Navigate ’15: SaaS Apps Continue to Keep IAM Professionals up at Night

This week at Navigate ’15, I had the pleasure of hosting a few of our customers on the main stage to discuss innovative ways they are using SailPoint, as well as where the IAM market is heading. Joining me on stage were IAM leaders from two global semiconductor manufacturers, a health insurance company and a large banking institution.

It was a great discussion, and it became very clear that cloud initiatives continue to be a hot topic. Specifically, we talked about how these customers are thinking and dealing with the explosion of SaaS app usage across the enterprise. There was a resounding consensus that while our customers have varied comfort levels deploying mission critical SaaS apps, they’re keeping many of our customers up at night.

In fact, one of the panelists echoed a sentiment that I’ve had for a long time when he said, “I’m not sure we truly understand or appreciate the full security implications of SaaS apps. Cloud applications haven’t had a highly publicized security breach moment yet, but our employees are potentially putting the family jewels outside our network and we have to know that.” We all recognize that it’s not a matter of if one of these SaaS apps will face a major data breach, but rather when.

I would say that this mindset has certainly evolved since we began our Navigate conference several years ago. During that first conference, I would estimate that SaaS apps were something that might have been mentioned, but not something that was top of mind. Today, that has changed – a change that is warranted.

For businesses looking to better manage these SaaS apps as part of their IT security programs, each panelist emphatically reiterated that Identity Management has to become a priority. In fact, the panelists agreed that the right approach is to help organizations manage the reality of today’s hybrid IT environment, which span on-premises and the cloud. As with any strategic IAM program, it’s critical that organizations take a holistic approach to managing user access to SaaS apps.

Fortunately, SailPoint customers are managing their entire IT environment (on-premises, SaaS and mobile environments) from a single solution – whether that be IdentityIQ or IdentityNow. And, customers are waking up to the fact that SaaS apps pose a significant threat, whether they’re considered “mission-critical” or not, and need to be rolled into their Identity Management strategy.