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Opening the door to business agility

12 Aug 2014

It's time to turn the security paradigm around so it enables business agility, argues Dell Software's Ian Hodge.

Many organisations look at security from yesterday’s paradigm – a 'we versus they' mentality that pits business productivity against security. For years, security has been the practice of denial, restriction and limitation, and it’s been an expensive insurance policy where value is measured by what doesn’t happen, rather than by what does.

But, what if you could leverage your security investment? What if you could speed business processes by connecting your users to your partners and customers, uniting users with the right data they need, and enabling your organisation to operate smarter, more efficiently and, thus, with more agility?

Consider a perspective that’s entirely different from the traditional view of security – turn the paradigm around to make security the practice of connecting, permitting, uniting and enabling. Add business value by implementing security while maintaining – and even increasing – productivity. Identity governance, access management and privileged management have emerged as the basis for safely and efficiently managing access to business resources, wherever they reside, inside or outside the data centre, without compromising security.

A robust security strategy must be implemented that protects the business from outside attackers by shutting out threats at the gateway. In addition, the security afforded through managing the identities of users will help IT to 'rightsize' access – ensuring that both administrative and end users have access to only the resources they need to do their jobs.

The force for 'yes'

Holistic security management systems give large distributed enterprises, value added resellers and managed service providers, flexible, powerful and intuitive tools to manage configurations, view real-time monitoring metrics, and integrate policy and compliance reporting, all from a single location.

It’s the right security that allows businesses to enable a user to cover for someone who is sick or provide a paid for consultant root access by assigning permissions in less than three minutes; move a department’s access rights – without having to go to IT; or give an Atlantic ship’s captain access to SAP on his iPad so he can update the delayed arrival time into dock.

All of these are possible – IT can secure data, meet uptime requirements and address compliance obligations, and increase end user productivity by giving users faster access to the data and applications they need to do their jobs. With this combination, line of business users are enabled to make better decisions by only getting access to the data they need to do their jobs.

It’s mandatory, in today’s world, for organisations to have the right security policies and practices in place to prevent intrusions, protect intellectual property, maintain privacy, and ensure compliance with corporate policies and government regulations. The trick here is to change the conversation from restrict and deny to permit and enable, making IT the force for 'yes', rather than the group of no, denialand restriction.

Ian Hodge is ANZ managing director for Dell Software, which delivers extensive end-to-end solutions to secure, manage, protect and tackle IT challenges.

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