How Security Models Must Change With the Borderless Enterprise

By: Fran Howarth| - Leave a comment


Once upon a time, an organization’s network existed as a fortified castle with a heavily guarded perimeter. Firewalls, intrusion prevention systems and anti-malware defenses were deployed to keep adversaries out. But technology delivery mechanisms have changed dramatically over the past few decades. During the 1990s, the internet changed the way information is consumed and exchanged. Now, the digital workplace has evolved through mobile devices and cloud-based services. These advancements provide opportunities for easier, always-on communication and collaboration, increasing productivity and flexibility while also creating a need for more advanced security models.

The Borderless Enterprise

Enterprises are transforming into increasingly borderless zones that only increase opportunities for adversaries to attack. The security perimeter has become porous and pushed to network endpoints. So the question is no longer if an organization will be attacked, but when and how often.

New Security Models Required

One strategy to tackle these challenges is to step up the use of modern authentication mechanisms. When identity and access management (IAM) technologies were originally developed, they were generally deployed within an organization’s boundaries, with applications and services centrally provisioned. However, in borderless enterprises where cloud, mobile devices and the Internet of Things are king, identity management capabilities must be extended beyond the perimeters of the organization.

As a result, identity-as-a-service (IDaaS) has sprung from the cloud to strengthen security. These offerings can control access to multiple applications and services through single sign-on features and federated identity management. And according to Gartner, IDaaS will make up 40 percent of IAM purchases by 2020, up from just 20 percent in 2016.

Strong authentication is crucial for enterprise security — especially when highly sensitive information is involved. Originally, this practice took the form of a physical token providing a one-time password for each access event. These tokens were expensive to procure, distribute and manage, making them unsuited for the modern world. So soft tokens developed as cheaper and simpler options — think one-time passwords for mobile devices. And many IDaaS systems consider context, such as the type of device or the location of the user, to decide when step-up authentication is required.

This advancement automatically provides higher levels of security when needed. With the old perimeter security model outdated, it’s crucial for enterprises to develop new security models such as these to meet the needs of an increasingly borderless world.

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About The Author

Fran Howarth

Freelance Writer

Fran Howarth is an industry analyst and writer specializing in cybersecurity. She has worked within the security technology sector for more than 25 years in an advisory capacity as an analyst, consultant and writer. Fran focuses on the business needs for security technologies, with a focus on emerging technology sectors. Current areas of focus include cloud security, data security, identity and access management, network and endpoint security, security intelligence and analytics and security governance and regulations. Fran can be reached at

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