Amruta Gawde

Over the past decade, IAM has focused upon solving access management issues with purpose-built tools for a single function. In an effort to adapt to a growing and changing business environment, many organizations sidestep best practices, adding scripts and fixes to overcome tool limitations. Unfortunately, these approaches have proven to be costly to support, catastrophic when problems inevitably arise, and unsustainable for life-cycle management. In-house customizations only add more complexity to an already complex IT infrastructure.

A changing business environment requires a new approach

Today’s enterprise security teams are experiencing unprecedented challenges on every front due to digital transformations. Some of these are the side-effects of the pandemic. From grocery shopping to doctor consultations, everything has gone online. Increasing privacy regulations, like GDPR, diverse hosting environments, and employees working anywhere, anytime, using any device, are overwhelming IT and security teams. These changes have resulted in an increased need for identity governance, while striking a balance between the user experience and strong security.

Limited time, world-changing events, and fast-moving technologies are overwhelming our ability to keep up. There is a continuing struggle and urgency to hire the right people, obtain deep multi-domain expertise, integrate everything, and secure our most valuable assets within a perimeter-less environment.

The lack of in-house domain expertise to plan, implement, manage, and monitor the plethora of identity tools from competing technology vendors is a challenge for any organization. Tying everything together across identity administration and governance, privileged account management, single sign–on, risk intelligence, and more, compounds these challenges.

Exponentially growing remote users, diverse application hosting environments, and countless IoT devices, continue to show us that we can no longer rely upon manual tasks, without submitting to human–imposed errors and excessive time and resource consumption. We need automated capabilities to simplify access management and control of our remote users, devices, systems, and applications. We need centralized visibility across security, risk and compliance.

Security teams feel like they’re beyond pushing on a string and more like they’re chained to a cement wall. The Eagles song, Already Gone, says it well, “So often times it happens that we live our lives in chains, and we never even know we have the keys.”

A cultural shift is afoot

The key to unchaining our restrictive legacy approach to IAM is a mindset change. It involves learning about the IAM paradigm shift, and deploying and propagating a new model throughout the organization. This needs to be a top-down approach that leverages the right technologies, processes, policies, and people necessary to ensure the organization and its assets are secure and remain private. As IAM program owners for our organization, we need to have a holistic approach in how IAM strengthens our enterprise security and compliance posture.

Rather than limiting our scope to a single tool for a solution, we need to think in terms of dynamic services that go beyond how users and devices gain access and how their roles and permissions are granted. Businesses need more automation to support an ever-growing number of technology assets, while managing security and meeting audit and compliance requirements. To say this is a paradigm shift is an understatement. It’s more of a multi-paradigm titanic realignment.

Make the change, or risk falling behind

Those who continue to address problems by implementing a tool or product will find themselves behind the curve and losing their competitive advantage. Paradigm changes require us to re-evaluate our culture, mindsets, concepts, practices, and disciplines. For those of us responsible for managing IAM, it means reimagining and broadening our view. It means changing our mindset about how IAM fits within the larger scope of security, compliance, trust, and risk. This shift requires a standardized, orchestrated horizontal ecosystem approach, rather than a tool-level, siloed approach.

Overcoming multiple enterprise security challenges

This mindset change sets a new, more comprehensive course for the direction of security, compliance, business requirements, operations, and user experience. IAM now becomes a business imperative within a centralized security and compliance platform.

It starts with the CISO and then filters into IT, business unit managers, and the entire workforce, business partners and customers. The campaign explains the need for the new approach and how new processes, standards, upgrades, and auditing will take place.

At Simeio, we provide the complete IAM experience as a service that is backed by our extensive domain expertise through years of working with many organizations, consulting, designing and implementing the best IAM solutions. We bring together the right tools and technologies that best fit your organization, through our Identity-as-a-Service (IDaaS) offering. This is powered by Orchestration Platform, managed, monitored and operated for you 365x24x7. You no longer need to worry about vendor selections, migrations, upgrades, user experience, operations, or security. Our expert-managed platform will take care of all your IAM needs.

For further details, check out my article on SecureWorld that drills down to discuss three traditional approaches to IAM that need to change.