In the novel Frankenstein, by Mary Shelly, Victor Frankenstein embarks on a quest to create life by using dead body parts, “collected bones from carnel-houses.” In the novel, the monster is totally uncontrollable and ultimately dooms his creator Victor.
Frankenstein is not only a masterpiece of literature, but also represents a perfect analogy for today’s highly distributed business, and government, IT enterprises.
Within the IT organizations of large enterprises, it’s very common to have different groups operating with almost complete autonomy, like small “kingdoms,” and these groups may rarely, if ever, coordinate their activities. Sure it’s true, that in some activities they cross paths, like the transfer of data, or maybe in a Disaster Recovery scenario, but IT deployment decisions are often made in siloed vacuums. These decisions are made by the different departments’ management, thinking tactically, regarding their own individual requirements, rather than strategically, with the entire IT organization in mind.
Today, organizations are also struggling with cyberthreats from all sides, and to defend against this, the silo style of IT organization cannot successfully fend off these constant assaults; it takes a coordinated defense effort. However, most IT organizations are simply not structured that way.
Today’s cyber criminals are most often attempting to compromise user identities, with the ultimate goal of compromising a privileged user, like a database, systems or network admin. In the 2016, Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report, there were 1,429 reported incidents of credential theft last year, representing millions of identities. The cyber criminals used these stolen identities 77% of the time to gain access to IT assets or applications. So the ability for an organization to maintain the security and control over their organizations identities is paramount in securing their enterprise.
So how does this relate to Frankenstein? Think of the variety of challenges faced by IT organizations, like providing for single sign-on (SSO) technology, multi-factor authentication (MFA), enterprise mobility management (MDM), user self-service capabilities, privileged identity management, privileged access management, user provisioning, virtual private networking access, active directory federation services (ADFS), among others. Think of these as “body parts” potentially provided by a variety of vendors. IT organizations are then challenged, like our friend Victor, with trying to make all of these disparate “body parts” function together. The reality is, that no matter how great an individual product might be, trying to “bolt together” separate, unique products, and having them function as a single, unified “body,” can often become a cumbersome, languid, frustrating, expensive and insecure endeavor. Also consider the human resources to maintain this “Frankenstein.” Ultimately, the IT organization can exacerbate its already siloed structure into even more “kingdoms” with the addition of these new specialized groups.
Centrify has the solution, that solves the Frankenstein IT nightmare. With our Centrify Identity Platform, identities are seamlessly managed using Microsoft Active Directory, and access to the resources that users need, are granted based on roles, which can be tied back to AD Groups. Do you need to manage mobile devices, like iPhones or Android devices? It’s there. What about MFA? It’s there. How about user self-service, access control, auditing, VPN’less remote access, user provisioning? Yep, it is all there too! In fact, within one seamless identity platform, IT organizations can manage everything from the data center servers, to BYOD phones, using exactly the same skill sets and infrastructure that they already have on staff and that they have deployed. Inside one seamless, unified solution, an IT organization can go from the nightmare that is “Frankenstein” to an environment that truly brings unity, standardization and security into a calming reality. Making broad use of the knowledge, and infrastructure you already have deployed and used for years: Active Directory.
Learn more about the Centrify Identity Platform here.