Step Aside, Firewall: Why IAM is the New Enterprise Security Perimeter

January 23, 2017

Security threats are growing and enterprise infrastructure has not kept pace with our digital world, so it's no surprise that security is gaining more attention and a bigger share of IT spending. Consider:


  • Security is the top concern of 36% of IT leaders, putting it second behind the overall leader, alignment (41.7%), according to recently released data from the Society for Information Management. Just four years ago, security was merely ninth1.
  • A majority of CIOs, at 82%, ranked security as the top spending category last year, according to a Piper Jaffray survey2.
  • IT security spending will reach $101 billion next year and $170 billion by 2020, as reported in Investor's Business Daily3.


But there's one approach organizations increasingly rely on to achieve stronger security that may surprise you: Identity and Access Management (IAM). According to the same Piper Jaffray survey, IAM has now cracked the top five security spending categories and has moved ahead of firewall spending. Identity is fast becoming the new perimeter, for good reason.


The largest and most advanced companies in the world, including Google and Cisco, have figured out that in order to keep up with modern threats, they need to adopt a completely different paradigm--one where identity is at the center of their security architecture. We at Ping Identity call this Identity Defined Security.


Why are so many enterprises moving identity to the core of their security strategy and architecture? Because identity solves four key enterprise security challenges:


Challenge #1: Users and apps outside the perimeter. As users and devices have gone mobile and apps are moving to the cloud, perimeter-based technologies such as firewalls and VPNs simply are not sufficient.

Challenge #2:
Reliance on passwords. Year after year, reports like the Verizon Data Breach Investigation Report cite compromised credentials as the leading cause of breach. Stronger authentication via multi-factor authentication (MFA), coupled with a federated single sign-on (SSO), reduce that risk.

Challenge #3:
User data stored across NOT fit-for-purpose directories. Too many enterprises house consumer identities in technologies that were clearly not designed for modern standards and regulations. Identity Defined Security secures sensitive identity data with end-to-end data encryption at capture, transit, storage, replication, backup and more.

Challenge #4:
Partner identity management with no way to automate de-provisioning. Too many companies are housing and managing partner identities storing IDs and passwords for each partner employee. When an employee of your partner leaves, potentially going to a competitor, are their IDs and passwords still valid? This outdated approach creates a huge security risk and a lot of overhead.


Want to learn how Google and other leading enterprises are meeting these challenges by making the move to Identity Defined Security architectures? Click here to watch our "Best Practices for Improving Enterprise Security with Identity" webinar, featuring useful case studies and rich, practical insights.




1"CIOs' Top Three Concerns for 2017: Alignment, Security, Skill Shortages," last accessed Jan. 18, 2017,


2"2016 CIO Top Priorities Revealed in Survey," last accessed Jan. 18, 2017,


3"Cisco, IBM, Dell M&A Brawl May Whack Symantec, Palo Alto, Fortinet," last accessed Jan. 18, 2017,


4"How the Grinch Steals Credentials," last accessed Jan. 18, 2017,