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Louis Columbus

How Machine Learning Quantifies Trust & Improves Employee Experiences

Machine Learning Quantifies Trust

Bottom Line: By enabling enterprises to scale security with user behavior-based, contextual intelligence, Next-Gen Access strategies are delivering Zero Trust Security (ZTS) enterprise-wide, enabling the fastest companies to keep growing strong.

Every digital business is facing a security paradox today created by their proliferating amount of applications, endpoints and infrastructure on the one hand and the need to scale enterprise security without reducing the quality of user experiences on the other. Businesses face a continual series of challenges to growth, the majority of which are scale-based. Scaling security takes a multidimensional approach that accurately interprets user behavior, risk and threat predictions, and assesses data use and access patterns.

How Enterprises Are Solving The Security Paradox With Next-Gen Access

Security defies simple, scale-based solutions because its processes are ingrained in many different systems across a company. Each of the many systems security relies on and protects have their cadence, speed, and scale. When a company is growing fast, core systems including accounting, CRM, finance, pricing, sales, services, supply chain and human resources become security-constrained. It’s common for companies experiencing high growth to choose expediency over security. 32% of enterprises are sacrificing security for expediency and business performance, leaving many areas of their core infrastructure unsecured according to the Verizon Mobile Security Index 2018 Report.

The hard reality for any growing business is the faster they grow; the more sophisticated and strong they need to become at security. Protecting intellectual property (IP), all data assets and eradicating threats assures uninterrupted, profitable growth. Adding new suppliers, sales teams, distribution partners and service centers can’t be slowed down by legacy-based approaches to user authentication and system access.  The challenge is the faster a business is growing, the slower its legacy approaches to security reacts, slowing down sales cycles, supplier qualifications, and pipelines.

Next-Gen Access solves the security paradox of fast-growing businesses, enabling Zero Trust Security (ZTS) enterprise-wide by solving the following major challenges of a high growth business:

  1. Quit relying on brute-force Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) techniques that deliver mediocre user experiences and slow down productivity. Any company can still attain Zero Trust Security (ZTS) without reverting to brute-force approaches to MFA. Get away from the idea of having MFA challenges be for every user on every device they use to access every resource. Instead look to Next-Gen Access (NGA) to quantify context, device, and behavioral patterns and derive risk scores for each user.
  2. Begin to rely on Next-Gen Access, Risk-Aware MFA, and Risk Scores to quantify trust and set the foundation of a Zero Trust Security (ZTS) enterprise-wide strategies. The goal is to keep growth going strong, uninterrupted by any security event or breach. Next-Gen Access (NGA) provides behavioral, contextual intelligence indexed as a risk score for each user, enabling more secure and efficient user experiences. NGA is built on a platform that includes Identity-as-a-Service (IDaaS), Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) and Privileged Access Management (PAM). They are also the essential components for creating and fine-tuning Zero Trust Security (ZTS) across fast-growing businesses. Taken together in a concerted strategy, ZTS delivers greater control and visibility over every resource in a company.
  3. Identify potential security risks on a per-user basis to the device level and limiting access while asking for identity verification without impacting user experiences. NGA takes contextual and user intelligence into account when deciding which resources will be available to a given user based on their previous login and system use actions and behaviors quantified in their risk score. Machine learning algorithms are used to find patterns in user behavior that could signal a potential security risk. Based on the risk score, conditional access is provided or not. All of this is done in seconds and doesn’t impact the user experience.
  4. Rely on more NGA that learns user’s behavioral patterns over time and improves the user experience, scaling Zero Trust Security enterprise-wide. Solving the paradox of scaling security in fast-growing companies needs to start with a machine learning-based approach to finding and acting on user’s behavioral and contextual activity. As NGA “learns” how valid users interact with security, updating risk scores and performing identity verification, the quality of a user’s experience improves. In fast-growing companies adding new employees, partners, and suppliers, this is invaluable as every new user will generate a risk score. Quantifying trust using NGA, the foundation of any ZTS strategy makes fast, secure profitable growth possible.
  5. The era of ZTS has arrived, and it is accentuating the importance of partnering with security providers who excel at offering Next-Gen Access solutions. ZTS will continue to revolutionize every aspect of an organization’s security strategy, enabling digital businesses to grow faster and more securely over time. Next-Gen Access solutions are the foundations enabling enterprises to scale ZTS strategies across their businesses. Key Next-Gen access providers enabling the era of ZTS include Palo Alto Networks for firewalls and Centrify for Access. Over the next 18 months, ZTS will redefine the cybersecurity landscape as digital businesses look to Next-Gen Access solutions to securely scale their companies and grow.

By Louis Columbus

Louis Columbus

I am currently serving as Director, Global Cloud Product Management at Ingram Cloud. Previous positions include product marketing at iBASEt, Plex Systems, senior analyst at AMR Research (now Gartner), marketing and business development at Cincom Systems, Ingram Micro, a SaaS start-up and at hardware companies. I am also a member of the Enterprise Irregulars. My background includes marketing, product management, sales and industry analyst roles in the enterprise software and IT industries. My academic background includes an MBA from Pepperdine University and completion of the Strategic Marketing Management Program at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business. I teach MBA courses in international business, global competitive strategies, international market research, and capstone courses in strategic planning and market research. I've taught at California State University, Fullerton: University of California, Irvine; Marymount University, and Webster University. You can reach me on Twitter at @LouisColumbus.

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