What Greek Mythology Can Teach Us About Access Modeling

For fans of Greek mythology, the story of Sisyphus is a bleak example of one assigned to a life of unending, monotonous tasks.   

Sisyphus ran afoul of Zeus one too many times and was assigned the grueling punishment of forever rolling a massive boulder up a hill. Every time Sisyphus rolled the boulder up the hill, it would roll down, every day, until the end of time.  

Does this sound familiar? There are daily tasks that can make one feel like Sisyphus. If you are in the identity management field, there is a high likelihood you have felt this way while building out your company’s access model. This process can feel like continuously rolling a boulder up a hill.   

Thoughtful construction of an access model using roles, enables organizations to define appropriate access for unique groups of digital identities/workers. This helps speed up the automated delivery or removal of access when someone changes roles or duties, fueling greater productivity and maintaining strong and consistent security controls. 

Creating roles takes a lot of time! After going through the blood, sweat, and tears of creating a detailed access model, all the hard work can be wiped out with a restructuring or with the addition of a single application. This is the boulder that is continually rolled up the hill. 

There is value in roles, though. We know that roles are a powerful tool to help organize and manage access, facilitating assignment of access to the right employees.   

The SailPoint team decided that there has to be a better way. We have been hard at work building new capabilities that simplify the process of uncovering (role discovery), creating (automating role creation), and updating / maintaining roles (role insights). Managing an access model should not make you feel like you are in an unrelenting and losing battle. Using our Access Modeling service to build and maintain an access model will unload tedious manual processes to our AI engine while keeping administrators in the driver’s seat for critical decision making.   

Access Modeling will benefit our customers in a few important ways by:   

  • Discovering the best roles and maintaining the role model (with our Role Discovery and Role Insights features). Don’t be Sisyphus!  
  • Using the Role Insightsfeature to receive prioritized insights to ensure businesses stay on top of any changes in the overall access model. If a new entitlement is added to the system, a notification is sent about which role it should be assigned to.   
  • Monitoring key performance indicators of access modeling within Role Insights. SailPoint lets you know how organizations are doing to make sure they are on the right path with their access model. Be proactive through insights.  
  • Observing each role created within our AI engine, ensuring it will be seamlessly ported into a specific instance of our SailPoint Identity Platform.   
  • Tailoring discovered roles to business needs through our intuitive UX.  

These benefits will allow an organization’s identity management team to focus on improving the overall program’s long-term health and utility.  

Access modeling can give any identity team the tools they need to get past the deluge of access and role creation requests and to use that time to focus on higher-value, long term projects—smashing that massive boulder down into a small pebble, leaving the burden of the boulder in the dust.

For more tips on leveraging SailPoint’s tools for identity security, visit our SailPoint Identity Platform page.


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