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Congratulations! AES wins CSO Award for transformative identity security with SailPoint

Fortune 500 global energy company The AES Corporation (NYSE: AES) has been named a CSO Award winner for 2024! This prestigious award recognizes the work its team has done in identity security – rapidly scaling and transforming its end-to-end digital lifecycle management processes through an integrated approach with SailPoint. Congratulations to Ryan Boulais, Chief Information Security Officer, Vidya Ganesh, Director of IAM (Identity Access Management), and the entire AES Cybersecurity and Digital teams on this well-deserved recognition.

“The stakes grow higher every day for security leaders and their teams, and this year’s CSO Awards honor the very best efforts to tackle challenges from an expanding threat landscape,” said Beth Kormanik, content director for the CSO Conference & Awards. “From devising new threat detection methods and cyber analytics to initiatives addressing AI threats, zero trust, and data protection, these projects are at the forefront of innovative security thinking and represent true business value for their organizations. We congratulate the winners and look forward to celebrating them at the CSO Conference & Awards this fall.”

Redefining cyber foundational excellence

In today’s digital age, four out of five data breaches can be traced back to digital identity. Despite this alarming statistic, 30% of organizations have still not started their identity security journeys. Many organizations grapple with a fragmented identity experience across their workforce. These companies often rely on manual and decentralized processes to manage access and governance to different user groups within their organization. AES, however, has pioneered an innovative approach to identity security. Its extensive program has shed light on how frequently cyber-attackers target companies, prompting the team to focus on foundational identity security as a key line of defense.

By centralizing its identity platform for access and identity controls across all users, AES leveraged SailPoint Identity Security Cloud (ISC) as a strategic catalyst for business transformation, innovation, and security resilience. AES provides its business partners with appropriate access to enabling technology and collaboration tools, while ensuring enterprise security controls are in place. AES’ ability to manage digital lifecycles end-to-end and integrate with enabling technologies underscores its maturity and excellence in identity security.

A unique and integrated approach

AES’ unique approach is rooted in its commitment to providing a holistic, standardized identity security solution that caters to all user types within its organization. By integrating ServiceNow and SailPoint, its team has streamlined provisioning and deprovisioning processes globally. This has improved the timeliness and efficiency of providing necessary access rights to all users, including employees, contingent workers, and contractors.

Before the automation of account creation and management, verifying and creating user accounts required manual approvals. This process was handled by Regional Digital Technical teams, each following regional methods for onboarding and offboarding users, which could take up to several days. With SailPoint, AES has reduced this total time to under 4 hours on average globally, accelerating the onboarding and management of resources efficiently and without manual intervention.

AES offers end-to-end digital lifecycle management for employees, contingent workers, and contractors. This facilitates a simplified, secure, and compliant Day 1 onboarding process, as well as automated provisioning and deprovisioning processes through seamless integration of ServiceNow and SailPoint.

Key features of AES’ integrated identity security solution

Simplified Onboarding: AES’ integrated solution automates the creation of user accounts, provisioning of resources, and assignment of permissions, facilitating a smooth and expedited onboarding process for all user categories. This not only accelerates time-to-productivity for employees but also expedites access for contingent workers and contractors to the tools and systems they need to contribute effectively. When a new employee, contingent worker, or service contractor joins the organization or requires access to specific resources, SailPoint provisioning workflows integrate with Workday and ServiceNow to grant the necessary access rights and permissions. Similarly, when a user leaves the organization or no longer requires access, SailPoint triggers deprovisioning workflows to revoke access and remove user accounts automatically.

Secure Access Management: Of course, security is paramount to AES’ strategy. Leveraging the combined capabilities of ServiceNow and SailPoint, AES enforces least privilege access principles and dynamically adjusts access rights based on changes in user roles or employment status.

Compliance and Audit Readiness: AES’ integrated solution enables comprehensive compliance and audit readiness by capturing detailed audit trails and reports of provisioning and deprovisioning events. This helps the organization’s identity security practices align with regulatory requirements and internal policies, providing support during audits and assessments.

Challenges and future directions AES recognizes that there are still challenges to overcome, including managing the ever-evolving landscape of cyber threats, ensuring compliance with a growing body of regulations, and maintaining user satisfaction while enforcing strict security controls. Looking ahead, AES plans to further enhance their identity security strategy by incorporating advanced analytics for real-time threat detection, exploring the use of artificial intelligence for predictive threat modeling, and expanding its identity and access management framework to encompass emerging technologies and platforms. Through these efforts, AES aims to stay one step ahead of cyber threats and continue to safeguard its digital identities.