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Enterprises are driving productivity through an unlikely source: Security and compliance
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Enterprises are driving productivity through an unlikely source: Security and compliance

COVID didn’t really bring new secular technology trends. Instead, the pandemic sped up the progress of changes that were already starting to be made. Businesses reimagined their digital processes. Cloud adoption increased. And security concerns became a higher priority. Each of these changes brings new risks, but the right processes and technology offer businesses significant positive benefits.

It’s easy to get caught up in new technologies and their possibilities. But the core of this shift comes down to the basics of good enterprise security and governance. Businesses need to make sure the right people get the right access to the right technology. On the flip side, they must also make sure that only the right people are accessing the technology at any time.

In the past, security was typically the responsibility of the IT department. But as businesses now understand that threat mitigation and legal complications pose serious risks, security discussions have risen to the C-suite and board of directors level. Organizations realize that the same forces that solve risk and compliance challenges can also improve workforce productivity and reduce complexity.

Identity’s increasingly critical role

Employees are no longer all in the office. Some work from home full time. Others may work hybrid. Organizations are still experimenting with different models to see what works best for both the business and their employees. The future of work will likely continue to evolve over the next several months and years. However, the challenge is determining how to keep the drastically changing hybrid work environment secure.

Organizations are increasingly turning to identity-first security to secure access to their most critical resources. Gartner’s Identity and Access Management (IAM) Magic Quadrant reports that by 2025 converged IAM platforms will be the preferred adoption method for Access Management, Identity Governance and Administration (IGA) and Privileged Access Management (PAM) in over 70% of new deployments, driven by more comprehensive risk mitigation requirements.

With this approach, the foundational level for security is understanding the identity of all users and each of their devices. Whether it’s an employee, a contractor, an endpoint or a server, every entity within an organization needs to be authenticated into systems and gain authorization to perform actions.

Identity has become even more critical to technology executives as the stakes have grown. It’s easy to think of security as simply protecting the organization. But in reality, improving security through identity-first security processes provides many often unseen benefits. With the right level of security, employees have the access they need across the organization, and teams speed up tool and technology adoption. Identity-based security enables the business to grow and innovate as much as it protects.

Compliance and security tools need to improve

In the past, compliance-focused industries like identity and access governance had to make some tough tradeoffs. They were tasked with keeping the business secure and compliant with regulations. But that often meant making it tough for employees to get their jobs done. At the same time, this approach often added more work and a greater burden on IT professionals trying to keep systems up and running.

Legacy compliance and security tools were often the problem. They lacked the ability to easily integrate with modern applications and were challenging to implement. Not to mention, the technology was miserable for users, which made it hard to get buy-in for broad adoption.

But now, cloud technologies have democratized access and adoption. With governance and privileged access solutions, more users within an organization can compliantly engage with applications either as an end user or as an authorizer. When all employees have access to data, applications and infrastructure to do their job in an efficient manner, the entire business grows and moves forward.

How the world should work

Modern solutions must work with today’s speed of innovation and adoption. Otherwise, the business wastes time and loses momentum. Organizations need tools to be up and running within days, not weeks or months. Employees expect the tools to be easy to use, and the IT team needs the technology to be easy to maintain. When the technology delivers a seamless and frictionless experience, productivity and agility increases. Most importantly, the benefits happen without sacrificing security.

As the first independent born-in-the-cloud identity provider, Okta applied its modern approach to identity and access management to IGA with Okta Identity Governance, which is now generally available. Okta Identity Governance, which is part of Okta’s broader workforce identity vision, unifies IAM and IGA to improve enterprises’ security posture. Additionally, the Okta technology mitigates modern security risks, improves IT efficiency and meets today’s productivity and compliance challenges.

Technology needs to meet employees and the IT team where they are. Deeply integrated into Okta’s existing IAM solutions, Okta Identity Governance provides an unparalleled comprehensive view of every user’s access patterns. With enriched user context, reviewers can simplify the access certification process while making informed decisions that ensure only the right people have access to resources. At the same time, employees can access easy-to-use self-service access request capabilities. Because the technology is tightly integrated with collaboration tools built on a converged IAM and governance solution, organizations can automate access provisioning of both the enterprise’s applications and cloud resources.

Moving forward with identity-first security

Security tools should accelerate technology adoption. But often, the tools actually disrupt and slow down forward movement. With Okta tools, organizations have the compliance and security protection to grow while still protecting themselves from risk.

Businesses are more secure and protected with technology that gets the right users the right level of access for the right amount of time. When a business embraces technology it is more secure and productive but using a cloud-based platform takes it to a new level — the IT teams are more efficient while reducing significant complexity. And instead of focusing on security and access, the organization can focus on what it does best: serving customers and growing the business through innovative solutions.