Skip to Main Content

Identity security remains business essential 

When the pandemic took root back in 2020, companies moved to triage mode in order to rapidly become a 100% virtual workforce. The most pressing item on their list: get everyone access to everything they need to be productive on the job from home.  

Not only was the shift swift, it also created a significant margin for error when it came to the security of the business because now everyone had access to everything. This became a massive forcing function for companies to really understand the challenges of keeping a virtual workforce productive and not compromising the security of the enterprise in the process.  

Fast forward to today, more than two years later, and it’s clear that the virtual workforce is here to stay. In tandem with that, what was once considered a digital transformation for organizations in every industry has become a digital acceleration. Organizations are adopting an array of new technologies to keep them competitive even faster than ever, and the number and variety of identities that need access to these technologies have skyrocketed. Between these two dynamics, companies are struggling to keep up with the pace, both from a security and access standpoint. This acceleration in digital transformation efforts has, once again, become a forcing function. Without having a modern identity security system, companies will find themselves unable to operate day-to-day without exposing their company to significant risk.  

The bottom line is this: organizations today can’t afford to shift into high gear with their business transformation efforts if they don’t have the right foundation in place to securely hit that gas pedal. That foundation, the thing that sits at the core of all of this, is identity security. It continues to be “business essential” to the accelerated digital transformation movement happening across modern enterprises around the world.  

The reason I bring this up is this: no enterprise today can afford to exclude identity security as their #1 priority. It has proven to be far too critical to the security of the business today. There is so much flying at identity and security teams – and a majority of these threats target the identities that keep the business running full steam ahead. IDSA just put out a new report on this that validates what we’re seeing every day in customer conversations – 84% of organizations experienced an identity-related breach in the last year. 

It’s for this reason that CISOs around the world smartly continue to place identity security at the core of their enterprise security programs. This is a strategic program for them when done right, not a one-and-done project.  This decision can make or break them, becoming the difference between fully protecting their company from the identity threat or doing just a “good enough” job at it, which is akin to doing nothing at all. We know the bad guys never rest, and they never settle for “good enough,” instead, they look for the easiest point of entry to attack from, and nearly 100% of the time, it’s through a compromised identity.  

No company can afford to open up access to their technology resources without wrapping each access point with clear identity security controls – who should have access, for how long, and how deep should that access go? It’s not as simple as flipping a switch “on” for access. There needs to be deep identity intelligence behind each flip of that switch to properly address identity security policies for EVERY identity and ALL technology access points needed for their job or role.   

And on top of that, there needs to be the right level of automation to ensure all of these decisions are keeping pace with the velocity of change across the enterprise environment today. If you’re counting on people to keep pace, it’s just not good enough. This problem has moved far beyond human capacity — it requires intelligence and automation to stay ahead. Weak or lightweight “good enough” identity security opens the door wide open to security threats, compliance inadequacies, and productivity stumbles. Good enough just doesn’t cut it. For that CISO who went for “good enough,” well – they probably just put their job at jeopardy, and that company just had its business reputation severely tarnished.  

Just like the pandemic was one of the most tangible real-world examples to illustrate why identity must be the foundation of every business around the world today, digital transformation and acceleration is the newest example. And this example is even more applicable to modern enterprises worldwide as it’s a permanent fixture shaping the future of the business.  

I’ll be writing a series of blogs in the coming weeks that illustrate just how identity security is “business essential” and a driving force for organizations today, as both a risk mitigator and a digital business accelerant.