Why Is Identity the New Digital Perimeter?

Why Is Identity the New Digital Perimeter?

Why is identity the new digital perimeter? What should your enterprise consider when selecting an authentication solution? 

The common wisdom among cybersecurity professionals and experts says that identity has become the cornerstone of all digital perimeter protections. In fact, identity is the new digital perimeter for enterprises, supplanting other tools like firewalls and antivirus that once comprised the perimeter. 

But the question that is more rarely explored is why identity is the new digital perimeter. Possibly, most experts believe the reasons why are self-evident. Yet so many security experts struggle to fully grasp the necessity of making identity the perimeter. 

Here’s what you need to know.

Why Is Identity the New Digital Perimeter?

The Cloud

In the end, everything comes back to the cloud. Digital transformation was already a concept before the COVID-19 pandemic, but the need to decentralize quickly pushed enterprises to embrace the cloud en masse at a faster than expected rate. 

Once on the cloud, businesses discovered the huge benefits of transitioning. The cloud offers new avenues of profitability and collaboration through communication, analysis, and more. However, the cloud also poses new challenges for security; the cloud’s nature means legacy antivirus and firewalls can’t adequately protect against data leaks or malicious intrusion.

Meanwhile, identity and authentication can enforce protections on the cloud, forcing users to authenticate their accounts before receiving access. In fact, you can apply your authentication protocols wherever you have sensitive information, ensuring the digital perimeter extends and scales as your business does. 

BYOD and Remote Work

In the same vein as the cloud, we need to talk about remote work. For a lot of enterprises, remote work will be the way forward. Employees now expect and demand remote work as an option, or at the very least hybrid work. So your enterprise needs a digital perimeter that extends to all of your remote employees (i.e. most of them) across multiple WiFi connections, as well as extending to any personal devices they might use for work (BYOD). 

Identity and authentication can extend the new digital perimeter to all of those remote workers and their personal devices, regardless of their location. With multifactor authentication (MFA), your enterprise can monitor where employees log in from (both geographically and in terms of device) and when they log in. Those can become normalized baselines authentication factors in their own right, preventing bad actors from posing as your employees immediately. 

Hackers Tactics are Changing

In the end, although ransomware is on the rise and receiving renewed press, most hackers use subverted and stolen credentials to conduct their nefarious plans. Your digital perimeter must work to fight hackers on their own turf; if you don’t react to the threat landscape, your business will end up as a headline in the worst way. Taking the right steps now can save your business in the long term. 

You can learn more about identity as the new digital perimeter in the Solutions Review Suggestion Engine. Additionally, you can check out the Identity Management Buyer’s Guide and the Privileged Access Management Buyer’s Guide

Ben Canner