How Centrify is Innovating in the Four Biggest Trends in IT … #4 Security

In my last three blog posts I discussed the four top-of-mind items for CIOs (Big Data, Mobile, Cloud and Security), and how Centrify is innovating in the areas of Big Data, Mobile and Cloud. In this blog post I will discuss how we are innovating in Security — specifically how we are leading the charge to deliver advanced Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) via mobile devices and wearables.


Clearly the Security market, like the Mobile and Cloud markets, is also showing big growth — which is not surprising given the hacks and breaches that are making headlines every day. Gartner says the overall security market is growing 8 percent per year and will be $77 billion in size in 2015. That growth rate is significantly greater than the growth shown by overall IT spending which per Gartner is about 2.5 percent and of course greater than the overall GDP growth.

And unfortunately the trend lines for hacks, breaches, viruses, Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs), etc., are getting worse, so this growth in the security market will no doubt continue.

At the same time that all these hacks and breaches are happening, what needs to be secured is also dramatically changing. Before it was about securing the perimeter, applying anti-virus to PCs, etc. But with the growth of cloud and mobile, more and more of corporate IT is outside the traditional perimeter, as evidenced by Gartner saying that 25 percent of corporate data traffic will be outside the traditional firewalls and perimeter. So a new class of solutions is needed to address securing cloud and mobile, and take into account that the same organizations that are moving to cloud and mobile will also have their same users also accessing on-premises apps and systems.

Off-Network Traffic Grows

And finally, the delivery mechanism for security solutions is also changing to reflect the movement to cloud and mobile. Gartner says 10 percent of security solutions will be delivered via the cloud in 2015. Specific to identity management, Gartner says that in the next few years 25 percent of identity management will be delivered as-a-service (i.e. IDaaS).


Speaking of identity…we believe with the constant barrage of hacks that organizations are looking for a new layer of security, one that focuses on securing the user and their digital identity. Which is not surprising given that when you have a situation where more users are using their mobile devices at say Starbucks to access Salesforce, the traditional security paradigm of firewalls and AV is no longer applicable. So the focus vis a vis security shifts to what you can secure in that scenario, which is the user. It is not surprising that a recent TheInfoPro (part of 451 Research) survey found that Identity Management is the top intend to spend in 2015.

Identity as Top Priority within Security

It is also not surprising that when you look at the nature of most of the hacks, they are in fact going after either end and/or privileged users’ identities, as shown by these “ripped from the headlines.”

Identity at Center of Cyber Attacks

Given all this, it is no surprise that Identity is in fact the fastest growing segment within security per Gartner and RBC estimates:

Multi Billion Dollar Security TAMs

And given the move to cloud and mobile *and* the focus on securing privileged accounts, it is further not surprising that the two fastest growing market segments per Gartner are Identity-as-a-Service that is growing 25 percent and Privileged Account Management (aka Privileged Identity Management aka PIM) that is also growing 25 percent plus, which is 10x the growth of the overall IT market.

Centrify and Security

Clearly Centrify plays squarely in the Identity Management market, which is the hottest and fastest growing segment within security, and we squarely play in two hottest segments — IDaaS and PIM. But what’s unique about what we are doing?

A number of things!

First off, we uniquely address identity management for both end users and privileged users with an integrated solution. Compare this to a Privileged Identity Management vendor who vaults a Windows service account or the UNIX root account. That’s great, but is not the VP of Sales and his salesforce account equally important to protect? As shown by the headlines above, that’s great that a vendor supports privileged accounts, but regular ol’ end user accounts need securing too, and vice versa. And it is very important to have a single integrated architecture to deliver that.

Second, we address identity across cloud, mobile and data center ― no matter if the user is on-premises or out on the Internet, and no matter what type of device they are using. IDaaS vendors do SaaS single sign-on (SSO), but what about providing single click access to on-prem apps for a user off-premises at Starbucks? Or SSO from a Mac or mobile device? What about securing new data center infrastructures such as Hadoop and NoSQL? We do all of this and more.

Third, over the years we have a next-generation cloud platform that we are building off of that does not ignore that customers have an on-prem investment. I talked about that in my last blog.

Finally, I think we are doing some very innovative stuff in security around Multi-Factor Authentication and wearables vis a vis our Cloud Identity offering. The Centrify Identity Service now supports both the Samsung and Apple built-in fingerprint scanners, marrying the security of policy-based single sign-on with multi-factor authentication, thus creating a better and more convenient user experience. This new functionality includes push notifications to Android and iOS devices, integration of multi-factor authentication for SaaS and mobile apps with Android Wear devices, and the industry’s simplest multi-factor authentication with one-tap verification. See this blog and the video below for more details.

The bottom line is that CIOs are thinking every day about four major trends — Big Data, Mobile, Cloud and Security ― and how those trends are transforming their businesses, and I truly believe that Centrify can add significant value in all four.