Identity proofing | an easy to understand explanation of an essential business security process

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Last updated on December 6th, 2023 at 12:13 pm

The process of identity proofing is garnering renewed interest lately. As reputable businesses and savvy consumers work to protect themselves from the alarming increase in digital crime, identity theft, and fraud during the Covid-19 pandemic, the demand for proven security measures that mitigate the escalating risks has steadily grown to become one of the most critically urgent issues facing companies today. To meet this demand, business leaders must routinely take a hard look at their own security procedures and investigate the efficacy of their organizational defenses.

ID proofing has always been an essential part of business security and continues to be one of the most crucial processes an organization must regularly carry out. So, what is it – and why is it so important?

Identity proofing definition

Identity proofing, also called identity verification, is the process of authenticating a presented identity prior to the issuance of credentials or the completion of a financial transaction. Put simply, identity proofing is the activity of confirming that someone is who they say they are. 

In contrast to the common idea of identity verification – entering a username and password – identity proofing is what happens before an account can be established and credentials are given to an individual or business. This process can either be conducted in-person with document hardcopies or completed digitally with document scans and biometric software (i.e. facial recognition). Anyone who has gone through the arduous process of getting an ID card at the DMV is probably all too familiar with the standard in-person identity proofing process. 

Why is identity proofing important?

Verifying that a person is legitimately who they present themselves to be has obvious benefits for an organization, particularly if it engages in business that allows for the establishment of individual digital accounts. Moreover, unless an organization incorporates a zero trust architecture framework into their digital infrastructure, identity proofing is often the last opportunity a company has to prevent malicious actors from accessing sensitive information and critical systems.  

In some industries, such as financial services and insurance, thorough identity proofing efforts are required to maintain compliance with Anti-Money Laundering (AML) laws and Know Your Customer (KYC) regulations. While originally developed to help fight organized crime, these regulations have expanded to include any financial transaction that generates value as the result of a crime. 

In the case of rising cybercrime, which has become increasingly more sophisticated, thorough identity proofing standards established with the help of experienced security professionals will not only help prevent criminal infiltration into company systems, but it also works to protect the innocent victims of identity theft who might otherwise face financial ruin through no fault of their own.  

Protecting your assets

The last thing a company needs today is to suddenly discover that they are the newest cybercrime statistic, or that someone they are involved in a business relationship with was never who they said they were. That’s why it’s vital that organizations consult with identity proofing professionals when developing their verification protocols.

The experienced teams at have the industry-specific expertise that companies need to develop a solution that works for them, and provide clients with a level of identification services excellence that helps ensure an identity proofing process is accurate and effective – the first time.

Another blog you may like: The History of Identity Fraud