The Role of Identity Governance in Zero Trust Security Models

The Role of Identity Governance in Zero Trust Security Models

Zero Trust Strategies

The digital transformation in the financial sector has ushered in a new era. Traditional security perimeters are no longer pulling the weight they used to. Amidst this shift, the zero trust security model has fundamentally changed how security is approached. The guiding principle of this model is the concept of identity governance.  This paradigm acts as the foundational layer for security in increasingly perimeterless IT environments. It is particularly relevant in the financial sector. In such an environment involving sensitive customer data and financial assets, the stakes of a security breach are exceptionally high.

Why Identity Governance Matters for Zero Trust

Adherence to zero trust principles, such as least privileged access and stringent user verification, is vital. Identity governance in this context is about much more than managing user access. In fact, it’s most important to understand user behavior, context, and the ever-changing threat landscape. This marks a shift from traditional, static security models to a more dynamic, context-aware approach. Financial institutions must intelligently implement identity governance systems. Consequently, enterprises must adapt to new threats, regulatory requirements, and the complex matrix of user roles and access needs.

This strategic shift in approach brings to the forefront several key challenges that organizations. These challenges, particularly in the financial sector, include:

  • Risk of excessive privileges – A significant challenge in adopting zero trust and identity governance is mitigating the risk of excessive privileges. Properly balancing access needs while ensuring security protocols are adhered to is crucial. Excessive privileges pose a security threat and complicate compliance and operational efficiency.
  • Need for both cloud and on-premise environmental support – As financial institutions increasingly embrace a hybrid IT environment, the need for identity governance solutions that support both cloud and on-premise systems becomes essential. 
  • Compliance efforts not efficient enough Financial institutions face the challenge of ensuring their compliance efforts are efficient and effective. 

Each of these challenges underscores the importance of a robust and agile identity governance framework. This framework aligns with the zero trust model, addressing the unique needs and risks of the financial sector.

Critical Capabilities of Identity Governance for Zero Trust

Simeio, the world’s largest single-source provider of IAM and IGA services, delivers a governance framework built on advanced technological capabilities. This includes granular access controls and modeling that can map out the nuanced access needs of various roles within a financial institution. Analytical insights power the automation of provisioning and deprovisioning. Thus you ensure that access rights are managed efficiently, thereby mitigating the risk of insider threats.

Furthermore, the analytics and intelligence components of Simeio’s solutions provide deep visibility into user activities and potential security anomalies. This combines seamless integration capabilities with existing Privileged Access Management (PAM) systems and broader Identity and Access Management (IAM) frameworks, ensuring a unified and robust security posture.

Enabling Zero Trust

Adopting a dynamic, identity-centric approach is essential in financial services, where access decisions can have significant implications. To this end, Simeio’s solutions facilitate this through continuous risk assessment and adaptive authentication mechanisms. This approach enables the option for privileged access. In turn, this ensures that elevated rights are granted only when necessary and under stringent controls. The concept of micro-segmentation, implemented through role-based access controls, further reinforces the zero trust model by ensuring that users have access only to the resources necessary for their specific roles, reducing the attack surface within the organization.

Implementing Effective Identity Governance

Implementing effective identity governance involves a strategic alignment of technology and policy. Prioritizing key governance capabilities like policy enforcement, role management, and compliance alignment can’t be understated. Cloud-based identity platforms provide scalability and flexibility, allowing financial institutions to respond swiftly to changing market dynamics and regulatory demands. Moreover, integrating these platforms with existing Identity Management infrastructure is key to creating a cohesive and comprehensive security ecosystem, essential for maintaining the integrity of financial data and operations.

The efficacy of these strategies is not theoretical. The experiences and testimonials of those who have implemented and benefited from robust identity governance frameworks reflect their success. These real-world insights provide a practical perspective on how these strategies are executed. Additionally, it highlights their tangible impacts on improving security and operational efficiency.

“We were looking for a solution to help us with our Identity Access Management. So, we partnered with Simeio to bring us a cloud-based solution because we didn’t want to spend all our technology time worrying about IAM. We chose Simeo because they brought the best solutions that fit our needs and reduce the existing complexities.”Chief Information Officer at a not-for-profit financial education provider.

“Simeio had all the answers we were looking for in order to deploy our identity access management solution. From helping us pick our vendor, saving a significant amount of time, to supporting us with our journey in automating our application certifications – Simeo was there all along.” Identity Management Analyst for a publicly traded, full-service bank. 

Fortify Your Digital Future

The financial sector’s move towards digitalization underscores the necessity of a robust identity governance framework. Furthermore, this shift must take place within the zero trust security model. Fortunately, by leveraging advanced identity governance solutions, financial institutions can effectively manage and mitigate the complex security challenges they face. Collaborating with industry experts like Simeio can be a pivotal step in strengthening your organization’s security posture.

Simeio is uniquely positioned to guide and protect your organization. We accomplish this through a blend of identity governance software expertise and a nuanced understanding of financial services. Access to purpose-built technology, identity management processes, and expertise; your institution acquires all of these by choosing Simeio as your identity governance partner. Additionally, we balance productivity and control across your client-facing, back-office, and internal ecosystems. This provides unparalleled protection to user identities, cloud security, and access governance. Simeio strives to provide you with an unparalleled “service first experience that is consultative at every phase of your project. You can expect an IAM solution design and implementation that performs as required, grows with your needs, and provides the security to protect your employees, customers, and brand reputation.

Get the best-in-class IGA services with reliable 24/7 cloud security monitoring and support – with minimal hardware or capital investments, lengthy integrations, migrations, or upgrades required. Simeio’s identity access management services address serious and rapidly changing security threats while minimizing the impact on your organization and employees.

The time to fortify your digital future is now. Their team of experts is ready to help you extract the utmost value from your identity investments, ensuring robust security for the digital era. Talk to an identity advisor today.

Time to Switch Your Identity Vendor: 7 Signs for Healthcare Organizations

Time to Switch Your Identity Vendor: 7 Signs for Healthcare Organizations

identity vendor

You finally hang up the phone with a tired groan. That was the fifth time this month that a patient’s data didn’t come up when requested. As a CISO for a major hospital, you already get enough trouble from your sluggish management platform. If there’s another incident like last week, where a nurse couldn’t pull up a coding patient’s chart, you’ll probably be looking for another job. If only you could articulate to the higher-ups the root of the problem: you need a new identity vendor.

Perhaps your organization has already sunk time and money into making the current solution work. Maybe you’ve attempted to integrate the solution into your application environment and spent hundreds of hours training your IT staff and end users. But no matter how much you try to accommodate, your identity vendor refuses to do the same. If you’re in a toxic relationship with your MSP, the biggest mistake you can make is not getting out of it.

At the end of the day, you need to do what is best for your organization and the patients under your care. When your current solution fails, you don’t need to fail with it. You need to move to a solution that provides you with ROI, stability, security, and functionality worth the thousands of dollars you pay for them. By recognizing the absence of these factors, you’ll know when it’s time to make a change.

1. Your Return on Investment (ROI) is Unacceptable

Pull no punches when assessing the business value you’re getting from your current identity solution. Start by calculating the total cost of ownership of your identity solution system. Firstly, add up the costs of licensing costs, maintenance, upgrades, consulting fees, professional services, and internal identity staff. Next, compare to the quantifiable benefits have you achieved, such as lowered compliance costs, reduced IT and helpdesk strain, and improved end user productivity. When the solution was implemented, did outpatient satisfaction go up? Have caregivers reported less friction with your systems?

Lastly, don’t forget opportunity cost. What does it cost you to stay with your current identity solution if you’re unable to address pressing business needs? Is the cost to renew, maintain and potentially even upgrade your existing solution higher than what it would cost to switch to a better alternative? If you cannot answer these questions, an identity assessment should be your highest priority.

2. Your Current Identity Vendor Is Mid-M&A

A company acquisition or merger can bring a feeling of anxiety for a customer of either company. The future becomes unclear as to what will happen: whether either company’s product will be available or maintained or if you’ll be forced to migrate to another product altogether. This can even compromise your organization’s security at a time when public eyes will already be on your identity vendor, possibly attracting the attention of hackers.

Any company worth its salt will go out of their way to assure its customers and assure stability throughout their internal changes. If you’re not given an exact step-by-step run-through of how they plan to keep your systems up to par, take the opportunity to bow out. A momentary lapse on a hospital floor can prove fatal to a patient. Similarly, a lapse of months might spell doom for your data integrity. If your current provider can’t tell you what’s happening over the next few months, how you’ll be supported as a customer, and what the merger means for both you and the product, it’s time to start looking for a more stable option.

3. Your Identity Vendor Doesn’t Provide the Integration and Innovation Needed to Future Proof your Identity Solution

Your current identity vendor may have gotten you used to exorbitant development and integration fees. Alternatively, your vendor might not support you in this respect at all, forcing you to have your own development team create a connection point and hope that it works. Does your current identity solution integrate with all of your key systems? Is identity governance the main focus of your vendor, or is it secondary to other services?

Furthermore, your vendor should account for future developments. Does their strategy include plans for cloud-storage, RPAs/bot identities and a rapidly growing AI identity governance capability? Finally, consider the burden of regulatory compliance. The healthcare industry faces increasingly strict cybersecurity standards. Easing compliance headaches is one of the most important services an identity vendor provides. A skillful team anticipates their client’s needs and works to satisfy them. For example, your HIPAA compliance can be greatly eased through automatic data collection. This proves your due diligence in properly handling patient information and keeping it safe.

4. Your Existing Identity Vendor is Forcing You to Migrate to a New Architecture

When your identity governance vendor has “re-architected” its solution and all future investments will be allocated to this new offering, it’s a tough dilemma to face. Unfortunately, implementing the new architecture will require an expensive and time-consuming migration project. You will, in essence, have to start over: rebuilding and re-implementing functionality such as custom user interfaces, policies, workflows and resource connectors. This situation can prove catastrophic in high-activity environments such as hospitals where a single say offline is unacceptable.

Migrating to your existing vendor’s new architecture requires a “rip-and-replace” of your current identity solution. Depending on the policies of the vendor, you may even be expected to foot the bill yourself. Instead, reevaluate your options. Do not assume the best decision is sticking with your current vendor. You may be better off switching to an identity governance vendor with a proven product and satisfied customers. If the prospective vendor demonstrates how they can keep your systems running throughout the migration, bump them to the top of your prospects list.

5. Your Identity Vendor’s Satisfaction and Retention Ratings Are Low

Don’t settle for poor customer support when better options are available. A caregiving environment is challenging enough when systems are running smoothly; a defective identity solution can become a nightmare. Verizon’s 2023 data breach investigations report revealed that 74% of breaches in 2023 stemmed from human error. You cannot afford to associate with subpar staff when your data integrity is at stake. Do some research on your current identity vendor. Talk to other customers that you’ve met at user conferences or trade shows and ask about their satisfaction levels. Make use of analyst firms like Gartner, Forrester, or even other identity vendors.

In the Gartner Magic Quadrant for IGA, Gartner shares customer satisfaction ratings for the major vendors. To go deeper, schedule an analyst consultation and get more details about each vendor’s customer satisfaction and retention scores. It’s never too late to learn more about the people you’re doing business with. Unless, of course, they’ve already damaged you. Do not let things reach that stage.

6. You Don’t Have Visibility into All Your Systems

Does your identity vendor not equip you to answer the 6 identity and access security questions? If not, that alone is reason enough to seek out a new identity vendor. Legacy identity solutions are limited in their availability to integrate with all the systems you use in the organization. For you to be the most secure and know exactly “who has access to what,” you need to implement a governance-based solution.

Modern PAM solutions provide you with moment-to-moment tracking of user activity. Furthermore, a strong IGA solution automatically enforces your policies and can even take advantage of technologies like adaptive MFA for additional security. Your organization’s CISOs can sleep much easier when backed up by such a system, knowing that each identity has a perimeter around it and a remediation strategy behind it.

7. Your Solution is at “End-of-Life” Status

In a market where major companies make absurd mistakes, it is unsurprising that many organizations stick with an identity solution long after it has been moved to “EOL.” Many organizations are reluctant to sign up for the migration effort and worry about business disruption. What is the strategic price you are paying to stay with software that has no future?

Unsupported software won’t keep pace with the exponential acceleration of technology. How can you cope when your solution can’t manage cloud apps or unstructured data, handle mobile and social requirements, or meet new security and privacy mandates? What if you acquire new life-saving machines, only to find them unable to interface with your obsolete systems? While you may still get the occasional patch, they will be few and far between.

The time to change is now. Don’t let inertia keep you trapped in a sub-optimal identity program. It’s time to step forward with  identity management solutions that can get your organization back on track. You can achieve big results that will improve end user productivity, strengthen compliance and security, and reduce IT and helpdesk operational costs.

Reach out to a Simeio Identity Expert and see if we might be your best identity vendor choice.