Adaptive Trust: Building a Security Roadmap

September 30, 2021

Amongst the day-to-day challenges that enterprise IT leaders face, the term "Zero Trust" has caused a stir, but the phrase is losing its meaning with every blog and white paper (ironic, we know).

Many enterprise access processes are built on the implicit assumption that our IT infrastructure is inherently trustworthy. Zero Trust is a concept emphasising the replacement of this inherent trust with adaptive verification and authorisation policies and processes.

Tackling the Top 3 Challenges

In today's complex, global, hybrid IT environments, with work-from-home and the concept of "Bring Your Own Device", every element of IT, including its users, is a potential security risk.

Some of the most common security challenges include:

    • Risk of a data breach
    • Concerns with customer expectations and experience
    • Regulatory compliance

The key to tackling these challenges lies in identity-led security projects that centre on real-time identity verification. Rather than trusting a password or a network, working towards a Zero Trust approach means looking to solutions that favour adaptive policies that take multiple contextual factors into account when authenticating an identity. From what device or location are your employees seeking access? Is that access appropriate for their job role? This approach is more commonly called "User and Entities Behaviour Analytics".

A recurring problem for organisations that counters the idea of Zero Trust is multiple sign-ons. When employees have different login credentials (or worse, the same credentials) for every application, it creates vulnerabilities in your security posture, frustrates users and hinders productivity. Time wasted in remembering passwords or resolving login and access problems directly impacts workforce efficiency and incurs costs for IT support and administration.

The Human Factor

Authentication is both a technical and human challenge: people often fail to adhere to best practices for devices and logins. You probably know someone who has their password on a post-it note or uses the same password for every account.

Rather than closing the barn door after the horse has bolted, implementing solutions like SSO and Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) is a proactive - rather than reactive - way to advance your security posture while simultaneously improving user experience:

  • Single Sign-On (SSO) enables users to access their applications within a single portal once logged in. Paired with Multi-Factor Authentication, SSO's benefits to user experience are met with strong security practice.

  • Intelligent Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) requires multiple pieces of evidence – a one-time passcode or fingerprint, for example – to verify an identity. With MFA, passwords can be eliminated altogether to mitigate the risks tied to human error. Depending on contexts, such as the kind of access needed or when the access has been requested, adaptive MFA allows you to adjust the number of authentication factors required.

Build Your Security Roadmap

Zero Trust is fast becoming meaningless with its repetition in media and marketing. It's important to acknowledge that you may not achieve 100% Zero Trust, which is why your focus should shift to building a security roadmap with practical identity-led projects that adopt adaptive levels of trust.

Achieving Zero Trust is an approach rather than a product solution. But there are solutions for strong authentication that encompass the approach to adaptive trust and can be incorporated into a step-by-step plan to fortify your identity security.

Accelerate Your Security Roadmap

To advance their security roadmap, enterprises often seek expert guidance or implementation partners to relieve in-house teams of the responsibility and burden.

Intragen is proud to partner with Ping Identity as an implementation partner. Ping Identity's Intelligent Identity Platform encompasses best practice tools for authentication and authorisation security, anchored in a Zero Trust approach.