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Voices of experience – Why IT leaders consider identity security essential to their business

When is cyber security not just security? When it’s identity security.  

While good cyber security is critical for protecting data and avoiding online attacks and hacks, some security solutions can deliver increased security and much more. In fact, identity security enables a broad range of values beyond basic access management that many organizations consider it a business essential.  

Of course, good security is more important than ever before, given the rise in cyber threats. For example, the Microsoft Digital Defense Report 2022 notes that “the threat of ransomware and extortion is becoming more audacious with attacks targeting governments, businesses, and critical infrastructure. Attackers increasingly threaten to disclose sensitive information to encourage ransom payments.” 

Identity security allows organizations to control access to corporate IT resources by enabling the management and governance of digital identities. Digital identities are collections of identifiers, such as email addresses, login credentials, pin numbers, and more. Digital identities define what internal and external users (and other IT resources) are allowed to access.  

Identity security capabilities are increasingly important as organizations leverage more cloud capabilities and manage an expanding group of “work-from-anywhere” employees needing access to critical corporate systems and data outside the traditional corporate boundaries.   

But for many organizations, identity security is more than just security—it can positively impact on everything from growth to corporate confidence to greater internal controls. 

A range of IT leaders at Navigate 2022 in London recently shared some of the business and IT benefits that identity security has in their organizations. Consider the following quotes from senior IT leaders about why they see identity security as an essential part of their business:  

  • Increased efficiency. “Every business should treat identity and access management as a business essential because it drives efficiency when you get the access right the first time.” – Engineering Manager, Access Services, Banking 
  • Better internal controls. “We should make sure that all the people that are getting access to the information system are legitimate before considering that we could have some external attack.” – Head of Identity and Access Management, Telecommunications 
  • Preventing outside attacks. “The attacks that occur today, all of these occur because of identity theft. Every company is thinking about that.” – Identity and Access Governance Director, Manufacturing 
  • Securing the organization. “The first barrier that we have in our company is security, so it is mandatory to protect the first barrier in order to be protected.” – User Lifecycle Supervisor, ConstructionPage Break 

  • Enabling growth. “Identity security is essential on many fronts. The first one is enabling the organization to access the tools that enable the business to grow. A specific example in Vodafone is that we have to run a lot of urgent campaigns at short notice, so with the right security and identity process, it enables the markets to onboard a campaign team at short notice and run a successful campaign.” – Senior Manager, Domain Portfolio Delivery, Telecommunications   
  • Defining the truth and increasing corporate confidence. “Having control over identity gives us a good position on where our sense of truth really sits around the organization and also allows us with confidence, to be able to understand and define our own posture and be able to present a good example to other elements that we want to interact with.” – Security Architect, Finance 
  • Controlling access. “We are facing more and more attacks every day, and for that, we need to be able to answer very quickly and very efficiently who has access to which application.” – CTO, Manufacturing 

  • Efficient onboarding to meet seasonal needs. “In our organization, we get a lot of people that come in at two different times of the year, especially during the peak period at Christmas. So, for us to be able to control our user access process, this is why identity security is essential for us.” – Head of Technology Risk, Retail 

Security risks and business needs are constantly evolving. But what’s clear is that the need for identity security capabilities will only continue to grow. Luckily, as the above insights from leading IT leaders highlight, a good identity security solution can enable much more than just better security. In addition to providing a foundation for managing digital identities, identity security can provide increased efficiency, better internal controls, increased security, reduced risk of attacks, increased growth, increased corporate confidence, access control, and more efficient onboarding and employee management.