Organizations around the world have been rapidly modernizing their access management infrastructures in response to increased cyber-attacks and data breaches, enactment of security and privacy regulations, and a shift to remote working.

Access management modernization is quick shift away from insecure passwords, which time and again facilitate criminals to gain access to corporate networks and data. A recent survey on the Psychology of Passwords found that 59% of the respondents use the same password repeatedly, at home and in the office. The main reason behind this dangerous trend is the fear of forgetting the login information.

It is therefore time for businesses to evolve their approach to identity proofing to mitigate the risks of an increasingly remote workforce. As the corporate boundaries disintegrate, organizations require a new defensive playbook to address emerging business risk and remain secure.

A Zero-Trust approach to risk mitigation

When the concept of Zero-Trust was first conceived, it was about zero trust networks. However, today and in the future, corporate users and partners are accessing data through a plethora of networks – corporate, private, mobile. Hence, it is not efficient to discuss about securing access networks – it is almost impossible to do so.

The security perimeter of corporate assets had to shift to another frontline. The evolution of Zero-Trust is about securing the access points to apps and data. Since everyone is literally an outsider in cloud environments, there is a need to “never trust, always verify” the identity of the individual or the device requesting access to data and apps.

While Zero-Trust is not a single technology solution, it is the paradigm that can assist businesses support securely requirements for accessing a “constellation” of apps and data from everywhere. By validating the identity of the individual or device at every access point, organizations can mitigate the threats introduced by the proliferation of multi-cloud and hybrid computing environments and secure their digital transformation initiatives.

Access management trends towards a Zero-Trust future

As technology evolves, organizations can evolve their access security to meet the increasing demands of cloud computing and pave their path towards a Zero-Trust culture. Businesses need to be aware of the various emerging trends on access management, evaluate them and tailor them to their business needs.

According to many security experts, the following trends will shape the access management and security ecosystem:

  • Identity-first security - Now that organizations operate fully (or mostly) remote, this trend has become vital to address. The result of these technical and culture shifts is that “identity first security” now represents the way all information workers will function, regardless of whether they are remote or at their office.
  • Managing machine identities as a critical security capability - As digital transformation progresses, organizations are experiencing increased numbers of non-human entities – containers, apps, services, mobile devices – IoT devices. Managing machine identities has become a vital part of the security strategy. As the number of devices increases, establishing an enterprise-wide strategy for managing machine identities, certificates and secrets will enable the organization to better secure digital transformation.

Shared security model in the cloud will be the defining factor for managing access requests. The old security model of “inside means trusted” and “outside means untrusted” has been broken since most digital assets and devices are outside the enterprise, as are most identities. The shared security model provides a more integrated, scalable, flexible and reliable approach to digital asset access control than traditional security perimeter controls.

Organizations are already opting for these integrated, cloud agnostic access security platforms which embed strong access management controls, such as verification and authentication of users for privileged account access via single sign-on (SSO) and multi-factor authentication (MFA). These features add a multitude of risk mitigation benefits and create sources for contextual adaptive access controls.

Thales SafeNet Trusted Access platform can help business today reach a Zero-Trust access management future. SafeNet Trusted Access has been recognized by KuppingerCole as “a market leading Enterprise Authentication and access management solution. It offers a variety of hard and soft token solutions as well as FIDO compliant authenticators. It is highly scalable and built for environments that require the highest security levels.”

The report highlights, as strong points and benefits of SafeNet Trusted Access, the compatibility with FIDO 2.0 protocol, a good out-of-the-box selection of connectors for a variety of apps, integrations with most IAM and IDaaS products, strong anti-tampering mechanisms, and machine learning risk detection models.

You may find out how a Zero-Trust approach and SafeNet Trusted Access can help you establish a strong access security by watching this podcast.