Why You Should Use a Single Platform for Your Access Management Needs

Oren Harel
June 22, 2017

An old Ethiopian proverb states: “When spiders unite, they can tie down a lion.” And what’s true in the animal kingdom applies, perhaps surprisingly, to the world of Identity Access Management, as well – where there is tremendous control and efficiency inherent in the adoption of a unified authorization platform.

Maintaining multiple, disparate platforms is costly and wasteful, leading to unsynchronized decisions. In contrast, one system that provides central policies for  access management can effectively protect the organization assets, wherever they are, on-prem or cloud and meet compliance requirements in a more sensible way.

Are Legacy Systems Enough?

Organizations make the decision to shift their access management paradigm for a variety of reasons. Perhaps the immediate impetus is pressure to cut costs or reduce downtime. Or perhaps it’s a desire to improve resilience and redundancy. In many cases, changes are prompted by expansion – a company outgrowing existing infrastructure.

It goes without saying that legacy systems can be a real headache. In some cases, systems are limited in their abilities to support high-performance projects. They slow you down when you’re ready to roll out new projects.

More significantly, older systems find it hard to  provide control over third party and contingent identities – and in today’s business reality, this point is a concern. According to a European study on how decision-makers are transforming businesses in the digital age, lack of control over third party and contingent identities is viewed as the most likely cause of breaches.

There’s also the issue of “access creep” - where an employee changes roles, and gains access to new kinds of data needed for the new position – while not losing access to the types of data that were needed in the old role. This is a typical side effect of normal company development – but it needs to be eliminated because it significantly increases risk. For example, if the employee in question were to be hacked, the attacker would gain access to far more data than had that employee’s level of access been adjusted. In addition, were the same employee ever tempted to hurt the company, it’s likely that the resulting damage would be greater.

Bottom line: The growing complexity of the current IT ecosystem has led to a shocking number of security breaches that are taking place due to compromised credentials, and organizations are keenly aware of the dangers – and are interested in mitigating risk by implementing tighter control.

In Search of Tighter Control

With an ever-growing number of apps in the cloud and the widespread adoption of SaaS, security concerns have become ever more immediate – with the convenience of SaaS and its “anytime, anywhere” availability creating a dynamic and continually evolving reality with significantly greater risks.

A recent study called Software as a Service Market to 2025 – Global Analysis and Forecasts by Deployment Model, Applications and End-User predicts that the SaaS market – valued at $31.57 billion in 2015 – will reach $172.20 billion by 2025. Why? SaaS cuts costs and eliminates the hassles of installing and maintaining software. As SaaS applications multiply to include everything from data management software to messaging software and ERP, the appeal prompts leading software companies – and SMEs – to go this route. And once companies have more applications in the cloud, security pressures lead companies to turn to authorization providers and adopt IAM solutions that handle cloud-related access effectively.

And APIs are also an important part of the security picture: Companies need to find effective ways for internal employees, as well as partners and third-party developers, to access and use APIs - but this also exposes the data and creates security challenges that need to be addressed with effective API access solutions.

With these new and growing kinds of challenges, the traditional approach to security – securing the network perimeter – has become ineffective. In contrast, real-time solutions with an identity-focused approach are successful and take into account issues such as cloud storage, collaboration portals, and personal data stored in unstructured systems, as well as the challenges of mobile and BYOD. The flexibility inherent in identity access management also allows partners and contractors to securely access internal business applications, while employees can safely access external systems (for example, outsourced HR applications) – areas of interface that are a security weak spot.

PlainID Brings Security to the Table

The complexity of WHO can access WHAT has reached a new level of unruliness and disarray as businesses demand authorization providers’ support to back rapid growth while expanding boundaries to the cloud and mobile. Questions abound, including: How can users access cloud environments? How can existing policies be enforced? Can this be done with minimal IT effort? Can a unified view of internal and external resourced be maintained?

With growing pressures in the IT ecosystem, the IAM market is about to explode. According to Research and Markets’ report Identity and Access Management Market – Forecasts from 2017 to 2022, the IAM market is expected to swell from $8.15 billion to $17.3 billion by 2022. This crazy increase can be pinned on several factors: Risk of cyber-attack provides a clear motivation for the adoption of identity access management solutions that create a more secure environment. Mandatory policies introduced by various governmental cyber authorities also contribute. And the complicatedness of today’s IT – coupled with a need to maintain security across organizations – fosters interest in solutions that maintain security without breaking the bank.

Here’s where PlainID makes the difference. A solution such as as PlainID’s unified authorization platform for cloud, mobile, and legacy applications meets today’s security challenges with a simplified platform that handles growth without compromising security. With PlainID, you can base your access decisions on a centralized policy that is based on real-time situation.

PlainID solves the challenges of access control with operational efficiency and in-depth analytics – all at a lower cost. The platform supports leading standards and facilitates reusability of existing authorization knowledge within an organization. PlainID offers full integrations with leading vendors, and its fine-grained access control enables attribute-based decisions all the way from the user to the resource or action – a central place for your policies, across all apps and platforms.

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