Five Things to Consider When Evaluating a Modern Authorization Solution

Lani Leuthvilay
May 1, 2023

Organizations today have a highly distributed and often complex workforce of full-time, contractor and third-party partners. The evolution of digitization is driving organizations towards a Zero Trust model – “never trust, always verify”. This requires organizations to manage the “who has access to what” at a scale that cuts across different user communities, data structures, and the relationships between the identities and digital assets.

Siloed identity, application delivery, and protection mechanisms can no longer deliver the capabilities needed to allow for business growth, agility and competitiveness. When seeking a modern authorization solution you should look for five important aspects to consider:

  1. Externalized authorization

  2. Centralized management and control

  3. Distributed enforcement

  4. Key drivers behind modern authorization

  5. Deployment flexibility

Externalized authorization

Traditional authorization is often tightly coupled with applications – making it time-consuming to manage, upgrade, or re-configure access policies. When enterprises rely on hardcoded access control and manual processes, any updates required brings with it human error that can impact the business and its security.

Centralized management and control

An immediate benefit of centralized management and control is to help engage and align different stakeholders within a business.  As authorization has become a broader tool for supporting business decisions it requires the ability to engage both technical and non-technical users to address business decisions that align with security requirements. Centralized management also provides complete visibility of how users access resources which enables you to have tighter control of sensitive data even for third parties (e.g. contractors, partners, suppliers, etc) external to the enterprise.

Distributed enforcement

The modern enterprise is powered by data supplied to a variety of applications and services - from APIs and microservices, to complex data layers of data lakes, and data virtualization. Distributed enforcement extends access policies to better secure endpoints across the technology stack and accelerates business initiatives for various teams that rely on different data sources for their projects.

Key drivers behind modern authorization

The emergence of modern authorization is primarily driven by enterprises with digital transformation and Zero Trust initiatives. Lines of business need agility with their application rollout, and they need to do it in a secure way that does not disrupt user satisfaction (e.g. employee productivity, customer experience, etc.). Additionally, the onset of data productization and data monetization has created new vulnerabilities as volumes of data are left exposed as security teams have little visibility into how data scientists, business analysts, and relevant systems maintain access to sensitive data as well as PII (personally identifiable information).

Deployment flexibility

Authorization addresses the business and technology needs of tomorrow without leaving legacy applications behind. Rip and replace is often not an option for many enterprises. Modern access control has the ability to be deployed in diverse and complex environments whether it's hybrid cloud, cloud-native, and existing on-premises infrastructure.

With these considerations in mind, organizations can provide a key layer of security with authorization to better protect data, applications, and their users. A platform that externalizes authorization equips organizations with centralized management for better control and visibility of the end-to-end journeys of user access for data. It also offers ease of policy authoring, policy lifecycle management, and authorization management for third parties. Lastly, modern authorization provides flexibility in deployment, which is essential in supporting business innovation and growth.

To learn more about the business challenges of authorization and the limitations of homegrown solutions and the cost of doing nothing, download the Build vs Buy: Guide To Evaluating Authorization today.



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