The results of a new study show that European CIOs, CISOs and IT security managers are looking at consumer identities, improving customer experience and operational efficiencies as part of their planning, but they believe digital transformation can only achieve any benefits if security is improved.
Identity and Access Management (IAM) is seen as key to meeting the security challenges of digital transformation, with 93% of those professionals interviewed pledging to maintain or increase spending on IAM in the next three years. It appears that companies with less than 5,000 employees are matching large enterprises with over 10,000 employees in the drive to digital transformation.
The findings, contained in a study* realised by market research and strategy company Pierre Audoin Consultants (PAC) in collaboration with KuppingerCole (a global analyst firm focusing on information security and IAM), show a significant awareness among senior IT decision-makers of the need for IAM solutions that can function securely, while also fulfilling the challenges and opportunities of the digital age.
When questioned on the primary goals of their digital transformation strategies, 48% of respondents to the study – entitled ‘Identity and Access Management in the Digital Age’ – replied that threat or breach mitigation was seen as extremely important.
This was placed just higher than improving customer experience or driving cost savings and efficiencies, both of which are expected digital enterprise priorities for those businesses surveyed.
However, the lack of security awareness among employees could prove to be a serious risk as businesses transform and embrace opportunities provided by the Internet of Things.
Lack of training
Of the respondents, 46% said that they believe the lack of training or understanding of IAM policies or processes would be the main cause of the next IAM-related breach. In the digital age, ‘The Insider Threat’ will need to be managed ever more securely.
Meanwhile, shadow IT is now emerging as a serious threat to creating a secure IAM solution as companies digitally transform, with 43% saying it was challenging and 22% regarding this as very challenging.
Other highlights of the study (which is supported by KPMG, Computacenter, SailPoint, CyberArk and VMware) include the following:
*92% of respondents will maintain or increase their IAM investment in the next three years
*65% of respondents see consumer identities and applications as an important factor in their next IAM investment
*57% are considering a Managed Security Services Provider (MSSP) solution for their next IAM investment
*77% said that their organisation is already undergoing digital transformation
Digital transformation of business
Paul Fisher, research director at PAC, said: “Our study has revealed an encouraging awareness of the need for the digital transformation of business by our representative sample of senior information and security executives across Europe. They’re aware of the business benefits that digital transformation presents. They are also acutely aware that IAM solutions will need to step up to the plate if new identities from consumers, and even those of things and sensors, are to be securely managed.”
Fisher continued: “There’s a clear recognition among our sample that, in the rush to digitally transform, the all-important security factors could be overlooked by other lines of the business. Identity and Access Management will move centre stage as the main defence against cyber attacks in the digital age.”
In conversation with Risk UK, Fisher concluded: “Some things will not change. Most breaches today are the result of simple mistakes by employees clicking on rogue links in e-mails, downloading malicious attachments or simply not following security policies and training lessons.”
Manoj Kumar, director of cyber security at KPMG UK, explained: “The ability to harness the power of identity is pivotal to effective digital transformation. It’s imperative from this study that the management of identities across customer and enterprise populations is at the very heart of digital transformation, and that cyber threat and breach mitigation can be an integral enabler rather than an impediment in the journey.”
*For the purposes of the study, PAC interviewed senior IT and security executives at 200 businesses in Europe during March 2016. Those executives are employed in banking, insurance, manufacturing, retail, services, telecoms, transport and the public sector and based in the Benelux and Nordic regions, Switzerland, France and Germany as well as the UK
**To download an Executive Summary visit: https://www.pac-online.com/trend-study-identity-and-access-management-digital-age