How to reshape business strategy to be future-proof

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How to reshape business strategy to be future-proof
Staying compliant can be time-consuming and a challenge to maintain.
Photo by Bethany Legg on Unsplash

Technology is a central pillar for modern organisations to grow.

However, the rate of our digital acceleration has boosted capital efficiencies at a pace that is quickly becoming unmanageable, and means business have to deploy the right tech, ensuring systems and processes are in place to keep pace. One way to do this is through automation and organizations are taking notice.

Australian businesses are well-positioned to remain innovative and competitive, with the Federal Government implementing an AI Action Plan that includes a targeted $124.1 million to aid Australian leadership in developing and adopting responsible Artificial Intelligence (AI). With many businesses setting their sights on AI as key growth driver, decision-makers need to understand the value of emerging technologies, such as AI and Machine Learning (ML), and how to implement them across business strategies rather than a single process.

Data is the foundation

The modern organisation is made up of a mixture of human and non-human identities. Each user - whether that be an employee or a form of technology that can act independently and make intelligent decisions on behalf of people such as a bot or code – is linked to an identity. Having to manage each individual identity, remember what is linked to each, and know which identity is allowed to know specific information involves a lot of manual processing, and that’s productivity and efficiency down the drain.

Many workplaces are already using some form of data collection through AI to streamline these processes, but how can the information go even further to extract valuable insights and help drive informed business decisions?

AI and ML can reveal the business blind spots in the cloud

Simply put, you can’t stop what you can’t see. As businesses continue to digitally transform with added technology and systems in place, enterprises will become more complex and naturally create more tasks to ensure compliance. The onboarding, managing of users, and review of certifications – it’s time consuming. Pair that with a workforce of hundreds or even thousands, and it quickly becomes impossible.

With the help of AI and ML, organisations can make identity more intelligent and autonomous through predictive identity – the idea that user access needs can be anticipated based on an identity profile. Businesses can leverage ML to view historical access data across the organisations to assess its access behaviours and patters. This will set a user activity benchmark and allow users to be categorised into base group models.

Behaviours that don’t fit the norm are flagged as potentially malicious and are constantly being watched by AI, removing oftentimes risky needles in a haystack. For example, as new data comes into the engine, AI can assess whether it seems abnormal in relation to what is usually seen across the peer group. Machine learning will filter the standard access and automatically certify an identity if it is deemed safe. A report may be generated to highlight any outliers so immediate action can be taken such as revoking additional access.

Excessive access is the enemy of security – how to ensure compliance

Staying compliant can be time-consuming and a challenge to maintain, especially if your workforce is made up of full- and part-timers, people working on specific projects or perhaps leaving the organisation. Each of these workers, human or bots, sit in a different circle of trust and consequently expose your organisation to different levels of risk.

Compromised credentials are a massive risk that can easily fly under the radar if not monitored and may lead to a major breach that can set you up for compliance violations, with companies who are non-compliant paying an average $14.8 million in fines for failed IT audits. However, by implementing identity security systems powered by AI and ML, organisations can empower their workforce with more (or enhanced) cloud-based tools, while simultaneously protecting the company against evolving cybersecurity threats.

An identity security solution will take away the headache and automate the tasks of enforcing and demonstrating compliance through changing employee responsibilities and mitigate any unauthorised access. Additionally, it will help streamline manual-heavy processes, saving staff time to free up space to be more productive on higher-value tasks.

By strategically integrating AI and ML along a business’ digital transformation, leaders will be well positioned for growth and security by bringing speed and value to keep up with the rapid pace of digital adoption.

Chern-Yue Boey is Senior Vice President of SailPoint.

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