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A lofty idea: Bridging the islands of identity

Published: November 19th, 2018 By: Glenn Weir

CDW

It should come as no surprise to anyone that cloud solutions are poised to become the market dominator.1 The rapid surge in cloud computing, though, maps to an increasing and disturbing decentralization of identity controls – just as identity is emerging as a major attack vector.

In the “old days,” identity credentials were set up by IT for corporate users in the company’s centralized Active Directory repository. These credentials were used for user access to the corporate network from all endpoints, including Virtual Private Networks (VPNs).

Today, cloud apps are bridging gaps for business users including collaboration (Google Docs) and productivity (Google Apps), as well as serving more specialized functions such as marketing (HubSpot), creative (Adobe Creative Cloud), and sales (Salesforce.com). Microsoft Office 365 remains the most popular business application in the cloud as it continues to distance itself from Google Apps, its main competitor.2

While convenient for users, these apps present a new kind of challenge for IT: users establish their identity credentials (username and password) which are stored individually on each of these sites – and outside the purview of IT. No longer under IT’s insight, control, visibility, and management, these “Islands of Identity” make it infinitely more difficult for IT to comply with regulations, for instance, and to prove to auditors that user identities are protected.

The numbers and types of cloud apps for business are on the rise and driving more use. The average organization uses about 13 cloud apps.3 All of which points to the need for IT to gain insight into, and bridge these islands of identity – without eliminating them.

How? Using RSA SecurID® Access with user identities consolidated in databases such as Active Directory (or in the cloud, Azure Active Directory) brings the authentication activity back under IT’s influence, and not in the specific databases of external applications.

A solution such as RSA SecurID Access can integrate with your existing IT and/or security solution to extend your authentication strategy for on-premises applications and resources to your cloud-based applications and data. The result enables IT to manage cloud-based data stores effectively, and more specifically, with better visibility into and control over access no matter where the data stores and applications exist. RSA SecurID Access also provides a better user experience in which end-user authentication and access remain seamless, convenient – and secure.

The end result? The organization benefits from true Business-Driven Security™. IT no longer has to say “no,” and users are able to access the apps they need quickly and easily.

Now THAT is the way to accelerate business while mitigating identity risk. Find out which edition of RSA® Access is right for your organization today.


1 https://www.insight.com/en_US/learn/content/2016/11032016-current-cloud-computing-statistics.html
2 http://www.thewhir.com/web-hosting-news/enterprises-prefer-microsoft-office-365-over-google-apps-report Chris Burt August 27 2015
3 http://www.thewhir.com/web-hosting-news/slack-may-be-sexier-but-office-365-most-used-cloud-based-business-app Chris Burt March 29, 2016