Unifying Security and Applications Through Identity

Identity and security must be built into the overall enterprise IT ecosystem, not simply added on

As enterprise perimeters disappear into borderless cyberspace, CISOs are struggling to protect their businesses, partners and customers. Once entirely within the corporate data center domain, applications are now hosted in on-prem, hybrid, pure cloud and SaaS environments. Adding to the complexity are the rapidly growing bring-your-own-device (BYOD) with remote work and IoT devices that are accessing and using apps, with varying credentials and trust.

AppSec/API Security 2022

CISOs are further challenged with juggling fragmented identity and access management, threat detection, endpoint security, email security, content security and more. Within that maze are many products, from any number of vendors. Additionally, each vendor has its own set of configurations, rules, policies, processes, workflows and structure. None of their APIs easily work together—if they even have APIs.

It’s understandable that amid this tangle, application and network vulnerabilities can be overlooked, while trying to maintain individual patch cycles and configuration changes. All of these challenges from an ever-growing security stack creates an environment ripe with distractions that can divert a CISO’s attention from significant business risk and the inevitable breach as a result. It’s like a commander on the battlefield organizing their troops for a forward assault, while the enemy is flanking from behind.

Controlling Security Through Identity

To overcome all of this complexity and fragmentation, identity has become the new security gatekeeper for the perimeterless enterprise. Today’s perimeterless enterprise borders require identity infrastructure to enable discrete management and control over applications, users and devices.

Identity and security must be built into the overall enterprise IT ecosystem, not simply added on. This isn’t easy, but it’s critical to recognize them as equally important elements within the enterprise, which includes many ecosystem components.

The notion of a security stack assumes stratified services are interconnected by passing and receiving information into and out of contiguous layers. Each provides an important function, as part of the whole. The interconnectivity between security functions and applications is complicated to integrate, update and manage. This also makes vulnerable connection points alluring targets for hackers. Certainly, there are APIs and other integration tools that provide a level of security between discrete security functions. But information exchange between the security elements is critical and a lack of interoperability can make correlating information among products a slow and therefore risky process for detection and remediation.

Preventing, detecting and responding to cybersecurity challenges with a convolution of insulated security solutions simply can’t provide the appropriate protections required to safeguard against today’s fast-paced and sophisticated malicious activity.

Given the potential high-profile nature of cyberattacks and the risk factors, speed in responding to attacks is critical. However, with huge volumes of data collected from so many individual products, the chances of gathering, aggregating, assessing and acting upon everything quickly presents a no-win situation.

Mastering the Modern Stack Requires a Cloud-Enabled Approach

Manipulating this jumble of complex technology requires a new approach to managing security and the diverse technologies required to safeguard enterprise assets. While the traditional deployment model has been successful within data centers with defined parameters, it has major inefficiencies and shortcomings in today’s perimeterless environment. The complexity and diversity of today’s digital business environment are causing IT and security teams to move beyond the cumbersome, cost-prohibitive and rigid nature of traditional deployments.

Suffice it to say, it’s no picnic trying to make sense of the interconnectivity of data flows and services going in, out of and between multiple security elements. A cloud-delivered security management platform allows enterprises to seamlessly navigate clouds and corporate data centers, while leveraging an automated and programmable solution to protect assets against unauthorized access.

Consuming Security as a Managed Service

Businesses in every industry are turning to cloud and SaaS providers. They are consuming technology as a service, instead of taking on the cost, time and ongoing maintenance burden.

Security as a service, or SECaaS, is a cloud-based service model under which the provider integrates services into the enterprise infrastructure, typically on a subscription basis. This is more effective and cost-efficient, as the service provider is able to leverage cloud economies of scale.

Security, delivered as a cloud service, is available through diversified services:

  • Identity and access management (IAM) or (IDaaS)
  • Security information event management (SIEM)
  • Antivirus management
  • Data loss prevention (DLP)
  • Email security
  • Intrusion protection
  • Security assessment
  • Spam filtering
  • Web security
  • Vulnerability scanning

Let’s take identity as a service, or IDaaS, as an example. A cloud-based solution with comprehensive IAM functions, IDaaS ensures the right customers, employees and third-party users, securely access systems and data on- and off-premises.

IDaaS integrates discrete applications and hosting environments into a cohesive managed identity service. IDaaS provides a clear view of all IAM-related actions from a single pane-of-glass. They manage the entire life cycle—from onboarding to access requests, access reviews to off-boarding and even privileged access management.

SECaaS is an example of a new model that strengthens security by consolidating and streamlining the interactions between applications and user access and the interactions between the various apps and services themselves. Integrating applications within the managed service layer eases deployment, troubleshooting and monitoring, improving security, protecting assets and delivering a quality user experience.

The ‘as-a-service’ model for security provides customers with flexibility to choose the solution they want, free from vendor lock-in. Security services can now be controlled, analyzed, monitored and acted upon quickly, through a unified single-pane-of-glass interface. This simplifies the correlation of everything for the administrator. This also eliminates the complexity of having to manage and correlate data from individual applications, systems and security functions from different vendors.

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Chris Schueler

Chris Schueler, as Chief Executive Officer, drives the overall vision and strategy for Simeio. He is a proven leader with extensive experience in Go To Market, Operations, and Product Development in the managed security services space. He joined Simeio from Trustwave; leading all aspects of their security services and go-to-market. Under his leadership and strategy, created a significant growth engine in revenue and profit, ultimately moving Trustwave's services into global leadership positions in all markets and analyst communities. Prior to that, Chris spent 11 years with IBM building, growing, and expanding their cloud and security managed services businesses achieving significant growth in revenue, margin, and NPS in both large public and small emerging environments. Chris is a veteran of the US Army and spent 12 years in Information Operations Commands. Chris received a Bachelor's degree in OMIS from Northern Illinois University and his Master's of Business Administration degree from Auburn University. He is a husband and father to 3 daughters, a health and fitness enthusiast, and an outdoorsman.

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