News, IGA, BetterWayToIGA

What It Means to Practice Identity-First Security

August 10, 2021

Earlier this summer, Clear Skye was honored to be named a Gartner Cool Vendor in Identity-First Security.

Like any company, we’re excited to be recognized by Gartner, especially in the inaugural edition of a report that’s framing the conversation about identity and security in a new way.

But we’re just as excited that Gartner is recognizing identity-first security. This has been part of Clear Skye’s approach to identity governance and administration (IGA) from the very beginning, and we’re glad to see that the rest of the market is moving in this direction.

Until recently, the conversation about identity typically focused on compliance and audits. This is understandable, as compliance regulations such as SOX and HIPAA is certainly mission critical.

Unfortunately, this misses the mark. While it’s important to monitor, manage, and audit which users have rights to access sensitive applications and data, that can’t be the sole focus of an identity solution.

An IGA product is only truly effective when it’s applied to the business processes that people use every day. Otherwise, it’s not actually part of the solution.

"Identity-first security is at the heart of Clear Skye IGA"

Countless examples from everyday life help illustrate this point. Say you buy a safe but still keep your valuables in plain sight, or say you buy an exercise bike that collects dust in the corner. Clearly, your solution isn’t addressing your core problem.

As it turns out, the problem isn’t the lack of a solution. The problem is using the solution. After all, old habits die hard, and it’s difficult to make a case for doing things differently.

Maybe you put the safe up in the attic, to keep it out of the way, only to decide that it’s too out of the way to be useful. Maybe you buy the bike with the best of intentions but don’t make time to exercise during your busy week. (And may it ends up in the attic, too.)

Identity-first security leads to smarter decisions

The same is true with IGA. If the solution is off to the side, separated from the rest of the way the business operates and difficult to align with existing work patterns, then enterprises shouldn’t be surprised when adoption lags. To demonstrate its full value, IGA needs to be an integral part of everyday business processes, making it easy for employees to do the work that needs to be done.

If you move the safe to the back of the coat closet, then it’s hidden from plain sight but still within your reach. If you block 30 minutes on your calendar every day for a ride on the bike, then you’re more likely to exercise. If IGA aligns with workflow and process management, then it’s easy for employees to use, and it becomes a key part of how they work.

That’s why we built Clear Skye to be native to the ServiceNow Now platform: It’s a user experience that employees know, and it links the ServiceNow modules an enterprise already has in place. IGA becomes seamlessly ingrained in everyday business workflows.

But there’s another reason that being built on Now supports the concept of identity-first security.

Smart identity decisions are at the heart of IGA. You need to decide which users get access to which applications at which times, and you need to decide when to revoke access. Sometimes it’s obvious, but sometimes it’s not – and sometimes you need to decide in seconds.

Since Clear Skye IGA is native to Now, our solution has access to the entire ServiceNow data plane – all the security incidents, all the compliance control updates, all the HR changes, and so on. This provides the context to enable identity and security teams to make smart choices. We also enable teams to take identity-first security to the next level by implementing policies that automate common approvals, freeing up personnel to devote their time and attention to higher-order tasks.

Identity-first security is at the heart of Clear Skye IGA, and we’re happy to see Gartner acknowledge that this is a key differentiator for IGA solutions. We’ve always said we’re ahead of the curve, and now we can prove it.

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Written By

John Milburn

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