78% of companies cite security, not cost as top priority when deploying identity solutions

A survey of more than 230 IT security professionals in the US and UK has indicated that organizations are prioritizing security over cost savings and increasing investment in identity access management solutions.

With traditional perimeter protection methods failing under the pressure of advanced attacks, IT organizations are being forced to rethink their security strategies. However when cybercriminals breach an organization’s perimeter, they need one critical thing to successfully complete their mission: credentials.

Protecting them – which nowadays generally includes employee, customer and partner credentials as opposed to just employee credentials – is essential in the fight against cyber attacks. In fact, a whopping 78% of the survey respondents cited protection and security as key IAM priorities, outweighing user experience and cost-related aspects.

SecureAuth, the industry leader in adaptive access control, carried out the research in tandem with global consulting firm Decision Analyst.

“It’s no secret that security has become a board room-level imperative,” said Craig Lund, CEO of SecureAuth. “A decade ago, it was a nice to have; today, it’s a must have. Accordingly, organizations across the globe are abandoning their laissez-faire approaches to cybersecurity and significantly increasing security spending for the coming years.

“Worthwhile cybersecurity endeavors may require some redirection of budget, but in this day and age, proactivity is just as important as reactivity.”

Drivers for New Project Initiation

When asked why their company has initiated new identity projects in the past, 55% of respondents across small, medium and large companies reported the deployment of new applications – including both on-premises and cloud-based applications – as the top driver.

Board and/or senior management’s drive for increased security was also cited by 50%of respondents as a chief reason for new identity project initiation, underscoring that cybersecurity has indeed become a board-level concern.

Other top drivers for new project initiation of IAM solutions include:

–  Compliance/audit requirements – 49%
– Cost savings compared to a previous solution – 44%
– Heard of a security breach at another company – 36%
– Increase in prevalence of stolen or misused credentials – 34%
– Company had a security breach – 25%

IAM Investment Plans

The vast majority (79%) of respondents indicated that plans are underway for IAM of externally focused applications, including vendor, partner and customer applications, portals and mobile apps. 47% indicated that the investment in IAM is a funded priority.

“As cybercrime grows increasingly more sophisticated, companies must ramp up their efforts to improve their cybersecurity posture,” said Jeff Kukowski, COO of SecureAuth. “Today’s perimeter isn’t what it used to be, expanding to include the cloud and other networks managed by partners and service providers.

“This evolving perimeter has forced teams to revamp their approach to focus on building tougher access and authentication barriers around data, applications and internal resources. Our survey findings with Decision Analyst demonstrate that organizations are realizing this hard truth and expanding their definition of perimeter to include identity.”