How Did Identity Management Become the New Digital Perimeter?

How Did Identity Management Become the New Digital Perimeter?

For years, endpoint security (or more specifically antivirus) provided the bulk of businesses digital perimeters. However, most cybersecurity experts now say that identity management offers a next-generation digital perimeter. 

So what happened? How did identity management come to take over the digital perimeter? The editors at Solutions Review provide the reasons in detail. 

How Did Identity Management Become the New Digital Perimeter?

Old Protections, Like Firewalls, Just Don’t Cut It

In the early days of cybersecurity, antivirus and firewalls could fortify your enterprise against almost all threats. At that time, just by having the right tool, you could repel the vast majority of malware, which represented the most pressing threats to businesses.

However, hackers didn’t stagnate. Instead, they chose to evolve, working on making more evasive and more destructive attacks. Phishing attacks, which can pose as innocuous or unsuspicious messages, now represents the majority of cyberattacks. Moreover, more attacks targeted authentication and login portals, as hackers could easily crack passwords or buy them from the Dark Web. 

In other words, what matters in maintaining a digital perimeter isn’t keeping malware out. On the contrary, what matters is ensuring only authorized users can obtain and manipulate sensitive data. Only through managing privileges through identity management can you ensure that hackers stay out. 

Where Are the Walls? 

This question may seem random, but in fact, it hints at a major challenge in cybersecurity. Where are the limits of your enterprise? With the advent of cloud environments and remote work, determining the limits of your digital perimeter proves tricky. 

Additionally, as your IT environment scales, so too does the demand for your cybersecurity. If it cannot scale, then your enterprise becomes a literal victim of its own success. Identity management, using authentication protocols, can enforce a consistent layer of cybersecurity regardless of the location of your workforce or databases. So long as you can monitor your databases (which identity management can help with), you can ensure only trusted users can access them. 

Who Can You Trust? 

Another problem facing traditional digital perimeter protections is who to trust. More accurately, who not to trust. Your enterprise should already embrace a Zero-Trust policy regarding authentication. In fact, you shouldn’t trust any user, application, process, or data source regardless of its source within or without the enterprise. Zero Trust Identity Security states anything connecting to the network or to databases requires verification before it receives access. In other words, your enterprise should treat everything connecting to it as untrusted until it can absolutely prove otherwise.

Legacy endpoint security can’t provide that kind of oversight, but identity management can and does. As part of it, identity management provides continuous authentication which helps ensure that even if malicious actors do bypass authentication, their behavior reveals them as threats.   

How to Learn More

For more on identity management as a new digital perimeter, check out our Free Buyer’s Guide. We cover the top solution providers and their key capabilities in detail. Additionally, we provide a Bottom Line analysis for each vendor.  

Ben Canner

Ben Canner is an enterprise technology writer and analyst covering Identity Management, SIEM, Endpoint Protection, and Cybersecurity writ large. He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English from Clark University in Worcester, MA. He previously worked as a corporate blogger and ghost writer. You can reach him via Twitter and LinkedIn.
Ben Canner