ANZ firms continue to struggle with identity management, SailPoint finds

SailPoint Technologies, Inc., a global enterprise identity security firm, unveiled the findings of new research analysing the State of Identity across over 560 businesses in ANZ. According to the report, most firms now have the basic identity and access management tech yet continue to struggle with identity management. This could be due to the complexity of orchestrating dynamic workplaces, hybrid and remote workforces, and the rise of non-human identities.

What were the findings of SailPoint’s research?

For many organisations in Australia and New Zealand, the imperative to create a mature zero-trust environment to protect their information against digital threats has become a top priority. This study reveals the maturity of thinking about identity and access management (IAM) among Australian and New Zealand organisations and explores future directions.

Identity security becomes critical at the board and C-level

Organisations are now prioritising identity security from the top down, with 57% of Healthcare and Social Assistance organisations reporting a C-level executive as the decision maker for identity management technology. In Educational Services, more than 45% of decision-makers were C-level executives, and nearly 54% in Public Sector organisations.

Despite more organisations (33.7%) leveraging Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) delivered identity solutions, 22.3% are still using on-premise tools. The last three years have represented a significant shift to SaaS-based models as businesses aim to improve scalability, agility and time-to-value related to on-premise tools and single-platform solutions.

Organisations using on-premise solutions suggest they will transition to SaaS enterprise solutions within the next two to five years to take advantage of better management and governance capabilities of modern identity solutions, resulting in better economic outcomes.

Organisations confident about identity management

Most organisations in the Australia and New Zealand region are confident about their ability to manage human and non-human identities, with 17.7% expressing they were very confident and 42.1% confident. This is not indicative, however, of an effective governance framework being in place to mitigate risks such as privilege creep or excessive permissions.

Organisations must take proactive measures to create an effective governance framework by understanding end-to-end permissions to protect their data and ensure operational stability. With the growth of non-human identities in hybrid and multi-cloud environments, organisations can no longer afford to overlook these identities and must ensure their identity and access management strategies evolve to offer speed, reliability and security.

Justifying investment into identity management is still a challenge

Whilst nearly 78% of organisations claim Identity Management is essential or important, budget roadblocks and justifying investment remains a challenge for more than 85% of organisations in Australia (nearly 60% in New Zealand). Ironically, investment in next-generation identity solutions, in fact, relieves bottlenecks in manual resources, which ranked a close second biggest business challenge (nearly 85% in Australia and at nearly 40% in New Zealand).

Modern identity solutions address more than streamlining identity management and system access by enabling safer remote working, increasing the speed of detection and response for threats, and improving employee productivity and economic benefits.

Zero trust begins with identity, recognised by the nearly 78% of organisations that rate identity management as important or essential to their zero trust strategy. However, only 25% have a zero-trust strategy in place. The biggest oversight for many organisations’ zero trust strategies is that they ignore the need for identity security for human and non-human identities.

What were the thoughts of SailPoint on the findings?

Nam Lam, ANZ Country Manager, SailPoint.
Nam Lam, ANZ Country Manager at SailPoint

Nam Lam, ANZ Country Manager at SailPoint, said, “Identity Security is business essential today, and a comprehensive identity management strategy is vital to streamline identity processes and decisions such as access requests and certifications to combat evolving threats.”

He stated, “This study has placed a spotlight on the importance of identity governance and the maturity of firms in Australia and New Zealand as they struggle to communicate the value and benefits for solutions that resolve their greatest identity management challenges.”

“Whilst increased understanding across business functions and board-level awareness is accelerating the creation of robust, long-term identity strategies and the adoption of innovative software that automates governance and integrates across the entire organisation, budget roadblocks and justifying costs are still the greatest challenges,” commented Nam Lam.

He continued, “More education needs to take place at the board and C-level that it is no longer a matter of simply fine-tuning security policies and procedures or reviewing perimeter security implementations. Today’s challenge is far greater as every single identity with access to organisational resources now represents a perimeter and therefore needs to have only the right amount of access to the right resources at the right time to do their job.”

Please refer to SailPoint State of Identity in Australia and New Zealand for the full report.