In this post, we discuss 3 reasons your organization should adopt a robust identity management program in 2021.
After a tumultuous year, 2021 is finally here with the opportunity for a fresh start and a return to more normal times as we adapt to the curveballs that the pandemic has thrown our way. Organizations have had to implement new technologies and processes to support remote work, and many of those changes will be here to stay. As organizations have adapted, they may have overlooked an extremely important element: their cybersecurity program. The need for improved cybersecurity is more important now than ever, as a distributed workforce creates new opportunities for hackers to exploit. Bad actors, hackers, and criminals are finding new ways to infiltrate your organization daily and the introduction of new attack vectors, such as your employees’ personal devices, give them more opportunity.
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What Organizations Can Do Now to Adopt Identity Management
1. Reduce Risk: Zero Trust and Identity Management
Given the rapid pace of change in the past year, organizations need a new security model more now than ever before. This model must be flexible enough to adapt to today’s remote working environment and protect all systems, devices, applications, and data no matter where they are located. This brings us to the Zero Trust security model. Zero Trust is a security concept that is an IT version of the Reagan doctrine; “trust, but verify”. Trust is established when the user authenticates, and the Verify concept comes from a continuous reassessment of the user’s session (device, location, etc.) before they are granted access to applications and data.
Zero Trust is a methodology, not a tool or a product, and it relies on a variety of advanced technologies to continuously monitor and validate that users and devices are assigned the appropriate privileges and attributes based on defined security policies. The evaluation of these security policies relies heavily on real-time visibility of session attributes beginning with the user’s identity. As cyber threats continue to increase in complexity and frequency, the tools available to protect our systems are also advancing rapidly. Establishing an Identity Management solution lays a strong foundation to secure digital systems and simplify user management.
Identity Management will help you enable advanced security frameworks.
2. Align Cybersecurity and Business Operations with an IAM Strategy
Economic benefits have driven many organizations to adopt a “Cloud First” strategy, which has opened up new opportunities for cost savings and revenue growth as well as disrupting traditional IT security models. As corporate resources move from on-premise into the Cloud, it may appear that there is less infrastructure to manage, however, Cloud-based systems still require vigilant security measures to protect systems and data. The overarching challenge for CIOs and CISOs is cyber-risk measurement and finding a satisfactory balance between technology-enabled innovation to drive new services and economic benefits against the cybersecurity efforts needed to protect the organization from a breach.
The end game is the ability to mitigate unnecessary risks, understanding that some risk is necessary to innovate and evolve. In order to chart a path forward between IT, Security, and the business, we recommend developing an Identity Management & Cybersecurity Roadmap that is refreshed every 12 to 24 months. The discussions necessary to establish a strategy, drive combined internal responsibility for the business objectives (new products and services), and drive funding for the security program must begin in the planning phase. The desired end state is that security is always a part of the discussion within the context of what the business needs to thrive. It can be a tricky business balancing the two; however, both sides have a vested interest in managing cyber risk.
A well-defined strategy balances business needs against the risk profile that is acceptable to both IT and executives.
3. Scale faster and more efficiently with a sound Identity Management foundation
As the rate of business innovation accelerates, the importance of creating agile businesses has become self-evident. It is more difficult today to establish enduring value propositions, and the rapid rise and fall of businesses has become more commonplace in the digital economy. In response to these challenges, businesses look for help through cost reduction, lean workflows, automation, and digital systems. As organizations look for new ways to scale and flex with almost daily digital disruption, a solid foundation for managing user identities is key.
Automation of routine administrative tasks drives efficiency and provides a basis for new business services.
This article was written by Ron Bowron, Director of IAM/IGA Services at Idenhaus Consulting.
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By going to work quickly to solve the most challenging cybersecurity and identity management problems, Idenhaus takes the pain out of securing corporate information and assets for companies that aspire to maximize their potential in this digital age. Click here to contact us