Generali Launches Iris OnWatch Identity Theft Prevention Software and Services – USA
Generali Global Assistance in July 2016 announced the launch in the United States of their comprehensive identity protection platform called Iris OnWatch.
With identity theft on the rise, the need for 24/7 prevention, monitoring, alerting, and resolution — the so-called “four pillars of identity protection” — is an important component of cyber security. Iris OnWatch provides an integrated protection system with access to identity theft prevention, monitoring, alerts, and resolution tools through a web portal. Iris is customizable to address the needs of any organization and can be white labeled, co-branded, or sold under the new Generali Global Assistance brand. The target clients include corporate IT departments and through them, employees when at work; and employees in their private capacity when Iris is provided as an employee benefit. However, in many organizations today this distinction is becoming moot as employees perform more and more work using their own devices, which brings about security issues of its own.
Features of the system include:
Prevention — the platform provides resources that educate users on identity protection best practices, including a downloadable suite of digital privacy protection software, including anti-phishing and password protector tools, designed to keep hackers at bay and block threats from malicious websites. Iris also provides opt-out services that reduce pre-approved credit card offers, direct mail campaigns, and marketing phone calls that thieves can use to steal personal information.
Monitoring – Iris tracks identity risk levels and detects fraud early, providing:
- Credit profile tracking across all three major U.S. credit agencies.
- Seamless response to identity risk alerts.
- Monitoring across the deepest corners of the Internet, including the Deep Web / Dark Web, for compromised credentials and potentially damaging misuse of personal information.
Alerts – Iris sees suspicious activity and takes immediate action by sending alerts to customers when Iris detects credit profile changes, high-risk transactions, compromised credentials, black market activity, new payday loans, and new utility accounts, among other suspicious activity.
Resolution – Customers can repair problems with help from Iris experts (actual humans!) who will help them handle complex issues, restore identities, and minimize damages so that victims do not have to devote time and resources to doing so.
At present, Iris is available in the U.S. only. Future deployments are to include Canada, India, South Africa, and Europe.
GBV spoke to Paige Schaffer, President and COO, Identity & Digital Protection Services North America & Global, Generali Global Assistance
GBV: Why did Generali decide to enter the software market in general, and the identity theft arena in particular?
Generali Global Assistance has been in the Identity Protection business since 2003 and was the first company in the U.S. to offer B2B2C services. While we’ve always had a digital component since the early days with credit monitoring, offering full-service Identity Protection software is more critical today than ever before with virtually everything connected digitally, which creates innumerable risk vectors for identity theft. We conducted extensive research over the past one to two years and recognized that a comprehensive, user-friendly dashboard to manage all aspects of identities did not exist. We developed the Iris platform to serve this market need for a 360° solution to prevent identity theft, monitor critical assets, alert customers to suspicious activity and resolve theft, should it occur.
Iris combines these four pillars of identity protection – prevention, monitoring, alerts and resolution – into a single, seamless online dashboard. Moreover, we offer more than $1 million in identity theft insurance through our parent company, Generali Group.
For those experts with whom we partner, we have integrated feeds into our user interface and back office so that the end user has one seamless, easy to use experience. This also allows our resolution specialists to service all aspects of both our offerings and partner solutions.
GBV: Is the software developed in-house, or outsourced?
The Iris OnWatch platform is developed in-house at our San Diego offices. We do have integrated feeds from best-in-class expert partners for certain features.
GBV: Can you provide a more detailed description of the identity theft teams on call for the alerts and resolution phases: number, location, etc?
Our multilingual identity theft resolution specialists are available 24/7, and our average resolution specialist tenure is 6-8 years plus. Our employees remain at Generali because they are passionate about helping our customers in times of dire need.
We have approximately 250 employees. That said, the Generali Global Assistance organization has 35+ locations globally and if end user customers experience an identity-related incident anywhere in the world, we can call on our sister companies as needed to provide assistance and resolution services. We will launch our Identity Protection offering in Canada the end of the year and are mapping out plans for rapid expansion in India, South Africa, and Europe in the coming few years.
GBV: Does Generali have any further plans in identity theft software?
As referenced above, we are planning expansion into numerous global markets. In addition to the four pillars of Identity Protection that we currently offer – prevention, monitoring, alerts and resolution – we will add smartphone protection and a secure privacy vault for sensitive personal information in the coming months. Additionally, we are actively pursuing enhanced medical identity theft support, social media protection, and child identity theft protection.
Two comments on this product launch
First, a major insurance group develops and sells software with services bundled in. Of course, here there is a link with insurance as the suite is also a prevention tool for cyber risks – users should enjoy reduced cyber risk premiums, even from insurers other than Generali; still, this is a foray into an area hitherto unknown to insurers and maybe the beginning of a trend.
Second, Generali from the beginning is prepared to sell the new product under outside brands; again, not a typical move for an insurance carrier, but perhaps something more familiar to a provider of assistance services and certainly to developers of utility software.
More information about the Iris identity protection platform can be found at www.IrisIdentityProtection.com