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Tomorrow is Veterans Day, and I’d like to take a moment to reflect on the sacrifices that service members and their families make for this great country. After spending 11 years serving as a Combat Engineer and Infantry Officer in the US Army, Veterans Day has a special meaning for me. I encourage all Americans to spend some time during this day thinking about those who are serving and have served in the armed forces.

Veterans don’t give up everything for their country so they can come home to second-rate services. When I got back to civilian life, I was shocked at the amount of paperwork and physical documents needed to access benefits provided to veterans. When businesses wanted to give back to the veteran community, they required us to show ID and paperwork. I went from an environment where I was trusted to one where I constantly had to reprove my identity.

During online interactions, this model fell apart completely, often leaving veterans forced to mail in identification to a customer support agent. After some research, I found that veterans were at a higher risk of identity theft and fraud, likely due to unnecessarily sharing their identity with random people. Online, veterans’ personal information is readily available commercially and on the dark web. It was then I realized my mission wasn’t over. Since this experience, I’ve dedicated my career to helping Americans access better digital identity. It’s the least I can do for veterans, service members, their families, and the American public.

In 2021, in the wake of an enormous crisis of fraud and identity verification issues during the COVID-19 pandemic, I joined Socure to solve this problem once and for all. By bringing together identity verification with fraud detection and AI/ML tools, we can achieve our goal of verifying 100% of good identities in real-time and eliminating identity fraud on the internet. In two years, Socure has established itself as one of the leading public sector solutions for digital identity. We are building momentum toward a digital identity solution that every American can be proud of.

Don’t get me wrong, this is a hard problem to solve, especially as more services are moved online. The people needing to access those benefits are becoming more diverse and fraudsters continue to get more sophisticated. We need a completely new way to approach inclusive access and fraud prevention to ensure government benefits are efficiently going to the right people. By modernizing identity verification with Socure, federal, state, and local governments can restore trust in government and provide better service.

I have a sign in my office that says: “Success is never owned. It’s rented, and the rent is due every day.” Throughout my life, I have fought for America to succeed, and the rent is due on our digital identity infrastructure. To execute this mission, we need public and private investment and policymaking to emphasize advanced identity verification solutions.

Matthew Thompson

Matthew Thompson, CISSP, is an industry-recognized thought leader in the area of Identity and Security Management and currently serves as SVP & GM for public sector solutions at Socure. Matt is an innovator in the digital identity space, having co-founded, which was named to the “100 Brilliant Companies” list in 2014 by Entrepreneur Magazine. Matt has spent years working in the public and private sectors to promote privacy-enhancing, secure, interoperable, and user-friendly ways to give individuals and organizations confidence in their online interactions, which garnered him recognition by One World Identity as one of the “Top 100 Leaders in Identity” in 2017 and 2018.