May 8, 2024 By Bob Slocum 4 min read

The recent X-Force Threat Intelligence Index validated what many of us in the industry already knew: Identity has become the leading attack vector. The 2024 report showed a 71% increase in valid identities used in cyberattacks year-over-year. What really puts it into perspective is the realization that you are just as likely to have your valid identity used in a cyberattack as you are to see a phishing attack in your organization. Hackers don’t hack in; they log in.

The risk of valid identities being used as the entry point by bad actors is expected to continue with the ever-increasing applications and systems being added in today’s hybrid environments. We are finding an overwhelming majority of organizations are choosing to use different identity vendors that offer the best capability for each use case, instead of consolidating with one vendor. The use of various identity tools is further compounded with managing access to your legacy application infrastructure, integrating new users during mergers and acquisitions. The hybrid reality has also led to an inconsistent user experience for your workers, partners and customers, an increased risk of identity-based attacks, and added an additional burden on your admins. 

To solve the identity challenges created by today’s hybrid environments, businesses need a versatile solution that complements existing identity solutions while effectively integrating various identity and access management (IAM) silos into a cohesive whole. Solutions that help create a consistent user experience for your workers, partners and customers across all applications and systems. Organizations and industry analysts refer to this connected IAM infrastructure as an identity fabric. Organizations have begun to move toward connecting multiple IAM solutions through a common identity fabric.

Securing the digital journey

To protect the integrity of digital user journeys, organizations use a range of tools spanning bot mitigation, identity verification and affirmation, user authentication, authorization, fraud detection and adjacent capabilities such as risk analytics and access management. Building and maintaining these integrations is complex and carries an operational overhead regarding time and resources. These various tools don’t easily interconnect and don’t generate standardized types of signals. As a result, the interpretation of the varied risk signals is siloed across different events along the digital user journey. This lack of an integrated approach to managing risk along the digital user journey hinders the adoption of continuous adaptive trust principles and adds undue risk into the system. Various, disconnected identity tools prohibit you from creating that consistent user experience and security controls. Orchestration solutions improve the efficacy and efficiency of risk management along digital user journeys.

Identity orchestration

Identity and access management projects are complex enough with many taking 12-18 months. They require skilled staff to solve today’s identity challenges such as integrating IAM silos together and modernizing access to legacy applications. Many of the solutions out there are not helpful and actually create more vendor lock-in. What is really needed is an open integration ecosystem that allows for flexibility and integrations that are simple and require fewer skills to accomplish. This is where an identity fabric and identity orchestration come into play. Orchestration is the critical component and the integration glue for an identity fabric. Without it, building an identity fabric would be resource-intensive and costly. Orchestration allows more intelligent decision-making and simplifies everything from onboarding to offboarding and enables you to build consistent security policies. Identity orchestration takes the burden off your administrators by quickly and easily automating processes at scale. This enables consistent, frictionless user experiences, while improving identity risk posture, and helping you avoid vendor lock-in. 

Benefits of identity orchestration

Design consistent, frictionless user experiences

Identity orchestration enables you to streamline consistent and frictionless experiences for your workers, partners and customers across the entire identity lifecycle. From account creation to login to passwordless authentication using passkeys to account management, makes it easy to orchestrate identity journeys across your identity stack, facilitating a frictionless experience. IBM’s identity orchestration flow designer enables you to build consistent, secure authentication journeys for users regardless of the application. These journeys can be built effortlessly with low-code, no-code orchestration engines to simplify administrative burden.

Fraud and risk protection

Orchestration allows you to combine fraud signals, decisions and mitigation controls, such as various types of authenticators and identity verification technologies. You can clearly define how trusted individuals are granted access and how untrusted users are mitigated with security authentication. This approach overlays a consistent and continuous overlaying risk and fraud context across identity journey. IBM Security® Verify orchestration allows you to bring together fraud and risk signals to detect threats. It also provides native, modern and strong phishing-resistant risk-based authentication to all applications, including legacy apps, with drag-and-drop work-flows.

Avoid vendor lock-in with identity-agnostic modernization

Organizations have invested in many existing tools and assets across their IAM stack. This can range from existing directories to legacy applications to existing fraud signals, to name a few. IBM Security Verify identity orchestration enables organizations to bring their existing tools to apply consistent, continuous and contextual orchestration across all identity journeys. It enables you to easily consolidate and unify directories, modernize legacy applications and streamline third-party integration for multifactor authentication (MFA), and risk and notification systems.

Leverage IBM Security Verify

IBM Security Verify simplifies IAM with orchestration to reduce complexity, improves your identity risk posture, and simplifies the user journey by enabling you to easily integrate multiple identity system providers (IdPs) across hybrid environments through low-code or no-code experiences.

IBM provides identity-agnostic modernization tools enabling you to manage, migrate and enforce consistent identity security from one IAM solution to another while complementing your existing identity tools. By consolidating user journeys and policies, you can maintain security consistency across all systems and applications, creating frictionless user experiences and security controls across your entire identity landscape.

Explore IBM Security Verify today
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