Before the digital age, most of your corporate assets could be reasonably secured using locks on file cabinets, security cameras, and loyal employees. Once the digital age hit, it became a bit harder to protect your organization. Securing your network required more effort, including restricting what devices could access data, hiring IT administrators and deploying server firewalls. But then, there was the cloud revolution. With data moving off private servers and onto cloud services, your business assets are now protected only by your employee’s login credentials.
Looking at this diagram of a company’s security environment, it is easy to see why identity is so important. As the keyhole to the diagram’s lock, identity cuts through all the other protective layers. Beyond the designated platform where the data lives, past the infrastructure protecting the network, and past the end-user’s device: identity is king.
Just as the physical perimeter has diminished in effectiveness, so too has the network perimeter. Your last line of defense is now the Identity Perimeter…
Watch a video explaining the identity perimeter here.
What is different about the identity perimeter? As opposed to its two predecessors, the emphasis must be placed on individual employees rather than on systems or infrastructure. With physical barriers and network firewalls, security measures were considered silver-bullets. Once these deterrents were calibrated and deployed, you could ‘set-and-forget’ them. This is no longer true. With the identity perimeter, your company’s information is only as secure as your employee’s weakest credentials. Even if you and your team are experts at spotting phishing attempts and potential malware, week passwords and login information means you are at risk.
Luckily, security experts have developed practices that help to secure the identity perimeter and protect your employee’s credentials. While not a silver bullet, conditional access and Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) can deter many bad actors from accessing your system. Conditional access restricts where or when sensitive data can be accessed. MFA requires at least two devices to complete a login. These can strengthen the identity perimeter and protect any important corporate data. But there is no replacement for educating your employees on all the vulnerabilities in your business’ security.
For any help with securing your business’ most important assets, feel free to reach out to Peters & Associates. In addition to security awareness training, we have offerings that can help you assess your overall security, implement practices like MFA, and be compliant with any data security obligations. Call 630.832.0075 or email firstname.lastname@example.org today!