ChannelLife New Zealand logo
Industry insider news for New Zealand's technology resellers
Story image

The key to security helping the business: Identity

By Anthony Caruana
Mon 14 Sep 2015
FYI, this story is more than a year old

The security industry often gets wound up in dissecting the latest mega breaches in deep forensic detail. But the reality is good security hygiene isn’t just about firewalls, intrusion detection systems and other controls. Managing the security around identities, access and the governance to systems – Identity Governance and Administration (IGA)– is critical to maintaining secure systems.

Chris Gacesa from RSA has been working with identity and access management systems since the birth of identity management systems early this century. Over the years he’s seen many changes in the attitude of companies.

“Back then, if someone needed access to the HR system, walls would go up whereas today it’s flipped on its head where now they want or need to know who is using their system”.

Gacesa says there are some basic questions that application developers and business owners need to address when establishing identity management systems.

“These questions are: Who has access, and to what applications? How do they get access to that application? How confident is the business that people have the appropriate level of access to applications? Are the compliance and regulation guidelines being adhered to?”

Successful IGA isn’t just about processes and procedures when users and systems are active. Gacesa says it starts when new personnel and applications are on boarded.

However, these aren’t new challenges. So why are they suddenly becoming a sharper point of focus?

“This has come about because the earliest players quickly learned that connecting to many different applications was really complex. It took a long time to get an application on boarded, for the users in the business to get access, and therefore be productive,” says Gacesa.

During a recent engagement with an airline, Gacesa discovered the company could only bring five of the 95 applications they wanted online due to challenges with their legacy provisioning solution.

“It took them over 650 labour hours to connect each application,” he says. “It was way too hard”.

The new world: Provisioning 2.0.

“This is now a world where we can very quickly provision all those applications with far less effort. This allows systems to connect with a focus on configuration rather than lots of complex coding,” says Gacesa.

As a result of this approach to provisioning, the airline was able to connect all of its applications and keep up with the demands of being a dynamic company. This included migrating older applications as there are now ways to secure critical data within legacy databases as well as via established application interfaces.

As well as facilitating the connection of the systems the airlines needed, there was another payoff.

“Because of this new way of provisioning and their flexible identity infrastructure, they were able to acquire another airline and easily connect to other apps. It simplified the process”.

Often, IGA is seen as being purely a technology issue with limited payoff for those adopting it. However, the ability to provision and decommission applications easily delivers benefits that can be easily understood and recognised in business terms.

As applications are more widely distributed and more devices are being used, an effective IGA strategy offers significant flexibility.

Of course, there’s also an obvious security benefit. Gacesa cited data from a recent Verizon security report which showed that 95% of breaches used stolen credentials. By understanding what identities are active, what they can be used for, and who is using them, it’s possible to limit the damage done by hackers and better identify the vulnerable points in the threat surface.

IGA Challenges

With the application platform, threat and regulatory landscapes changing, Gacesa says companies have a lot on their plates at the moment.

“One of the core challenges is that IGA projects were driven by IT. But they lacked an understanding of the processes they were trying to secure. What we’re now seeing is more of an influence in moving that responsibility back to the line of business application owners so they can easily define the workflows they need.

“There’s also an increasing need to report data breaches across the world. The regulations and audits associated with this requirement are challenges that businesses face as they must ensure they have the right governance and audit processes in place.

“The changing landscape of where these applications are consumed is also an evolving challenge. There are so many cloud apps, and different devices, which are providing further challenges for businesses.”

What’s RSA doing?

In the past, IGA was seen as a point in time project, but RSA has changed that through its Via Lifecycle and Governance platform. Having evolved from RSA’s Aveksa products, Via reflects RSA’s long pedigree and extensive expertise in IGA. It has also been recognised by Gartner as a leader in the IGA and user authorisation spaces.

“We provide a phased approach that looks at the monolithic identity management problem we see today. Gaining visibility and certification around who has access, how they get access – we see that as the first stage. Then we can apply policy behind that.”

Gacesa says this ensures appropriate controls are in place so that an identity that gives access to one system doesn’t create a situation where it allows access to another with unintended consequences. Gacesa likened this to the segregation of duties in a finance group that separates accounts payable and receivable functions.

This covers everything from adding and removing people from applications, through to compliance and audit reporting. And this can be done with minimal coding as Via is largely configuration-based so it can be used by business users, rather than technical staff.

Click here to Download the Free Identity Access & Governance Whitepaper from RSA

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Tech job moves
Tech job moves - Bitdefender, Cohesity, Fortinet & MODIFI
We round up all job appointments from June 27-30, 2022, in one place to keep you updated with the latest from across the tech industries.
Story image
Financial results
Margins & revenues up at New Zealand arm of Acer Computer
We look at the local financial statements of Taiwanese manufacturer Acer Computer Inc.
Story image
Robotics
Evonik relies on Getac F110 tablet to control autonomous robot
The aim of the project is to evaluate the practicality of an automated robotic maintenance and inspection solution in the chemical industry.
Story image
Design
Hands-on review: Phillips Hue starter kit
The set-up was one of the simplest I have ever had to do. It is also where the products shine. I was able to connect the bridge, the three lightbulbs and the strip within 10 min.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Blasé attitudes to cybersecurity by business a national risk
The largely unregulated state of cybersecurity in NZ, and consequential ambivalence of most businesses, risk hurting the country's trading prospects.
Story image
Revenue
Datacom announces revenue of $1.45 billion, fall in profit
Growing market pressures and border closures saw Datacom place increased focus on talent development initiatives for both existing and future employees.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Unknown connections: How safe is public WiFi in Aotearoa?
If it's not your own household WiFi, then who has control of your data and is your connection actually safe?
Story image
Cybersecurity
Zscaler launches co-located data centres in Canberra and Auckland
The investment will offer public and private sector enterprises greater resilience in support of their zero trust cybersecurity posture.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Email threats spike 101%, remains a top attack vector
"Each year we see innovation in the threat landscape, but each year email remains a major threat to organisations."
Story image
Cybersecurity
Vulnerable APIs costing businesses billions every year
Large companies are particularly vulnerable to the security risks associated with exposed or unprotected APIs as they accelerate digital transformation.  
Story image
Sustainability
Honeywell launches new carbon energy management software for buildings
The new Carbon & Energy Management service allows building owners to track and optimise energy performance against carbon reduction goals, down to a device or asset level.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Why is NZ lagging behind the world in cybersecurity?
A recent report by TUANZ has revealed that we are ranked 56th in the world when it comes to cybersecurity - a look into why we're so behind and what needs to be done.
Story image
Samsung
Monitors are an excellent incentive for getting employees back
The pandemic has taught us that hybrid working is a lot easier than we would’ve thought, so how can the office be made to feel as comfortable as home? The answer could be staring you in the face right now.
Story image
Salesforce
Data crucial to capture shoppers' wallets post-COVID
First-party data strategies key to driving personalisation, customer satisfaction, and long-lasting relationships according to a new report.
Story image
Hybrid workforce
Why hybrid working is here to stay and how to ace it
Citrix's new report reveals hybrid workers are more productive and engaged at work than their office and completely remote counterparts.
Story image
Web Development
Whitecliffe fosters careers for the future of tech
Do you want a career in Information Technology, Networking, Web Development, Software Development, or are you looking to upskill?
Story image
New Relic
New Relic looks to observability market with new partner programme
New Relic has announced the availability of New Relic Partner Stack, an enhanced programme expanding New Relic’s commitment to partners.
Story image
Dicker Data
EXCLUSIVE: Why women in IT makes good business sense - Dicker Data
The Federal government wants to bolster female participation in the tech industry to at least 40% by 2030. Here's how one homegrown Australian company has already reached that goal.
Story image
Microsoft
Digital innovation could shape the future of NZ - Microsoft
With cloud technologies available to more people around the world than ever before, it is not only businesses who will benefit from using them.
Story image
WatchGuard Technologies
Ransomware volume doubled 2021 total by end of Q1 2022
Ransomware detections in the first quarter of this year doubled the total volume reported for 2021, according to a new report. 
Story image
Infrastructure
Oracle Cloud Infrastructure expands distributed cloud services
“Distributed cloud is the next evolution of cloud computing, and provides customers with more flexibility and control in how they deploy cloud resources."
Story image
Review
Hands-on review – CleanMyMac X utility for macOS
We get hands-on with a useful utility that macOS users never thought they needed but probably do.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Zero trust security adoption rises 27% in just two years
A survey of WAN managers has revealed that multi-factor authentication and single sign-on are the top zero trust features implemented.
Story image
Great Resignation
New SAP study uncovers impact of 'the great resignation'
Coined in 2021, the phrase 'the great resignation' refers to millions of employees globally leaving their jobs. The phenomenon is real and impacting SMEs.
Story image
HP Inc
Firmware attacks significant threat in age of hybrid work
Changing workforce dynamics are creating new challenges for IT teams around firmware security, according to new research.
Story image
Electrical
Up to $2.4 million shortfall in the collapse of IndeServe
We delve into the liquidators first report on long-standing networking service provider IndeServes collapse.
Story image
Microsoft
SAS wins Microsoft ISV 2022 Partner of the Year award
"We formed the SAS and Microsoft strategic partnership with a shared goal of making it easier for customers to drive better decisions in the cloud."
Story image
Cyber Criminal
Identity and access: the fight is on
Blue team defenders are used to protecting our data, applications, and users with access controls and other security mechanisms, which is why attacks like this are especially challenging when they target identity and access control systems.
Story image
BitTitan
How to achieve your monthly recurring revenue goals
Monthly recurring revenue (MRR) is the ultimate goal, the most important issue on which anyone in the IT channel should focus.
Story image
Gaming
Hands-on review: 16GB PNY XLR8 Gaming EPIC-X 3600MHz DDR4
PNY sent over its 16GB XLR8 Gaming EPIC-X 3600MHz CL16 DDR4 module kit for testing. The kit contains two 8GB dual-channel modules with RGB lighting.
Story image
Ransomware
Secureworks reveals new information on BRONZE STARLIGHT threat group
New research from Secureworks has uncovered new information on the Chinese threat group BRONZE STARLIGHT and how they are using targeted ransomware to initiate complicated attacks.
Story image
Hybrid Cloud
HPE GreenLake advances hybrid cloud experience with new services
"The innovations unveiled today further build on our vision to provide the market with an unmatched platform to spur innovation and drive transformation.”
Story image
Christchurch
Enable launches free Wi-Fi in Christchurch city centre
Fibre broadband provider, Enable, and the Christchurch City Council have launched their new Christchurch Free Wi-Fi service in the central city. 
Story image
Public Cloud
Public cloud services revenues top $400 billion in 2021
"For the next several years, leading cloud providers will play a critical role in helping enterprises navigate the current storms of disruption."
Story image
Cloudian
Cloudian, Vertica to deliver on-premise data warehouse platform
"We’re enabling our customers to capitalise on a leading object storage platform and maximise the value of their digital assets.”
Story image
Finance
Airwallex launches global payment services in New Zealand
The launch will enable businesses in New Zealand to tap into Airwallex's global payments services, offering an alternative to traditional banks.
Story image
Citrix
The best ways to attract young talent during labour shortages
New research from Citrix reveals hybrid working and ventures into the metaverse are top of mind for Gen Z workers.
Story image
Data
MYOB improves data visibility and user access with Snowflake
"Solutions such as Snowflake allow us to better understand our customers and make evidence-based decisions on what features work best for them."
Story image
Dark web
Cybercrime in Aotearoa: How does New Zealand law define it?
‘Cybercrime’ is a term we hear all the time, but what exactly is it, and how does New Zealand define it in legal terms?
Story image
Entelar
How TruSens air purifiers can create healthier workspaces
The pandemic has heightened our awareness of our own and others’ health, and made us all much more conscious of the environments we work in.
Story image
Identity and Access Management
Ping Identity named a Leader in Access Management
Ping Identity has been named a leader in the 2022 KuppingerCole Leadership Compass report for Access Management. 
Story image
Awards
Microsoft names A/NZ Partner of the Year award winners
The awards recognise partners across the globe for their innovative use of Microsoft technologies to help customers succeed.
Story image
Mergers and Acquisitions
SAS acquires Kamakura to propel risk technology innovation
Underscoring SAS growth in the domain-specific solutions space, the acquisition will enable SAS to greatly enhance the breadth of its risk solutions portfolio. 
Story image
Internet of Things
ManageEngine wins big in IDC MarketScape assessment
ManageEngine's Endpoint Central service has been recognised as a leader by IDC MarketScape in several categories including Internet of Things device deployments and UEM software for SMEs.