customer-facing and internal touchpoints.

By authenticating your organisation’s domains and identities, your customers can safely and trustfully conduct transactions with your business.

Moreover, Identity Authorities help you become less reliant on passwords for internal identity and access management. While passwords may be fine in certain situations, they are not your best bet when it comes to protecting mission-critical data as they could easily be compromised with phishing attacks and other threats. Identity Authorities enable you to issue digital certificates for every individual in your organisation, ensuring enhanced security that passwords cannot match.


Identity Authorities issue and maintain a large number of identities and certificates. Hence, they utilise flexible cloud-based resources to ensure their systems can handle a virtually unlimited number of identities.

This provides your business with the ability to request more digital certificates as it grows and scales. Further, you only have to pay for the resources you use, so you only need to pay additional fees when your organisation scales and its identity management needs grow, all without disrupting your current processes or exposing your data to risk.


Reputable Identity Authorities demonstrate their commitment to protecting and authenticating digital identities by complying with different data protection compliance standards, such as PCI DSS, GDPR, and HIPAA.

Hence, when you partner with a compliant Identity Authority, you’re inherently indicating your dedication to meeting rigorous compliance requirements and keeping your prospective clients’ data safe.

For your clients, establishing a chain of trust is crucial to maintain compliance. If your client is committed to meeting compliance requirements, they’d seek out channel partners that also display a similar level of commitment to maintain that compliance. Thus, partnering with an Identity Authority can boost your credibility as a channel partner in the eyes of your prospects.

Why Choose GlobalSign as Your Identity Authority?

Track Record

With over 25 years serving clients as a Certificate Authority, we have more than 60 million certificates relying on our infrastructure. Since 1996, our commitment to tackling customers' pain points and tailor solutions around their unique needs have ensured robust online trust and more business opportunities for our partners. Having earned WebTrust’s accreditation in 2001, you have peace of mind that your digital identities are safe and trusted.

Service Offerings

For decades, we have constantly developed a wide range of innovative solutions that introduced new technologies to the market and raised the bar high with new industry standards.

Our Certificate Management and Automation solutions enable you to manage multiple digital certificates without footprint. Using solutions like the Atlas digital identity platform, managed PKI, and document signing, you can maintain a secure online presence and reach new heights with your products and services.

On top of that, we offer digital signature and seal solutions that let you keep your documents secure, optimise your workflows, and control your chain of trust. These include a Signing Service, Advanced & Qualified Signatures, Electronic Signatures, GMO Sign, and Custom CA/Private PKI.

We also offer a wide array of root and intermediate digital certificates that help you maintain a secure digital identity and boost online trust. These include:

  • SSL/TLS certificates  
  • Managed SSL 
  • Cloud SSL 

Additionally, we offer Access Control and Authentication services that let you control which users or devices can access key areas of your network. These include:

  • User Authentication 
  • Mobile Device Authentication 
  • Machine and Server Authentication 

Take the Next Step

Identity authorities have reshaped the way digital identities are managed and maintained. 

As a channel partner, partnering with the right Identity Authority can help you maintain compliance, increase security and trust, boost efficiency, and effortlessly scale your digital identity management needs.

Reach out to us now at to discuss how we can help you secure your digital identity.

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