Are you also keeping your front door open for hackers?

Did you know most of the cyber attacks that happened in the past few years utilized the stolen credential of users1 to enter through the front door of their business? Now crossing this front door shouldn’t be this easy but with new trends coming up everyday in IT, proper access management becomes a complex task. The world is going digital like never before, resulting in the number of new apps coming up everyday. Not to mention, the new group of users in the form of customers, employees, partners, contractors with their own access levels, specific to the applications they want to use.

Another reason is the huge shift towards mobile and cloud based adoption. The distinct boundaries between enterprise solutions have been blurred by this adoption trend and thus gave birth to separate mobile and cloud based access controls. The whole scenario has left organizations with fragmented, unstructured and heterogeneous access management solutions. This makes them more vulnerable to cyber threats due to the lack of more robust and uniform security policies.

But don’t worry! It is never too late. All’s not lost. All that businesses need is a robust access management solution that can not only eliminate the access control complexities but also impose high level security policies.

How can you keep your front door closed and protected from hackers?

A robust access management solution must have the following capabilities: 

It should work for both desktop as well as mobile

Gone are the days when the sole purpose of an access management solution was to manage a single type of interaction i.e. web browser or single app. It is estimated that the global mobile users are going to touch the figure of 6.1B users by 20202 Every year more and more users are accessing sensitive data via their mobile phones, tablets and smart devices. Moreover, the growing API ecosystem is making it easier to proffer a smooth experience across all of these platforms.

While the trend of going mobile is at its peak, what businesses are totally ignoring is the vulnerability this trend is bringing along. Traditional access management solutions are no longer capable enough to manage the security and thus one security failure and businesses will be on the verge of losing their precious data. In order to impose robust security and centralization, there comes the need of an access management solution which is capable enough to create and manage policies across the channels.

It should support adaptive authentication

Do I even need to say that username-password combination is no longer strong enough to keep you safe from hackers? But again, you can’t implement high security policies everywhere since it will ruin your customer experience. In order to strike balance between security and customer experience, businesses must move from “always on” to “risk based” approach. Instead of imposing high security everywhere, interaction conditions should be analyzed in order to determine the risk level. Want to know, how it works? Read on!

For e.g. if a user is trying to access a website from an unusual location or device, you can step up security by adding some additional level of verification or this can also be done on the basis of type of resource the user wants to access. If the process is related to fund transfer, stepping up security should be must.

Adopting adaptive or risk based approach makes sure that only the authorized person gets access and at the same time, it eliminates the frustration caused otherwise.

It should support federated access

There is no doubt, cloud based SaaS (Software-as-a-service) solution can be a great help in enhancing security and reducing expenses. Moreover, new heights of collaboration can be achieved if businesses start granting each other’s users access to their own resources based on the established trust. But many of the businesses don’t notice that these relationships can lead to a huge access management challenge. The reason being, security admins always prefer to maintain a synchronized and current user lists across the ecosystem and in many cases, cross-domain user administration is almost impossible.

In this scenario, the need of an access management solution arises that can support federated identity3 access. This way, users can bring their own identity with them (either from the organization or from social ID providers). If the access management solution comes with federation support, the benefits can be extended with above two features. Moreover, users need authentication once for both in-house as well as cloud services, thereby saving time and eliminating password fatigue.

Wrapping up

By adapting an access management solution that provides centralized access, supports mobile, adaptive authentication and federated identities, businesses can sort out the huge web of applications. A robust access management solution with above mentioned qualities will impose security without interfering user experience. Lastly, such an access management solution will keep your door closed for the ever hungry cyber criminals.

Sources:

1. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3573203/Big-data-breaches-major-email-services-expert.html

2. https://techcrunch.com/2015/06/02/6-1b-smartphone-users-globally-by-2020-overtaking-basic-fixed-phone-subscriptions/

3. https://www.loginradius.com/federation

About the Author

Prince Kapoor is Marketing Analyst Lead at LoginRadius, A leading CIAM Provider. While not working, you can find him in gym or giving random health advises to his colleagues which no one agrees on :D. If you too want some of his advises (on health or on marketing), reach him out at Twitter. 

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