From Zero Trust to total confidence


By Nam Lam, Country Manager, ANZ, SailPoint
Thursday, 04 August, 2022

From Zero Trust to total confidence

In today’s business landscape, perimeter-based security is no longer sufficient.

Cybercriminals continue to gain entry into company systems by hacking user accounts. The business security perimeter has changed. Employees, contractors, vendors and even non-human bots are the new corporate firewall. As a result, businesses are shifting their focus to protect identities by providing only the required access to the right identities.

This is why identity security has to be at the core of a Zero Trust security architecture.

Trust is not an option

Zero Trust security is based on the notion of ‘never trust, always verify’, which means that no user, device, resources or application should be trusted until their identity has been verified. When all network traffic by default is untrusted, the only viable security strategy is one built on identity.

According to a recent Forrester report, as the workforce is being augmented by non-human entities such as robotic process automation, physical robots and IoT systems, it’s more important today than ever to ensure strong identity and access management practices to secure these identities. This is compounded by the OAIC’s most recent report, which showed that almost two-thirds (65%) of cyber incidents involved malicious actors gaining access to accounts using compromised or stolen credentials.

The shift to remote work and the reliance on cloud-based services mean more critical business operations than ever are being conducted outside a business network. This presents cybercriminals with even more opportunities to infiltrate user accounts — which ultimately puts systems at risk.

AI as a force multiplier

Building security defences based on static, network-based perimeters is no longer effective. Because of the volume of identity data, it can be overwhelming for organisations, and is often beyond human capacity to sort through all of this information manually.

According to our recent report, anywhere operations, increased cloud use, and growing security attacks are putting pressure on organisations to control the true extent of their operations. This is why 99% of companies indicated that Zero Trust has been successful in delivering increased security for their business. It treats every identity and every device as a potential threat, which proves effective in reducing security risks and preventing data breaches.

It’s why some of Australia’s largest organisations — Mirvac, Beach Energy and Officeworks — invested in identity security solutions that ultimately protect their bottom line. A comprehensive identity security solution empowers organisations to automate the identity lifecycle, manage the integrity of identity attributes, enforce privilege based on roles, and leverage technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to govern and respond to access risks.

Keystone to Zero Trust

Identity data that is used to verify a user plays a crucial role in Zero Trust since it contains key information such as identity attributes, access rights, access entitlements, behavioural data, and memberships. In fact, according to a recent IDSA report, 97% of IT security experts agree that identity is a foundational component of a Zero Trust security model.

Managing and governing access for all types of digital identities is critical to establish a Zero Trust framework that is able to systematically adapt and respond to ongoing changes across the organisation and threat landscape.

The key principles include:

  • Never trust, always verify: Go beyond simple authentication decisions and use a complete, up-to-date identity record for each user. This includes using permissions, entitlements, attributes and roles to verify what they should have access to.
  • Deliver just enough, timely access: Enforce Least Privilege at scale using roles, role-based access controls (RBAC), and complex access policy logic to ensure that users only have access to the resources they need when they need them.
  • Continuously monitor, analyse and adapt: Employ strategies to keep security up-to-date and adapt as changes happen and when new threats are detected, to ensure your organisation can continue to innovate while staying secure and compliant.

In order to make better identity decisions, businesses need tools to automate the discovery, management and governance of all user access across hybrid and multi-cloud environments, remote work and multiple devices. Australian businesses are implored to mitigate threats and empower their workforce by embracing a Zero Trust security strategy built on identity.

Image credit: ©

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