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The vital role of policy-driven authorization for CISOs

Policy-driven authorization addresses compliance & Zero Trust challenges while also playing a crucial role in helping CISOs accomplish their main priorities.

Despite the increased visibility and significant pressures of their job, the majority of the time CISOs are not given a voice with the board and security is often viewed as a cost as opposed to a revenue generating function. However, they are still held accountable for cybersecurity breaches and attacks.

And this accountability doesn’t only come from internal stakeholders. Recently, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) brought charges against a company’s CISO in connection with a cybersecurity incident. Now, the SEC is requiring enterprises to increase the level of transparency around their cybersecurity capabilities and speed up breach disclosure.

Conquer compliance and lessen risks with policy-driven authorization

Policy-driven authorization addresses compliance and Zero Trust strategy challenges while also playing a crucial role in helping CISOs accomplish their main priorities. Authorization gives CISOs the ability to:

1. Navigate compliance and regulatory demands

The number one complaint I hear from CISO’s is how to ensure that I am applying policies consistently across the entire enterprise. Policy-driven authorization centralizes access control policies making them independent from application logic. Therefore, ensuring sensitive data is only viewable and delicate actions are only performed under certain conditions to ensure compliance and reduce risk.

2. Save 20% of production time and money

When authorization is done properly it can save you twenty percent of production time on applications which frees up developers to focus on app functionality. As a bonus, since access policies are centralized, any future changes do not require changing the code of individual applications.

3. Build a robust defense with a Zero Trust strategy

Policy-driven authorization employs a consistent set of compliance and security policies from one application and makes sure that they are applied across the organization to multiple applications, regardless of what coding language each application is in.

4. Maximize returns by optimizing your current investments

With authorization, organizations can address gaps and challenges that present themselves when trying to scale current investments. It achieves this by adding the ability to include a real-time decision tree, which adds additional attributes to make more appropriate decisions.

5. Reduce access risks and strengthen security

With policy-driven authorization, you can control risk at an organizational level by continuously analyzing risk in real-time to make decisions across the entire application stack including microservices, APIs and API gateways.

Why Axiomatics?

When looking to bring in an externalized authorization solution there can often be pushback as there is buy-in from different groups within the organization. One of the biggest items we hear is that numerous applications have already been built and people don’t know how authorization fits in with them.

However, one of the benefits of working with Axiomatics is that we can work with new and existing applications – whereas many vendors only have the ability to work with new applications. Our architecture is set up in a way that we aren’t necessarily worried about how the environment or software is built as we can fit into almost any environment. Therefore, ensuring a consistent approach to access control across the enterprise.

Axiomatics micrservices architecture

Our architecture is set up in a way that we can fit into almost any environment. For example, for applications built with microservices, enforcement can be done either through a proxy as part of a service mesh (e.g. Envoy) or an embedded agent (PEP) in the microservices. Additionally, you could deploy a proxy as a sidecar or as a more centralized service at the node or the cluster level, depending on your scalability needs.

In addition, because Axiomatics takes a policy-driven authorization approach, this means you have better visibility of what policies are in place, who can access what, and when. This enables you to easily demonstrate auditability, secure collaboration, and ensures business continuity while creating an additional layer of security.

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About the author

Jim Barkdoll is the president and CEO for Axiomatics, leading the company’s overall vision, growth strategy and go-to-market initiatives. He has more than 20 years of leadership and business development experience with an established track record of successfully growing teams and revenues for partners and vendors of all sizes.