A Roadmap to Modern Authorization: From Assessment to Implementation

Julie Kendall
October 3, 2023

In today's digital landscape, effective authorization controls are crucial for securing critical business assets. As organizations increasingly adopt external authorization platforms, understanding how to embark on this strategic journey is essential. This blog post provides a step-by-step guide on getting started with modern authorization, from assessing your current landscape to implementing an external authorization platform.

Step 1: Identify Your Landscape 

The first step in modernizing your authorization controls is to gain a comprehensive understanding of your current authorization landscape. This involves identifying the systems, applications, APIs, and objects that require access control. These assets may have various types of access control functions, including embedded, homegrown, open-source, commercial, or legacy solutions. An asset inventory should also document identities, data flows, and interactions between subjects, objects, and actions.

Step 2: Prioritize Assets

Not all assets can be migrated to a new authorization system simultaneously. Prioritization is essential. Categorize assets based on factors such as asset type, business location, and hosting method. Ask questions like whether the existing access control is efficient, scalable, adaptable to security threats, and user-friendly. Start by migrating smaller, simpler assets to build a successful case before tackling larger, more complex systems.

Step 3: Gather Requirements

Understanding the technical and business requirements of your assets' access control systems is critical. Technical requirements encompass identity types, permission management, enforcement methods, and operational management. Business requirements consider ownership, impact of asset unavailability, agility, and usability. Analyzing these requirements helps shape policy design and management processes.

Step 4: Plan for the Future

Authorization controls should be forward-looking. Anticipate changes in your business and technical requirements over the next 12 to 36 months. Consider evolving user communities, security threats, and partnership needs. Assess how your chosen external authorization platform can support these changes and enable new business operations, workflows, and collaborations.

Step 5: Assess Supplier Capabilities

Selecting the right external authorization platform is critical. Evaluate not only technical capabilities but also non-functional aspects like deployment options, support levels, and integration possibilities. Conduct a thorough assessment, including reading materials, workshops, proof of concept projects, and potentially independent due diligence, to ensure the chosen supplier aligns with your organization's needs.

Modernizing your authorization controls is a strategic move that can significantly impact your organization's security and efficiency. By following this roadmap from assessment to implementation, you can ensure a smooth transition to an external authorization platform that meets your current and future needs. Remember, authorization is not just about security; it's about enabling your business to thrive in the digital age.



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