Streamline Identity Security Compliance with Spera
Lior Tamir, Lead Product Manager
June 6, 2023
Organizations today must meet the requirements of cybersecurity compliance frameworks such as NIST, CIS and PCI, in order to ensure that their cybersecurity posture is up to industry standards. These frameworks are especially critical for organizational Identity Security, as they provide a set of guidelines and best practices for organizations to follow in order to protect their assets and sensitive data from cyber-attacks, develop a robust Identity Security strategy and gain a competitive advantage by building trust with customers and partners.
Achieving such compliance and maintaining it while assessing required changes and updates may present the following challenges:
The complexity of IAM systems such as identity providers, applications and access control mechanisms requires proficiency in multiple systems and the development of tools and automated processes in order to continuously collect and normalize data for a complete picture of your Identity Security posture. This complexity may lead to Identity Security teams developing blindspots and missing crucial information, or to their decision not to monitor certain systems because they are increasingly overwhelmed.
Context is required in order to determine the appropriate compliance level of an account. It is not enough to know if MFA is enabled - there are certain aspects of authentication that must be taken into account, including MFA strength, last password change, was the password leaked and other factors. Similarly, it isn’t enough to know the type of user associated with an account - compliance demands context into the user’s employment status, type of employment (such as contractors or external employees) and other factors.
Limited resources may lead to prioritization, which is difficult to do. Teams must find a simple way to estimate the efforts and resources required to prioritize and focus on the controls with the highest impact, and understand the blast radius they are dealing with.
Varying controls, frameworks and benchmarks throughout the organization. Different scopes in the organization have different standards, and this lack of cohesion increases the difficulty of ensuring comprehensive compliance across all environments, systems and infrastructure, especially in cases of M&A and other changes and disruptions in the organization’s lifecycle.
Keeping up-to-date as compliance frameworks evolve. Compliance standards can change frequently, and it can be difficult to track the impact of those changes over time. In the Identity Security realm, for example, NIST presented a new guideline that required a significant change in the way organizations handle password changes. In order to comply, security and IAM teams had to integrate various tools and technologies, develop new processes and change existing training programs. These processes take time and resources, and require flexibility.
Adding compliance to internal standards. In addition to industry compliance frameworks, many organizations also have their own internal security standards and policies that they must adhere to. These internal standards may be tailored to the specific needs of the organization, or required by an auditor.
Constantly changing identities are hard to track over time. CISOs must be able to measure the effectiveness of their controls across a constantly changing identity stack, which makes compliance a significant challenge. For example, security teams must be able to assess whether MFA enforcement policies help more users enroll MFA over time, or if automation helps remove access quicker in offboarding processes.
How Spera’s ISPM (Identity Security Posture Management) solution can help
ISPM provides organizations with a rich library of out-of-the-box controls that are based on industry security and compliance frameworks, minimizing complexity and labor-intensive processes, and streamlining the organization’s ability to comply.
These solutions continuously monitor and check the organization’s identity stack against compliance frameworks, providing overall visibility into the identity posture with granularity for each framework, environment and risk category.
ISPM’s features allow security and IAM teams to effectively report to the organization’s leadership and present the proactive measures taken to increase compliance.
In addition to the built-in compliance frameworks, ISPM makes adding unique security controls easier. These controls enhance the organization’s security by considering the unique risks and threats it faces, as well as its specific business needs and goals. ISPM tools provide the flexibility required to set these controls on granular scopes and prevent redundant bureaucracy.
ISPM tools provide security and IAM teams with a centralized dashboard for Identity Security management, including everything they need to know, do and verify in order to ensure comprehensive compliance. This dashboard tracks their progress toward achieving compliance and monitors their security posture, while giving them visibility into how their level of compliance compares to similar organizations. With a centralized dashboard, teams have a holistic view of their Identity Security and can easily identify areas that require attention. With Spera, Identity Security programs can now effectively follow and comply with industry frameworks simply and easily.