Friday, 14th August 2020

SaaS applications set to grow in the enterprise

SailPoint has found that 86% of IT experts in EMEA expect their organisation’s number of SaaS applications to grow over the next 18 months, even as UK workers are expected to start migrating back to the workplace.

The finding was a result of a July survey of the SailPoint EMEA Virtual User Group, which also found that 75% of respondents reported that having an identity governance platform supported their cybersecurity operations during the Covid-19 crisis. Nearly two thirds (62%) said that they would consider expanding their identity platform in the next twelve months.

In the wake of the Covid-19 crisis, organisations and their employees have had to pivot to a whole new way of working. Remote working or ‘working from home’ has become the new normal, uptake in communication technologies has surged, and supply chains have had to adapt to unprecedented disruption.

Throughout the pandemic, IT teams have been working hard behind the scenes to keep the lights on for enterprise security. During this time however, a rise in cyber-attacks has been a major concern, with those targeting home workers increasing from 12% of malicious email traffic before the UK’s lockdown in March, to over 60% just six weeks later.

The findings from SailPoint indicate that enterprise security teams are already planning how to improve security and IT resilience for the next challenge: a partial, and perhaps sporadic, return to the office.

Ben Bulpett, EMEA Director at SailPoint,comments:

“The shift to remote working has made it more difficult for IT teams to monitor the enterprise security perimeter, with hackers looking to take advantage of multiple user access points. And with the workforce’s makeup and location continuing to shift rapidly, this begs the question – who even has access to what right now?

“For many companies, security and compliance gaps have surfaced in the rush to maintain business continuity, and it’s crucial these issues are resolved to ensure business survival. As organisations brace themselves for a new economic storm, identity governance is one of the tools that can help them navigate through the challenging times ahead.

“Whether employees continue working from home, return to the office with different responsibilities, or enter into a contract-based role, identity governance plays a crucial part in protecting the enterprise’s security perimeter. Through this, IT teams can speed up the process of enabling and securing their users’ access to key applications, data, and infrastructure, pivoting quickly as the business’ and users’ needs change.”

SailPoint has identified three key steps IT and security teams should take, as UK workers are expected to begin migrating back into offices from August onwards:

  • Update and continually verify all user identities, to align access to job roles. Use built-in compliance policies and mapping of user groups to ensure that each employee has the correct amount of access as soon as they are hired, put on contract, redeployed, promoted or leave the business.
  • Ensure appropriate in-app permissions, gate access based on real-time analytics, and monitor and control user actions. Use machine learning and the latest artificial intelligence tools to manage this across both on-premise and cloud applications. Positive governance is essential in any environment home or office.
  • Move from a perimeter-based data protection to an identity data-driven process. Use identity to identify the owners of the data and the platform to intelligently classify and label data. This should be for all structured and unstructured data.

Only organisations that have plotted access policies, addressed application permissions and achieved complete protection of its data will be prepared to navigate successfully through the current storm.

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