Cybersecurity has risen in importance among C-suite priorities, driven by reports of the increasing volume of data breaches and ransomware—2,216 confirmed data breaches over the course of just one year (that we know about)! CISOs and CIOs are also taking seriously the need to secure the digital technologies that are fueling business growth and innovation, such as cloud and mobile applications, APIs and the IoT. In a Ping Identity survey, 91% of IT decision makers list security as important to their company’s digital transformation success.
As enterprises grow beyond their traditional boundaries, they’ve turned to identity and access management (IAM) as a primary control plane to protect their critical applications and data, but many IAM solutions require a trade-off between security and convenience that users—customers, partners and employees alike—are finding hard to swallow.
While hackers grow more sophisticated, users are calling for easier access and less friction in their daily interactions with applications and data. Companies are forced to ask, “Would I rather be vulnerable to a cyberattack, or frustrate my users with burdensome security policies?” It’s a hard balancing act.
But is it truly a zero-sum game? We at Ping Identity believe that user experience and security don’t have to be in conflict. We’re using identity intelligence to help companies optimize both security and convenience simultaneously.
Identity Intelligence as a Strategic Differentiator
By identity intelligence, we mean real-time authentication and authorization based on the collection, analysis and management of a wide assortment of identity attributes, signals and context.
We enable this intelligence within the Ping Identity Platform by aggregating multiple sources of data, including identity attributes, user behavior and contextual information about device, location and network. Add to that our integrations with data streams that identify risk, fraud and threat signals, and you have a powerful pool of information to fuel intelligent identity decisions.
You can see identity intelligence manifest itself in a number of ways across our platform. It’s at work in the policies that enforce authentication and authorization business rules. We’ve developed adaptive authentication capabilities and support multiple authentication methods that allow for varying levels of assurance and convenience based on the situation at hand. And most recently, we’ve started to harness data in a new way through the application of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, which allows us to establish patterns of behavior and detect anomalies.
Introducing PingIntelligence for APIs
On June 26th, 2018, we announced the launch of PingIntelligence for APIs. A result of the acquisition of Elastic Beam, this new capability represents the introduction of artificial intelligence and machine learning into the Ping Identity Platform, focused first on filling critical gaps in API security. It is now available via private preview.
PingIntelligence for APIs complements existing Ping products like PingAccess, which provides foundational API security to ensure authenticated users only have access to the APIs and digital resources they are authorized to use. PingIntelligence for APIs adds API cybersecurity to detect and block pre- and post-authentication attacks, such as when a hacker uses stolen credentials to gain access to systems and data.
Applying Artificial Intelligence to Secure APIs
PingIntelligence for APIs uses artificial intelligence (AI) to expose active APIs, identify and automatically block cyberattacks on APIs and provide detailed reporting on all API activity. Leveraging AI models specifically tailored for API security, PingIntelligence for APIs brings cyberattack protection and deep API traffic insight to existing API gateways and application server-based API environments.
Deployed on premises, in public clouds or in hybrid clouds, the solution monitors API traffic across your environment. It uses AI and machine learning models to detect anomalous API behavior without relying on specific defined policies or prior knowledge of attack patterns, which means it can stop new and constantly changing attacks. Using continuous learning capabilities, it becomes more accurate at identifying and blocking attacks over time.
With this new offering, you’ll be able to identify malicious activity targeting API services, including API/Layer 7 DDoS attacks, login attacks, application/data attacks and even advanced persistent threats. That means your data stays safe from theft and deletion and your API services are protected from disruption. You can also set up decoy APIs to trap hackers and block them from accessing your legitimate APIs.
Not only that, but PingIntelligence for APIs delivers deep insight with automated API discovery, traffic monitoring and reporting on all API activity. A rich set of information is available to deliver comprehensive details for compliance reporting, forensic investigations, usage trend analysis or debugging of complex applications. Just about everything about an API interaction is recorded and made available, including every method/command used on any API. The reporting API can also be accessed by third-party dashboards and JSON reporting engines deployed in security operations centers.
Optimizing Security and Convenience
By adding intelligence to your identity infrastructure, you can make your services more accessible and convenient for customers, partners and employees, while simultaneously optimizing security, ensuring privacy and maintaining compliance.
With the launch of PingIntelligence for APIs, Ping’s current and future customers gain access to a comprehensive AI-powered API security solution. And while the solution specifically targets your API infrastructure, it has the potential to be the first of many use cases for AI and machine learning within the realm of identity defined security.