In today’s dynamic world of work from anywhere, organizations are experiencing new pressure points. IT and security leaders find themselves grappling with extended enterprises of employees, contractors, and suppliers remotely located across the globe using an expanded set of technologies. The broad adoption of cloud apps, platforms, and infrastructure has led to a complete re-thinking of access, governance, and security.
While remote, extended enterprises accessing cloud-based technology bring potential risks, it also offers significant upside for businesses. CIOs have recognized how strategic their organizations can be in driving business growth, productivity, and reducing complexity by pushing rapid technology adoption and creating seamless, secure, and simple authentication and authorization experiences for their broad workforces.
Collectively, these changes have emphasized the need for a more holistic identity-first approach to technology adoption, implementation, and security. Much of that starts with understanding who has access to what, when they received access, and who authorized that access. That technology domain has traditionally been known as Identity Governance and Administration (IGA), but as new ways of working collide with new security paradigms, those definitions are shifting and evolving to match modern enterprise IT environments.
This broad need for IGA capabilities is well-founded, as enterprises are recognizing the side effects of distributed and fragmented user bases and tech stacks: a sharp rise in orphaned accounts that are a major security risk and a resource drain, and a lack of control and visibility into cloud application security posture, lacking clear reporting of access and any time constraints.
The weakness of traditional IGA systems
As companies start shifting to an identity-first approach to security, IGA is becoming a more sought-after capability for organizations requiring better visibility of identity administration and access entitlements across their IT infrastructure. This is a major departure from traditional, compliance-driven models, as IGA is being seen more as an enabler rather than risk mediation.
Traditional IGA solutions are primarily solving a legacy problem and were not built to manage identities in cloud-first IT environments. They lack the ability to easily integrate to modern applications and are challenging to implement, often taking 12-18 months to deploy, requiring professional services, and considerable maintenance costs along the way. The outcome is too often that traditional IGA solutions are bolted on and left alone, resulting in non-updated software and potentially with greater security holes than before. To make matters worse, legacy systems are generally designed with a small subset of users in mind, with user experiences that make broad adoption and education a significant challenge.
In a world where cloud technologies have democratized access and adoption, IGA solutions should make it possible for more users within an organization to compliantly engage with applications either as an end user or as an authorizer, ultimately driving the business forward.
The modern approach to identity governance
As enterprises continue to adopt more cloud technologies and work in a distributed environment across a broad set of users, IGA must evolve to enable rather than disrupt modern enterprises. IT leaders need a cloud-native, enterprise-grade solution that is approaching identity governance not as a bolt-on solution, but as one that has been foundationally incorporated into a broader identity-first security posture. To keep pace with today’s speed of innovation and adoption, a modern solution must be deployed in days, and be easy to use and maintain. Lastly, a modern IGA solution must deliver a seamless and frictionless experience for the workforce and help boost the productivity and agility of its IT organization.
Okta’s cloud-first approach to identity governance
As the first born-in-the-cloud identity provider, Okta has taken its modern approach to identity and access management (IAM) and applied it to IGA with Okta Identity Governance, which is now generally available. Okta Identity Governance is part of Okta’s broader workforce identity vision, unifying IAM and IGA to improve enterprises’ security posture, helping them mitigate modern security risks, improve their IT efficiency, and meet today’s productivity and compliance challenges.
Deeply integrated into Okta’s existing IAM solutions, Okta Identity Governance provides an unparalleled comprehensive view of every user’s access patterns. Enriched user context allows reviewers to not only simplify the access certification process, but also make informed decisions about user access ensuring only the right people have access to right resources. It meets users where they are by providing easy to use self-service access request capabilities, tightly integrated with collaboration tools built on a converged IAM and Governance solution, automating the provisioning of access to an enterprise’s applications and cloud resources.
With a network of 7,000+ pre-built integrations, Okta Identity Governance can provide intelligent and easy to use identity governance capabilities with the ability to automate complex identity processes, at scale.
Analyst firms and the federal government have agreed on the broad, foundational role identity plays in securing today’s organizations. Identity is the number one pillar of zero trust architecture, and that approach is built on the principle of least privilege with identity governance serving as a critical component. As organizations continue to adopt a zero trust framework, they are starting to realize the importance of moving away from a distributed identity architecture to a unified approach. Okta’s unified platform extends access and identity administration to include the key access governance tools that modern organizations need to mitigate modern security risks and improve IT resource efficiency.
To learn more about Okta Identity Governance, visit the Okta blog.
About the Author
Paresh Bhaya is the Senior Director, Product Marketing for Identity Management business at Okta. He has been in the security industry for 10+ years and has experience in all phases of product development and marketing. He is passionate about security and you can always find him chatting about some deep security problem. Prior to Okta he was leading the Product Marketing efforts at Salesforce and worked at successful startups before that. He has an M.S. in Electrical Engineering from University of Texas.