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Optimizing existing identity investments

Many enterpises are putting in their time and resources in all of the right investments, but how can you optimize those existing investments?

With the evolution of the modern threat landscape, implementing an identity-first security approach is almost a necessity.

On the bright side, many large enterprises have already made significant investments in identity and access management (IAM) solutions, including identity governance and administration (IGA) implementations, and advanced authentication solutions.

So, why is it that we still see these same enterprises grappling with deployment, management, or access control challenges? 

In many cases, these investments are not effectively integrated, leading to a lack of synergy and optimal performance.

In this article, we’ll delve into some of the common challenges we see and hear when it comes to existing IAM investments and how a policy-driven authorization approach can be part of the solution

Understanding existing investments

As identity has evolved from discussions around provisioning and access control lists, enterprises find themselves grappling with significant investments in solutions that either have challenging deployments or require intensive resources to scale.

At the same time, the breadth of capabilities offered by some of these investments – IGA solutions, in particular – usually aren’t fully realized or are used in ways outside of their core competency.

For instance – as access control has evolved, many enterprises try to expand their role-based access control (RBAC) approach, which can be heavily dependent on an IGA solution. This creates additional challenges including role explosion

For most organizations, their core identity investments include at least these three pieces:

1. Authentication

Authentication practices and solutions have seen significant maturation in the last few years as enterprises leverage single-sign on (SSO) or multi-factor authentication (MFA).

That said, authentication decisions are often black and white – “permit” or “deny” access and do not address other decisions an organization may want to implement (i.e. can “permit access to view only” without editing capabilities).

2. Identity Governance and Administration

While we’ve come a long way on IGA, these solutions are not meant to offer the type of fine-grained access and authorization capabilities in line with a Zero Trust or identity-first security approach.

They offer robust functionality with regard to several core elements of IAM – provisioning/deprovisioning, roles, entitlements, etc. – but often have long deployment cycles and are difficult to efficiently scale..

3. Auditing

Given the increase in global regulations, auditing, and access reviews are a core part of any IAM program.

The challenge for many organizations is ensuring their auditing solution integrates with existing identity investments (including those listed above).

While all of these areas of investment have matured and are critical elements of any identity-first or Zero Trust security strategy, each only addresses a specific piece of the identity puzzle. 

Identifying the gaps

When looking at what gaps enterprises could be facing, I think a great analogy is the process you go through to buy a car.

When you take a first glance at the car, you assume it’s got a steering wheel, four wheels, an engine and safely gets you from point A to point B.

But how many of us take the time to review the owner’s manual?

Also, do you know all the ins and outs of what your car is capable of?

By not knowing all of the abilities that your car is capable of, you’re missing out on opportunities and benefits that you may not even realize. 

The same is true for many enterprises when it comes to these investments. They have all of these great tools under their belts, however, they’re not fully aware of all of the functionality that can be taken advantage of.

This is where Axiomatics comes in. 

IdP as a data store

Earlier, we briefly discussed how most investments made are a great starting point, but are ultimately missing key components that take away opportunities.

Going more in-depth, IdP tools (such as Active Directory) are essentially a glorified data store.

Within this data store, you can access information such as the location of a user, what department they’re in, their time zone, etc.

But, unless someone is actually going into the data store and grabbing this information, it’s not adding any value. 

This is where Axiomatics is able to help. We take advantage of all of the information that’s in that store and use it when it’s relevant.

We provide a professional, holistic approach that maximizes the value of stored information in an organized, real-time, and policy-driven manner.  As users request information such as data, visual elements on a page, access to buttons, or more,

Axiomatics will combine information about the element they are accessing with the information from the IdP data store, and return a run time permit or deny response.

This way, the Axiomatics solution ensures that the right data is available when it’s relevant, contributing to the success, security, and compliance of your organization.

Enhancing oversight

In a more traditional worldview, everything that a user touches is reported on in distinct settings.

For example, if you’re trying to access something like Microsoft SharePoint everything you try to access will have a record.

But, when you go to Microsoft Teams, it’ll give you a separate report. This means that in an old-world approach, you’re lacking visibility of what your employees are doing holistically across the board. 

With Axiomatics’ solution, however, all of that reporting will go to one central place.

Not only does this make seeing what your employees are doing a more efficient process, but it also makes a massive difference to the Security Operations Center (SOC).

Typically, the SOC team sees so much traffic all at once that it makes it difficult to take action when something out of the ordinary occurs.

Once the SOC team identifies a potential threat, they then need to start trying to combine information about a users’ behavior across all the applications the user interacts with.  

Not only will Axiomatics combine all the reporting across all applications that a user interacts with, but Axiomatics can also add meaningful Advice and Obligation into the report based on the users’ behavior giving context to the report.

The added context along with the combined reporting gives your SOC team the knowledge they need to accurately protect what matters most to your business.

Let’s show you more

Understanding existing investments and recognizing the gaps within these investments is crucial for businesses looking to optimize their resources, enhance security, and streamline operations.

Schedule a demo to see how Axiomatics can help.


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About the author

As the vice president of customer relations, Matt works closely with customers & partners to leverage our award-winning authorization solutions to address current and future access challenges. His 15+ years of experience in technology, working with companies including Titus, ClearPicture, & N-able Technologies.