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Home > Best Practices in Identity Security

5 Ways Identity Security ‘Done Right’ Reduces Compliance Risk

Identity Security is one of the most important strategies IT and cybersecurity teams can adopt in modernizing their approach to compliance and governance in the cloud era. Enterprise Strategy Group research shows that 58% of decision-makers cited Identity Security as a key enabler in meeting business goals, and 55% identified Identity Security as a key enabler in modernizing compliance and governance.1

IT and cybersecurity leaders ESG surveyed said flexibility and integration are essential elements of Identity Security and compliance. They are looking for agility in a platform to support both cloud and on-premises environments and integrate with existing IT solutions. On the importance of securing identities in the cloud, the survey results showed:2

  • 92% cited breadth of cloud platform coverage.
  • 93% cited a platform that provides Identity Security for both on-premises and cloud environments.
  • 92% cited integration with existing Identity Security solutions.
  • 90% cited the ability to deploy a platform as either a cloud service or an on-premises solution. 

In evaluating potential solutions, keep in mind that compliance is not only about meeting regulatory requirements. It is also about ensuring transparency, demonstrating compliance, and producing comprehensive reports and analytics to meet audit requirements. Of course, an important byproduct of compliance is better security—when done strategically and holistically.

In a world where multicloud strategies are predominant, an Identity Security platform can provide invaluable tools and capabilities to simplify compliance and reduce risk. But not all solutions are created equal. To optimize compliance and minimize risk, look for the following five capabilities in an Identity Security platform:

  1. Multicloud visibility. To meet compliance and security objects, organizations need enterprise-wide visibility into who has access to what, including both humans—employees, customers, supply chain partners, and others across the ecosystem—and machines. IT and cybersecurity teams need a platform that continuously and automatically discovers privileged and non-privileged accounts and entitlements with a centralized view of not only who has access to what but also how and when each entity was granted access. 
  2. Intelligent privilege controls. These controls make it easier for IT and cyber teams to enforce and demonstrate compliance by streamlining access certifications and providing comprehensive identity analytics. To maximize compliance capabilities, an Identity Security platform should make it easy for administrators to periodically review and adjust access privileges so they can manage access and identities on a regular basis and conduct access certification reviews triggered by anomalous activity or policy violations. Maintaining strict governance over privileged accounts helps teams detect anomalous privileged activity in real time, defend against cyberattacks, protect against data theft and abuse, and simplify audit and risk assessments.
  3. High levels of automation. Automation eliminates a wide range of manual processes that introduce errors, placing an unnecessary burden—extra work and extra stress—on IT and security operations center teams. These important employees are already under enormous pressure to reduce the threat of attacks while keeping pace with dynamic compliance requirements, which have become more stringent and difficult to manage in the cloud era.
  4. Identity lifecycle management. Identity lifecycle management ensures humans and machines have the right privileges, access and controls in place as their roles change and evolve. This is essential in evolving to a zero trust framework. The more successful your platform is in automating these functions and providing self-service capabilities to users, the more effective you will be in reducing risk of security breaches and compliance violations. 
  5. Integrated governance. This is necessary to always ensure and enforce least privilege. With an Identity Security platform, you can easily create audit reports and dashboards to give auditors visibility into the key factors they need for detailed, comprehensive audit trails. This includes who had access to what, who requested access and when, who granted access and when it was accessed. Such reporting should cover the entire estate from data center to clouds to endpoints, across machines and humans. It will not only demonstrate compliance to auditors but also streamline the entire process for internal compliance, IT and security teams. 

The growth of multicloud environments and the exponential expansion of identities triggered by digital transformation, hybrid work and the internet of things has made it far more complicated and challenging to meet and demonstrate compliance with always-evolving data privacy and cybersecurity regulations.

An Identity Security platform can be transformative in helping IT, security and compliance teams navigate this world by reducing risk, simplifying compliance and providing auditors with clear and comprehensive access to the information and analytics they need to do their job. When deployed in conjunction with other security systems and best practices, effective Identity Security programs can help improve your bottom line and avoid costly financial penalties.

Not every Identity Security platform offers the full range of capabilities to meet the needs of today’s challenging compliance environment. Look for a solution that offers multicloud visibility, integration with existing systems, intelligent privilege controls, automation, integrated identity lifecycle management, and integrated governance and reporting.

For more information on how the CyberArk Identity Security Platform rises to the challenge of simplifying compliance and improving cybersecurity in the cloud era, please review the articles and resources on this site and visit CyberArk.

1“Identity Security Maturity Model Survey,” CyberArk and Enterprise Strategy Group, September 2022
2 Ibid.

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