When it comes to security, ‘good enough’ is no longer enough, says Gary Savarino, Identity Strategist, APAC, SailPoint. Here’s what all small businesses – even soloists – need to know about identity security.
People, technology and business are inseparable today. Making sure the connection points across this trifecta are secure at all times seems like an easy enough proposition, right?
Well, consider this: most Australian businesses house thousands to hundreds of thousands or even millions of ‘identities’ — from employees and contractors to machines. These identities connect to upwards of billions of technology access points, all with varying levels of access requirements that change constantly as the needs of the business change.
On top of that, as businesses continue to adjust to the virtual and flex workplace, many are implementing new applications to ensure day-to-day activities remain seamless.
This is an expansive area of risk for many businesses. The workforce will always come with a certain risk level, but now a distributed workforce often provides malicious actors with more opportunities to do their dirty work, as the pandemic’s impact on the way we work has opened organisations up to a much larger ‘attack surface’.
Cyber spurred by innovation
While organisations charged down the digital transformation path, rushing to digitise and virtualise their business and workforce, it has never been a more challenging time for managing cyber risk and responding to the challenges of an ever-changing business landscape.
Yet, how can an organisation adapt in this landscape if they don’t know who in their employ has access to what systems, how they attained that access, whether it is still relevant, and what they are doing with that access?
When businesses provide access but don’t have a playbook in place for who should have access and how that access can and should be used, chaos and disarray ensue. Businesses cannot afford to provide access without having an identity security strategy in place to back up those decisions.
It goes without saying, not everyone in the business should be granted rights to everything. It’s like saying here are the keys to the front door, back door, and garage door to every house in the country. It becomes a free-for-all, introducing a boatload of risk to the business.
Therefore, strong identity security is no longer a ‘nice to have’ solution. It is essential.
Access is easy, security is hard
Protecting the connection between identities (think: employees, contractors, partners, machines) and technology is starting to sound complex to manage properly, when you stack it all up. On top of that, Australian businesses are facing increasing cyber threats daily, and breaches incur costs that are both financial and reputational.
The good news is, with a single view into all identities and their access rights, securing those connection points across the business can be simplified.
However, organisations cannot oversimplify this. Some may be tempted to only focus on providing the right access, skipping past truly securing that access. It’s understandable, given that true identity security for local organisations now exceeds human capacity and requires some level of automation to balance enablement with security. To keep business running full steam ahead, companies must recognise going beyond access to secure all connection points is critical to a solid security equation and, ultimately, enabling a secure workforce.
When businesses build a security strategy with identity security at the core, their workforce is empowered, not held back; secure, not a potential point of exposure.
Secure at the core
For companies today to be truly secure, they need to lean in on the notion that identity security is core to securing their business from threats. On top of that, the sure path forward is an identity security solution that is dynamic, flexible and agile, keeping pace with the velocity of today’s landscape.
Now is the time for businesses to re-evaluate their security strategy to make sure identity security is at the foundation. After all, you can’t confidently run a business without protecting access to the myriad of technology assets that are critical to powering your business.
Placing identity security at the core of your business pays the ultimate dividend: freeing your workers to focus on innovation, collaboration and productivity while reducing overall identity-related risk.
Many Australian businesses are only scratching the surface of identity security. That may have been good enough at the time, but today the stakes have never been higher when it comes to security. ‘Good enough’ is no longer enough.
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