Security team

Security First: How to Maintain Your Security Team’s Strategy

The technological arc as we knew it before COVID is evolving into a new perimeter. How we work, where we work and with whom we work have changed dramatically over the past three years.

Security teams around the world have been forced to adapt to this change at an incredible pace just to keep up, prioritizing security approaches that align with the evolving threat landscape.

This shift in prioritization may have started as a way to ward off threats and minimize increased risk, but it also opened the door for security teams in every organization to play a strategic role in accelerating their business. In no area is this opportunity greater than identity.

Adopting an identity-centric approach to security – with a focus on identity and access management (IAM) – marks a significant departure from security traditional cost center role and opens the door for security teams to act as business drivers within an organization. This, in turn, promotes rapid and agile adoption of technology in an organization while reducing risk.

How we got here

Three trends have recently highlighted the importance of an identity-centric approach to security: the rise of remote workers, a heterogeneous workforce, and the rapid adoption of cloud-based applications. Organizations have recognized that they perhaps successful outside the confines of a traditional brick-and-mortar office, with a recent study finding that around six in 10 American workers who say their work can primarily be done from home work from home all or most of the time time. As the workforce moves away, many organizations are diversifying and working with an increasingly wide range of collaborators to include contractors and third parties. While these changes have helped organizations become more agile and efficient, they also increase the scope of supported technology. Workers expect to be able to use the tools that best suit the way they work, and security and IT must be able to quickly adopt and implement these tools to boost productivity.

What is Identity-Driven Security?

Today’s workforce has been given far more freedom than at any time in recent history. The trade-off is how we create and maintain security for the radically changing hybrid work environment. Traditional network firewall security approaches are not effective in the face of a disparate, remote, and heterogeneous workforce.

According to Gartner, “identity as the new perimeter has reached critical mass due to technical and cultural changes.” An identity-centric approach to security is no longer a nicety, it’s a necessity.

Identity-centric security recognizes that the fundamental lever for securing access to an organization’s most critical resources is first and foremost understanding the identity of users and their devices. Whether it is an employee, a contractor, a terminal or a server, each entity within an organization must be authenticated in the systems and obtain authorization to carry out actions.

When a team enables secure, seamless access across an organization and accelerates adoption of technology and tools, they are enable the company just as much as them protect this. This combination demands that security has a place at the table when it comes to organizational growth and the adoption of new technologies.

Identity security must be a priority

Using identity as the central point of control to provide access to corporate resources can underpin some of the most important elements of an organization’s security approach. An identity-centric approach to security can:

  • Ensure users are authenticated and devices are secure
  • Intermediate access to all critical resources including SaaS applications, on-premises applications, APIs, networks and infrastructure
  • Give the right amount of access for the right duration
  • Remove access automatically if needed
  • Prevent lateral movement in case of identity breach
  • Quickly mitigate the risk of compromised credentials

Modern businesses today use cloud and hybrid resources to their advantage, connecting the right people to the right technologies at the right time. But are these connections secure? If an organization is not 100% certain of the legitimacy of a user making an access request, any other form of security or access control the organization may have in place n is not relevant.

Identity-driven security simultaneously minimizes risk and enables growth

The right identity solution is vital to a company’s bottom line – and increasingly, to its bottom line. Whether it’s day-to-day or the first day on the job for a new employee or contractor, strong identity controls can set the stage for secure access on managed or unmanaged devices, powered by automated lifecycle management activities, ensuring the right access to the right data at the right time. An effective solution and approach enables security teams to successfully collaborate with their respective IT departments, enabling quick and efficient access to resources.

Adopting an identity-centric approach to security also helps organizations adopt new technologies more quickly and seamlessly, enabling them to solve business problems head-on and with agility, rather than with obstacles. In addition to security, identity has become the backbone of rapid deployment and implementation, with IAM serving as the foundational security solution that many organizations use to embark on a zero journey. Trust.

It all depends on the right identity solution

The Okta Identity Cloud helps organizations provide strong identity access controls across their entire ecosystem, maximizing security while minimizing overall workforce impact. By centralizing controls and leveraging thousands of pre-built integrations into line-of-business apps and security tools, teams can more easily deploy and manage intelligent access for any type of resource, on-premises or in the cloud, and end users can more easily access the tools and data they need, when they need them. Okta Identity Cloud enables organizations to protect what matters most: their people and assets, while providing seamless user access that can be easily integrated with existing technology stacks.

Developing an identity-centric security posture doesn’t happen overnight, but it’s essential to growing a business securely. By adopting an identity-driven mindset, security managers can achieve better security outcomes while solving real business challenges, making all types of workers everywhere more productive.

To learn more about Okta Identity Cloud, visit us here.

Copyright © 2022 IDG Communications, Inc.