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Xalient Zero Trust Framework | Module 1: Identity and Access

How does Identity and Access fit into the Zero Trust Framework?

Identity and Access is a vital component of Zero Trust. It is crucial to securing business data, keeping customers confident and employees protected. Any high-level security model really breaks down into a trust issue: Who and what can I trust? – the employee, the devices, and the applications the employee is trying to connect to. In the middle is the network but today, the corporate backbone is the internet. Identity is the fundamental feature in controlling who has access to your company data, from where and using what device.

With Zero Trust, we assume everything on the internet holds risk, and that no user or application should be trusted regardless of whether the person or entity is “inside” or “outside” an organisation’s perimeter. Instead, we must continuously and rigorously verify anything and everything before granting access.

Most organisations have some sort of Identity solution – especially with cybercrime escalating, and a record-breaking number of data breaches of increasing sophistication and severity taking place year-on-year.

Organisations with less sophisticated tools, or who are not making full use of their solution i.e., only implementing a Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) or just utilising basic credentials to access a VPN (Virtual Private Network), represent a significant percentage of victims targeted, especially during the pandemic. As a consequence, the Zero Trust model has quickly become a fundamental security requirement rather than a ‘nice-to-have’.

One would expect this to be high on the list of priorities for an organisation that has a vastly distributed workforce. The company may have accumulated many tools that do the same thing – VPN clients, Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR), Antivirus and Remote Access etc. -and, as a result, has identified a gap in their security posture and policy.  Xalient’s Identity and Access module consolidates and manages these tools so that the user at the start of the journey has the correct experience from the get-go. Furthermore, the framework utilises identity verification, authentication factors, authorisation controls, as well as other IAM and cybersecurity capabilities to verify a user before any level of trust is awarded.

Organisations are looking for a secure solution for their applications, devices, and their users, which is why the Zero Trust model becomes a fundamental component, regardless of where they are located.

The shift to remote working

With remote and hybrid working now commonplace, there has been a mass migration away from the secure perimeter, which has put more emphasis on consumption of cloud services. The concept of trying to extend the secure perimeter to the location of the user and the application means businesses must be ready to implement Zero Trust for all types of users, not only employees but partners, contractors, and customers too.

At the same time, organisations need to harness the power of applications. They need to be highly productive with fast and easy access to the applications they need to do their job. This is not only essential but is fundamental to becoming a modern digitised business. To enable this environment, businesses need reliable network access from the edge to the core and security that is based on a Zero Trust framework to ensure robust, efficient, and secure access to essential business applications from wherever the employees and/or users are located.

What does Xalient’s Identity and Access Module Encompass?

As part of Xalient’s Zero Trust Framework, the Identity and Access module supports both remote and branch / on-prem cloud and cross-domain technology. The module is focused on providing solutions to the questions of trust, specifically user, device and location. We offer a consultative approach drawing on significant technology expertise and experience, with a world-class Managed Services offering. Our dedicated team are experienced with industry leading IAM, EDR and NAC (Network Access Control) solution vendors, and have the skills required to design, build, and manage your global Identity and Access Management solution for you. Our certified consultants and administrators can advise on how you can ensure only the right people access your network, but also do so efficiently and securely, wherever they are in the world.

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Portrait of Mark Foulsham, Board Advisor, NED, COO/CIO, Fractional Support, Digital Leadership Coach

Mark Foulsham

Board Advisor, NED, COO/CIO, Fractional Support, Digital Leadership Coach

With a broad background as a COO/CIO/CDO, C-Suite Advisor, NED, Senior Transformation Leader and Coach, Mark tackles multiple fronts from the advantage of diverse experience in business operations, technology, procurement, delivery and risk. With a deep knowledge of business models from multiple sectors and extensive experience in fast-paced digital start-ups.

Mark’s work across extensive business types, functions and countries empowers him with experience to bear across silos. Mark has built a reputation for advocating cross-business collaboration, taking a pragmatic approach and championing transformative change.