Users are increasingly distributed, mobile and varied, requiring enterprises to take a new look at how to establish trust in a user’s identity and control their access accordingly. In the past, most focused on perimeter defenses, putting controls in place to determine who could enter the building, with physical access systems, and who could get into the network, with firewalls and VPNs. Once inside, however, users had fairly unfettered access to all the applications and resources in these facilities and networks.

Now, recognizing the threats from users “inside their walls” – 81% of organizations have experienced a data breach as a result of negligent or malicious employees or other insiders – and watching the walls, themselves, crumble, because of the dynamic, global nature of today’s businesses, many enterprises are re-evaluating their approach to access.

If you are like most enterprises, you are struggling to simultaneously accommodate all the different needs of all your different users AND minimize the risks their access can pose to your organization, which is complicated by the ever-changing threat landscape. Attacks continue to evolve and become progressively sophisticated, as evidenced by the rise of advanced persistent threats (APTs) that use customized malware to conduct targeted, long-term attacks on an organization. At the same time, users, who need access to information and resources, are expanding beyond employees to include a wide variety of consultants, contractors, vendors, partners, suppliers, and customers.

Users want to be able to access what they need from wherever they are, using whatever device they want, including their personal phones, laptops and tablets (BYOD). These variables can increase risks to your environment if you are not careful. What’s needed is a way to trust the identity of all these different users and then appropriately control their access as they move throughout the organization.

Applying strong authentication to each application is one of the most effective ways you can enable the productivity your business requires, while reducing the risks to your organization. By securing the individual enterprise and cloud-based applications and data resources, whether they are on a laptop or mobile phone, you can effectively manage access and secure your informational assets.            

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