Managing Security Complexity with Identity-Powered Solutions

Identity defines who you are and what you do. But identity isn’t static—especially when it comes to IT. User identity can change and be manipulated, which introduces significant challenges for IT security teams. Multiple major data breaches made headlines in the past 18 months alone, and unless security teams start to focus on identity, they will certainly continue and perhaps increase in severity. But before you can understand why identity is vital to security, you have to understand the security challenges IT teams are facing today.

The Balancing Act
Organizations currently face a tricky balancing act. On one hand, users want access to everything, from everywhere. On the other hand, security professionals need to restrict access so they can manage risk. Essentially, an organization must find a balance between being too open and being too restricted.

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The Three Cs
This balancing act becomes more difficult because of the three Cs:

  • Change

  • Consumerization

  • Complexity


In our technology-driven world, change is a constant. Organizations’ infrastructures and environments change so rapidly and pervasively that security professionals have a hard time keeping pace. And new technologies like the cloud, mobility and BYOD introduce additional levels of complexity to the landscape.

Technology today is geared toward simplifying consumers’ day-to-day lives, and this consumerization changes user expectations in the workplace. Not only do users expect to bring their mobile devices to work and connect to the corporate network, they expect every interaction with the network to be as simple as using their mobile device.

Constant change and unrealistic expectations of simplicity driven by consumerization make IT security incredibly complex. This complexity intensifies as regulatory frameworks, privacy mandates and industry regulations become stricter. Complexity is enemy number one for security professionals—as the IT world becomes more complex, it becomes more difficult to secure.

The Identity-Powered Solution
Even though current approaches just aren’t cutting it, there is still hope. The accepted model is that data leads to knowledge, and knowledge leads to wisdom. But when there is too much data and not enough insight into that data, a security intelligence gap emerges, leaving security teams unable to understand the data they have. To close the gap and reduce complexity, security teams need to focus on the basics:

  • Minimizing rights

  • Monitoring user activity

  • Enforcing access controls


These practices can help to put identity in context. Instead of focusing on monitoring devices, security teams should focus on who (identity), what (appropriate access) and where (location of access). If security teams know who users are and what they are doing, they can understand if the users’ behaviors are appropriate and respond to potential data breaches. Using identity-powered solutions can help your organization avoid data breaches while managing the balancing act and closing that pesky security intelligence gap for good.

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Identity & Access Mgmt
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