As companies’ global partner ecosystems expand, remote suppliers, contractors and other external parties are just as likely to require access to some key enterprise applications as are full-time staffers working from branch locations, home offices or the field.
With the lines continuing to blur between who is inside the enterprise and who’s outside it, and control over end points diminishing, the challenge for IT to deliver secure access to applications that reside behind firewalls and across multiple private and public clouds grows larger.
Here are some of the application access security dilemmas your own IT team may confront, especially when relying on traditional access approaches:
- Every end point, even one with malware lurking onboard, gets access to your entire network as part of the ride, opening the door to exploiting vulnerabilities.
- User-specific access control, whereby user identity is leveraged to manage authorization policies, is difficult to implement.
- Lack of easily integrated, multi-factor authentication in front of existing applications thwarts attempts to gain instant protection against credential theft.
- Because of the complex and ongoing nature of securing third-party access – which often requires continual coordination across administration, operations and security teams – IT organizations are unlikely to achieve centralized control and visibility for ongoing monitoring and governance.
- Applications residing across multiple cloud providers will likely suffer from fragmented security in the way of different identity stores, access policies and management approaches.
In fact, security breaches rank as the biggest remote access challenge, according to a recent IDC survey; this rated as one of the top two concerns for 56% of respondents. There’s a strong financial reason why, as the average expected loss for breaches from unauthorized access is a whopping $6.5 million. And, of the organizations that had experienced the most incidents thanks to an authorized contractor or vendor gaining unauthorized access, not a single one believed that they could discover these situations quickly.
Rising to the Challenge
How to resolve these issues? Ditching traditional access solutions, separate cloud security services and end point client security configuration and management is a good start.
Instead, leverage a cloud-based unified portal with a single point of control in any network environment, integrating data path protection, identity access, application security and management visibility and control in one place. A solution with the ability to quickly and dynamically provision and de-provision third-party and employee access to specific applications – and which provides single-click multi-factor authentication via Active Directory, Google Apps Directory or other platforms – builds up protection with increased convenience for IT. That convenience applies to end users, too, who can use any browser to access the applications they need just by entering their credentials.
Insulating your infrastructure from the Internet to protect it from potential threats, while linking authorized users to their approved apps as if the request comes from within the network, rounds out the value. It does so both in terms of eliminating ongoing security-oriented network changes and by helping to reduce the attack surface.
With its Enterprise Application Access solution, Akamai incorporates all these capabilities, solving your IT group’s concerns with a stronger, simpler and infinitely more secure alternative to using traditional access technologies.
To learn more, visit Akamai.
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