Higher productivity, efficiency and agility are of prime importance for global organizations today. And to attain these goals, IT infrastructure and operations teams are transforming their IT environments by embracing cloud-based technologies or adopting multi-cloud environments and even hybrid IT setups.
In broader perspective, global organizations are developing IT infrastructure that is easily scalable without hampering IT efficiency. In this backdrop, the IT infrastructure typically expands at a brisk pace encompassing disparate systems spread across hybrid data center and multiple cloud environments.
The challenge with conventional identity and access management approach
As a result, the number of digital identities – both human and non-human—that interact with disparate systems (business assets, infrastructure assets, cloud workloads) constantly increases at every level in the IT ecosystem. And it increases at such a pace that Identity-first security becomes highly imperative as a single vulnerability can lead to incidents of identity theft /abuse that can be catastrophic for any organization. Malicious insiders or third parties can compromise their digital identities that result in confidential data loss, unauthorized access, cyber espionage and more.
To ensure security of digital identities, IT administrators count on multiple IAM solutions such as PAM (Privileged Access Management), IGA (Identity Governance and Administration), IAM (Identity and Access Management), SSO (single sign-on) for addressing many identity-based use cases.
Nevertheless, implementing several IAM solutions in parallel can lead to inefficient IT setup. Some of these challenges include:
- Decentralized polices and controls
- No single pane of glass to manage, control, monitor, and govern identities, entitlements and users
- Higher operating and administrative costs associated with many IAM solutions
- Higer licensing costs associated with implementing various access management software
- Traditional IAM solutions were never built keeping in view the context-driven controls required to manage and control distinct identities
Why Converged Identity approach?
To overcome this challenge, modern organizations are finding great merit in redesigning their IAM strategy and implementing a converged identity approach. It eliminates the necessity for multiple solutions and brings every security requirement under one roof. It fulfils the need to ensure an identity-first security approach for every IT environment in a centralized manner.
Secondly, the converged identity approach not only streamlines access control security but also enhances the user experience. It combines multiple authentication methods into a single, cohesive system and thus reduces access control security risks. The CI approach aligns with the growing need for seamless yet secure access across multiple applications in a frictionless manner.
In this regard, ARCON’s Converged Identity helps organizations to build an integrated identity fabric solution and meet the requirements for Zero Trust security framework. We have discussed some of the key points that explain why implementing ARCON CI platform would bring immense benefits for an organization.
ARCON Converged Identity Suite: Enabling IAM convergence with desired level of security and governance
1. A Natively built platform: The first and truly natively built converged identity platform that provides out-of-box integrations, whereas any ordinary CI solution is developed in parts (no single vendor offering). In the latter case, IAM pros would never witness seamless integrations.
2. A Single Pane of Glass for Complete Observability of a Digital Identity Environment: ARCON Converged Identity (CI) suite offers a single pane of glass for every security need that can monitor, control, and govern every identity present in an enterprise IT ecosystem. It casts a bigger net of identity controls in a vast and distributed IT environment for complete observability of the identities. The security module of ARCON | CI encompasses multi-factor authentication, just-in-time privilege, fine-grained access control, password management, session monitoring, and customized reporting that strengthens the secure access environment.
ARCON | CI is a one-stop solution for multiple requirements that are met by Privileged Access Management (PAM), Identity Access Management (IAM) or Endpoint Privilege Management (EPM). It follows the principle of Least privilege, detects suspicious users with anomalous behaviour, enforces application blacklisting, and offers an intuitive workflow matrix. It even provides the capabilities that vault and randomize credentials for the on-boarded users ensuring complete lifecycle management and comprehensive security. With this, it automatically builds the foundation of Zero Trust security architecture because these features help the organization to follow the principle of “Deny Access” unless the trust is verified at every step.
3. Identity Governance and Access Management (IGA) to address access control use cases: In a typical IT environment, the number of end-users and data assets is exploding. If it is hybrid work environment, then the challenge multiplies because of its distributed nature. Hence, all identities (including both human & non-human) require intense governing through which the lifecycle of the identities are managed, and identity abuse threats are also controlled.
ARCON’s Converged Identity supports IG module both on-premises and on-cloud environment by provisioning, deprovisioning, certifying or recertifying users in every level. It ensures that the right users in an organization have the necessary access to the right systems, applications, and databases to do their tasks effectively. With this solution, IT administrators can ensure that the irrelevant users do not have access to any confidential information that is not required. It assists the IT security teams to –
- Govern the accounts mapped to a particular user at regular intervals
- Configure the review circle of all access given to the users
- Allow or revoke any privileged account mapped to a particular user
- Modify the details of the configured user and deleted user
- Pre-schedule the review process at a particular date
- Enhance the reporting and audit process
- Comply with the IT security standards
- Reduce IT costs
- Streamline the overall business process
4. Identity Hub of ARCON | CI Streamlines overall IT Operations: Just think about the routine task of the IT administrators who are responsible to continuously keeping a hawk eye on the privileged identities, human identities, machine identities and their activities. With the proliferation in the number of identities in every IT environment, to what extent can the administrators control and monitor the users in a distributed IT environment?
An “Identity Hub” could potentially refer to a centralized platform or system that manages and secures user identities and access across various applications, systems, and services within an organization. Identity and access management (IAM) is a critical aspect of IT security that involves managing the digital identities of users, ensuring they have legitimate access to the right resources, and maintaining overall security.
The Identity Hub dashboard of ARCON’s Converged Identity suite separates it from the rest because of its robust functionalities. Through this dashboard, the security administrator can –
- Check out the pending access requests sent by users for approval
- Graphical representation of any user access history – it helps in assessing the frequency of access and audit
- Assess the overall number of privileged users and who have frequent access requests to systems
- Figure out who have maximum number of JIT access
- Know what are the top assets that are accessed by the users
5. Offers a self-service portal for users: With the help of Self-service portal, the users can manage their own profiles, access requests and approvals easily. For end-users, navigating multiple authentication systems can be confusing, stressful, and time-consuming. Converged Identity platform offers a more seamless experience by enabling users to access various systems and services with a single set of credentials. It helps to manage data assets securely and this self-service portal simplifies the approval process, improves user satisfaction, and encourages the adoption of best security practices. For example, regularly updating passwords or using multi-factor authentication becomes easy with CI. It even helps to segregate users into user groups based on their roles and limitations and their provisioning/ deprovisioning is streamlined.
ARCON believes that the core component of a robust security framework is to achieve identity-centric security across every layer of an IT ecosystem. Hence, there is an emergence of converged identity approach to ensure multiple security benefits from a unified IAM platform.