Security or Business Growth: Do You Have to Choose?

Enterprise implementations of cloud applications are on the downward slope of the adoption curve. The cloud is everywhere. And it’s more than just your employees who are using the cloud to get things done; the cloud connects your customers, your partners and your suppliers. While this kind of open collaboration is conducive (and necessary) to expanding the business beyond the corporate headquarters, it is also exposing the organization to numerous potential security and compliance risks. As CIO, how do you choose between enabling and protecting the business?

The fact is, you can’t choose one over the other. Taking short cuts or splitting budget and priority 50/50 doesn’t do justice to the enormity of these two initiatives. The answer in handling both lies in making security part of the fabric of your business, woven tightly into all of the processes and operations that make the organization function. The only way to do that is with identity.

Identity is the authority – the true foundation – for securing access to your data. In an open environment like the cloud, network perimeter security is ineffective at preventing your users from accessing resources they shouldn’t. Identity is your first and last line of defense for keeping your confidential data safe. Identity powers your security by bringing it back to IT with controlling and managing identities.

The Power of Confidence

While critical, security can impede your business growth in many ways. Embrace security too tightly – enforce strict policies that limit what applications or systems employees can use – and you limit the productivity of your business users. Inversely, loose standards risk data theft and noncompliance. The resulting time, resources and budget to fix these issues negates any productivity gains.

In reality, most organizations fall somewhere in the middle: educating users on good security practices, while hoping their existing processes and technology investment will contain any IT risk. The problem we found, in our latest Market Pulse Survey, is that employees still have lax standards when it comes to security.

  • 65% of employees use the same password across multiple applications
  • 32% users purchased a SaaS application without IT’s knowledge

The problem with this approach is two-fold. First, existing perimeter investments are not effective in a borderless environment because they are designed to identify and prevent malicious attackers from compromising the infrastructure, not to monitor and control what your users are doing.

Second, relying on existing investments fails to address the human factor. Despite the millions of dollars spent educating users on creating strong passwords and practicing safe computing practices – most users are going to take the path of least resistance. Many times this path includes circumventing IT to download applications or use personal devices to access corporate systems.

Identity governance provides security at the human level.

Identity provides the visibility and control over all your corporate applications whether they are in the cloud or within your data center. It provides intelligence and awareness about who has access to which systems and what your users are doing with that access. It provides the power and control to guarantee that only the right people are able to access specific information. Most importantly, it does all of this without adding extra processes and policies for your users.

What does this look like?

  • Onboard employees to all the systems they need as soon as they start.
  • Empower your employees – even contractors and seasonal workers – with a true onsite business experience from anywhere on any device.
  • Enable your partners with the valuable data and resources to share with audiences beyond your reach.
  • Allow vendors to access important information about inventory to make customer management seamless.
  • Know who has access to which systems – and control who should have access to easily comply with industry regulations.

Identity governance gives you the power to do all of this with confidence, knowing your most sensitive data is protected.

The Power of Speed

Power’s truest complement is speed. And in today’s fast-paced business world – where an average CIO tenure is only about 18 months – quickly demonstrating the value of any technology investment is not only desirable, it is absolutely essential. While there is no question that identity governance is critical for building a secure organization, it has historically been an arduous program to get right. Until now.

Identity governance delivered via the cloud is the fastest way to extend secure access to corporate assets and systems. The flexibility and simplicity of the SaaS model applied to identity governance give organizations the power of compliance and security within weeks, not months. With no hardware to buy, enterprises have immediate access to the solutions they need. Eliminating management and maintenance means there is no training or ramp-up time to achieve value. The speed of SaaS unlocks the true power of identity, enabling organizations to grow faster, expand further and compete better.

When Time Counts

A regional bank relying on manual processes for adding and terminating access to corporate accounts was recently audited and subsequently cited for multiple compliance violations. Several terminated employees and contractors still had access to corporate systems. The resulting fines – as well as the lengthy cycles required to manage the cumbersome, manual system – did not sit well with the board.

The security and compliance team was given just six weeks to find a solution and present it to the board – with the added directive of addressing noncompliant processes within six months. SailPoint IdentityNow, a cloudbased identity governance solution, was the only option for automating these processes and eliminating the compliance fines within the given time constraints.

SailPoint’s Cloud-based Identity Governance Can Help

Cloud-based identity governance makes security a seamless process throughout your business. SailPoint offers the speed and flexibility to demonstrate the value of identity governance at the pace of business. Our cloud-based identity governance solution allows CIOs and IT organizations to harness the power of identity without choosing between security and confidence to grow their business.

We were the first company to bring business users into the identity conversation. We develop identity solutions through the lens of solving business challenges and convert identity from an IT expense to an investment into the future of the enterprise.

Our industry-leading identity platform empowers enterprises to protect their critical digital resources and propel their success by enabling users to access the applications and data they need – where, when and how they need it. In our hundreds of identity management implementations, from replacing outdated legacy solutions to starting a brand new security program from square one, we’ve seen it all.

SailPoint’s open identity platform is how we take you out of the business of saying “no” and in the business of saying “how.” It gives you the competitive advantage you need and the power to move forward securely and confidently.

Find out how SailPoint can help your organization.

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