Unlock Extended SaaS Visibility to Strengthen Identity Management

Eric Christopher

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Unfortunately, you don’t need to wait long before you hear about a new security breach affecting companies or consumers. Beyond bad press and violations to privacy or security, these breaches carry a significant financial risk for businesses.

According to a recent study, the average cybersecurity breach in the United States costs about $8 million, including direct costs to mitigate the breach and indirect costs due to lost business.

The two most common sources of breaches – malicious attacks and human error – are problems that can be addressed in part by a strong identity management strategy. And today, more CIO leaders and IT teams have made the decision to bolster their security posture with identity management solutions.

Okta, a leading provider in identity management, makesthis process easier and more secure than ever, and the usefulness of their solution has been validated by explosive growth and strong market position.

With the growing use of SaaS, Okta noted in its 2018 Businesses @ Work survey that large businesses deployed 68 percent more SaaS application into its identity management solution in the last four years. There’s no doubt that with an increased appetite for SaaS applications comes increased security risk. It’s one reason large organizations are focusing on tightening their security perimeter via identity management.

But the degree to which SaaS applications impact identity management strategy may be larger than many organizations realize.

SaaS Proliferation Makes Identity Management More Difficult

According to Zylo data, IT leaders frequently underestimate the number of SaaS applications present in their businesses by two to three times. That means that potentially 100 to 200 percent more applications exist than anticipated and are not addressed by any identity management plan.

What causes IT to struggle to see all the applications used across the enterprise? For many organizations, IT no longer purchases the majority of software. Zylo’s 2018 study showed that 50 percent or more of all software transactions now fall outside IT’s budget lines. The majority of these purchases are SaaS applications.

Decentralized, unplanned SaaS acquisition leads to obvious risks for security and compliance regarding identity management, but it also leads to licensing waste, under-utilized or unused tools, missed renewals, unnecessary costs, and overall lack of governance.

How Improved SaaS Visibility with Zylo Strengthens Identity Management

The first step towards minimizing risk and creating a wider view of identity management is identifying all the unknown SaaS applications present in the enterprise. Zylo’s discovery offers a concrete first measure.

By integrating directly into accounts payable and employee expense data, Zylo provides complete visibility into all SaaS applications within an organization. This reveals a full picture of app usage across the company, including any applications that may have previously been hidden by one-off purchases by business units or individual employees.

A complement to this holistic visibility is Zylo’s direct integration with Okta. If your organization already uses Okta, Zylo’s discovery process can reveal which SaaS applications are currently behind an Okta security layer, those that are not, and those that could be.

In this way, IT or security teams can quickly prioritize the processes that need to be applied to newly discovered applications and build a road map to extend a wider perimeter for identity management overall.

A recent study of Zylo data showed that only about 20 percent of enterprise applications are deployed with an identity management tool in place.

Valid reasons exist for not integrating applications with an identity management solution, from applications that pose minimal risk to lack of technical resources to costs associated with upgrading to SSO-enabled applications. But the fact that only 1 in 5 applications are currently integrated with more secure identity features underscores the large opportunity for improvement.

More Reasons to Partner Okta’s Identity Management with Zylo’s SaaS visibility

The Zylo-Okta integration not only creates seamless visibility of all SaaS applications across an organization, but also reveals previously obscured data about SaaS utilization, sentiment, and value, as well as unlocks SaaS management workflows from a single dashboard.

Measure Utilization

Zylo’s Okta integration not only identifies Okta-enabled applications but by tapping into Okta sign-in data, it also measures their use across the organization. This provides the business a fuller picture of use and value in real time, instead of just at renewal.

Track Sentiment and Redeploy Licenses

If an application goes unused, technology managers can use Zylo to query the user directly for feedback to determine if they still require the application or license. If you find a user no longer needs it, it can then be redeployed, frequently within the Zylo platform itself via customizable license management workflows.

Track Spending on Each Application

Spending information across all applications becomes quickly buried in large organizations, especially as the numbers grow with increased use. Zylo allows users to associate utilization and spend, giving a complete picture of total application investment.

Increase SaaS Application ROI

When you combine spending, utilization, and identity management attributes, you can take immediate action to increase the value for your SaaS application investment.

Zylo’s visibility and management dashboard enables teams to contain costs in their SaaS portfolio by eliminating duplicate applications, off-boarding unused applications, and right-sizing license or seat counts to the organization’s needs. It increases value by bolstering identity management to reduce risk and allowing teams to optimize their SaaS investments going forward.

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To learn more about how Zylo extends visibility and strengthens identity management, see how Zylo customers Instructure and Keap use the Zylo + Okta integration to maximize the potential of SaaS for their businesses.

About the Author

Eric Christopher

Eric Christopher is CEO and Co-Founder of Zylo, the leading SaaS management platform. After 14 years of buying and selling software, Eric knew there had to be a better way to manage cloud applications within a company. Eric started his career in sales at ExactTarget from 2002 to 2010. He spent the next six years in Chicago leading sales teams at Shoutlet and Sprout Social Inc., and founded Zylo in 2016.