You may have noticed the RSA Conference last week having a disproportionate number of sessions about identity, and far more companies nudging their way under the umbrella of identity and access management (IAM) with terms like "identity governance," "identity context," "privileged access management," "privacy," "behavior biometrics," "biometric platforms" and "human-centric security" splashed on their booths. Get used to it.
If the cybersecurity market is a globe, with each market segment taking its piece - one continent for endpoint security, an archipelago for threat intelligence - where would identity and access management fit?
"Identity is its own solar system," says Robert Herjavec, CEO of global IT security firm Herjavec Group, and Shark Tank investor. "Its own galaxy."
"The problem with users is that they’re interactive," he explains. The reason identity management is such a challenge for enterprises is because users get hired, get fired, get promotions, access sensitive filesystems, share classified data, send emails with potentially classified information, try to access data we don't have access to, try to do things we aren't supposed to try to do. Set-and-forget doesn't work on us.
Luckily, great IAM is getting easier to come by. Herjavec points to identity governance tools like Sailpoint and Saviynt and privileged access management tools like CyberArk, saying that now "not only are they manageable, they’re fundamentally consumable from a price point."
Not a moment too soon. The need for IAM has always been high, but recent breaches (Equifax), new compliance pressures (GDPR), and privacy revelations (Cambridge Analytica/Facebook) have increased the pressure on identity security and governance alike. As Ping Identity's senior technical architect Sarah Squire puts it, "Facebook's security team is awesome - that was bad governance. Equifax was bad security."
What forces are forming the shape of this identity galaxy? Read on for more.