Guest column by SailPoint, the leader in enterprise identity management, brings the Power of Identity to customers around the world. As both an industry pioneer and market leader in identity governance, SailPoint delivers security, operational efficiency and compliance to enterprises with complex IT environments. Author: Juliette Rizkallah
The acceleration of cloud adoption is gaining more traction each day. If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a thousand times, cloud is where the majority of enterprises are headed.
And it’s more than just your employees who are using the cloud to get things done; the cloud connects your customers, your partners and your suppliers. While this kind of open collaboration is conducive (and necessary) to expanding the business beyond the corporate headquarters, it is also exposing the organization to numerous potential security and compliance risks. Truly, behind every business are the people that that keep that business moving forward. This is why so many attackers are turning to humans as the attack ‘vector’ of choice today.
While critical, security can impede your business growth in many ways. Embrace security too tightly – enforce strict policies that limit what applications or systems employees can use – and you limit your workforce’s productivity. Inversely, loose standards risk data theft and noncompliance.
The simple truth here is that you can’t let security take over business enablement and you can’t let business enablement take over security. Laser focus on enablement without protecting your data is a quick way to get your data stolen, resulting in lost money and/or intellectual property and irreparable damage to brand reputation. Implementing security practices that block essential business needs is a quick way to lose profit and inhibit growth.
The question businesses should be asking themselves is not whether to choose between security and enablement but how to balance security with enablement.
The Power of Confidence
Most organizations who fall short on security do so in ways that can be fixed: employee security awareness, dated security technology and poor security policy enforcement to name a few. Focusing in on the human element can solve these issues with a few adjustments to both the habits of the users and the technology they use to manage their data.
It should shock business owners to know that 32 percent of users purchase SaaS applications without IT’s knowledge. But that’s the reality we live in today. People need tools to work. They need to be able to collaborate. A pain point for many business users is that they are faced with cumbersome IT processes to get a SaaS app approved, well before the app is deployed and the IT team has time to put security controls in place.
This is where identity governance comes in. Your employees can be good stewards of security and feel empowered to move the business forward all at the same time while remaining confident that corporate data is staying in the right hands. By having awareness around who has access to what systems and what they are doing with that access, both IT and the users themselves are able to meet their goals using the tools they need. Most importantly, it does this without adding extra processes and policies for your users.
What does identity governance look like?
Identity governance covers a wide range of needs. Employees get access to the systems they need immediately – including contractors and seasonal workers. Businesses can collaborate with their network of partners without exposing data externally. It allows businesses to work with vendors more freely. And despite all of these moving parts, identity governance gives businesses an “all seeing eye” on who has access to what and what they are allowed to do with their access.
Identity governance delivered via the cloud is the fastest way to extend secure access to corporate assets and systems. The flexibility and the simplicity of the SaaS model applied to identity governance gives organizations the power of compliance and security minus the hardware to purchase and maintain, and with immediate access.
The power of identity allows enterprises to grow faster, expand further and compete without being boxed in. It also enables employees to remain productive, accessing the apps they need to do their jobs better, without putting the overall organization at risk.
For more on how to power security at the human level for your company, download our solution brief.