The Top Four Reasons CISOs Are Adopting Cloud-Based Solutions for Identity and Access Management

CISOs know user identities and credentials are critical parts of business. Therefore, maintaining the security, confidentiality and control of user IDs is a high priority for businesses and IT organizations. As these organizations moves to the cloud, it makes sense for CISOs to manage these functions through cloud-based identity and access management-as-a-service, also known as IDaaS.

Why CISOs Are Choosing Cloud-Based Solutions

There are four clear justifications for why CISOs are choosing enterprise-grade IDaaS solutions:

1. Modernization via Cloud

The modern CISO represents modern organizations or those wishing to modernize. Deploying modernization plans often requires the speed and flexibility of cloud, causing many organizations to establish cloud-first initiatives.

Consequently, as newly adopted data and apps are cloud-based, an organization’s identity and access management (IAM) program should be no different. In other words, IAM should benefit from the same safety, flexibility, scalability, speed and simplicity of cloud.

2. Business Enablement

Rather than being the source of delays in critical initiatives, CISOs have realized IDaaS can enable business. Cloud-based solutions for IAM allow for rapid deployment and enablement of new and enhanced applications and services.

Because enterprise-grade IDaaS offloads the cost and effort of complex user management, traditional IAM costs can be redirected to profit-driven projects while also reducing help desk call volume with self-service portals.

3. User Experience

Today’s CISOs are well aware of the expectations of users. Whether it be customers, employees or partners, everyone expects their user experience to provide self-service and other internet norms.

Rather than looking or acting like legacy mainframe or corporate systems, CISOs need IAM to be as nimble as the SaaS applications and social networks end users have become accustomed to using. IDaaS vendors understand those expectations: They provide that improved user experience as standard practice and part of their value proposition.

4. Safety and Security

According to Gartner, IDaaS vendors are more likely to provide better security for IAM services than their customers could do for themselves. In most cases, CISOs can expect improved security by moving their IAM to the cloud.

Systems are housed in highly controlled access environments, and both IT and physical security are provided and monitored 24/7. Additional security controls isolate data in multitenant environments. Data recovery (DR) plans are in place and backups are managed on schedule. Access controls and data security measures are frequently audited and certified against industry standards.

CISOs are able to leverage these security certifications for their own audit requirements without having to invest in the resources and deep security skills needed to achieve and maintain a similar level of security internally.

Future-Proof Your IAM Ecosystem

CISOs are choosing enterprise-grade IDaaS to serve as the centerpiece of their IAM strategy. Keep in mind, though, that not all cloud-based solutions are capable of serving in this capacity.

If you are a CISO responsible for modernization efforts through cloud-first initiatives, profit-driven projects requiring back-end IAM capabilities, security and the end-user experience, look for a cloud-based vendor that represents a premium stack of IAM features that can be turned on and off on demand. Acquiring this level of an IDaaS solution will future-proof your IAM ecosystem.

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Charles Carrington

Associate Partner, IBM

Charles Carrington has worked in Security, focusing on IAM, for over 20 years. He is a published author (on directories). Mr. Carrington's work is in the field and practical, focusing on customer delivery, solution design and problem resolution for large scale IAM programs. He managed the IBM's US IAM delivery team for several years and he was heavily involved in IBM's Cloud Identity Services for the last four years. Carrington is currently part of IBM's Global Security practice, managing IBM's IAM delivery in Latin America.