The Implications of Identity-First Security on Identity Governance and Access Control

Jul 19, 2023

Jul 19, 2023

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6 mins

We explore the implications of identity-first security on identity governance and identity security, converged identity and access management (IAM), the adoption of the cybersecurity mesh architecture, and interdisciplinary fusion teams that will shape the future of IAM.

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Josh Mayfield
VP Product Marketing
The Implications of Identity-First Security on Identity Governance and Access Control
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Identity-first security, encompassing concepts such as zero-trust architecture, has gained significant traction in recent years. This paradigm shift in security strategies places a strong emphasis on individuals' identities as the foundation for granting access to resources and systems, challenging the traditional perimeter-based security model.

Here, we explore the implications of identity-first security on identity governance and identity security, considering the assumptions that by 2025, converged identity and access management (IAM) platforms will dominate deployments, organizations adopting a cybersecurity mesh architecture will reduce security incidents, and interdisciplinary fusion teams will shape IAM decision-making.

Identity Governance in the Context of Identity-First Security

Identity governance plays a vital role in ensuring the effective implementation of identity-first security. It encompasses the policies, processes, and technologies necessary to manage user identities, enforce access controls, and maintain regulatory compliance. With the increasing complexity of modern IT environments, identity governance becomes even more critical to maintain visibility and control over user access.

The shift towards converged IAM platforms aligns with the identity-first security approach. These platforms integrate access management, governance, administration, and privileged access capabilities, providing a centralized and streamlined solution. By 2025, with 70% of new deployments adopting converged IAM platforms, organizations can benefit from improved efficiency, reduced complexity, and enhanced security posture.

Converged IAM platforms enable organizations to implement consistent identity governance practices across their entire ecosystem. They facilitate automated provisioning and deprovisioning of user accounts, ensure proper segregation of duties, enforce strong authentication mechanisms, and streamline access certification processes. These capabilities contribute to better identity governance, reducing the risk of unauthorized access and improving regulatory compliance.

Identity Security and the Cybersecurity Mesh Architecture

The cybersecurity mesh architecture, assumed to be widely adopted by organizations by 2024, has significant implications for identity security. This architecture recognizes the distributed and dynamic nature of modern IT environments and aims to provide security that extends beyond traditional network boundaries. It focuses on protecting individual identities and their associated access privileges, aligning with the principles of identity-first security.

In a cybersecurity mesh architecture, identity becomes a core component of the security fabric. User identities are continuously verified, and access decisions are based on context, policies, and risk assessments. By integrating identity and access management with other security controls, such as threat intelligence and behavior analytics, organizations can establish a comprehensive security posture.

This architecture also enables organizations to implement adaptive access controls, tailoring permissions based on various factors, such as device posture, location, and user behavior. This granular approach reduces the attack surface and helps prevent unauthorized access, even in dynamic and distributed environments. Furthermore, by implementing strong authentication mechanisms, such as multi-factor authentication and biometrics, organizations can strengthen identity security and mitigate the risk of credential theft and misuse.

Interdisciplinary Fusion Teams and IAM Decision-Making

Identity and access management leaders who foster interdisciplinary fusion teams, as assumed for 2025, gain significant advantages in shaping IAM decision-making. These teams comprise professionals from various disciplines, including cybersecurity, IT operations, compliance, and business units. By leveraging diverse expertise, organizations can develop comprehensive IAM strategies that address security, operational, and regulatory requirements effectively.

Interdisciplinary fusion teams enable a holistic approach to IAM decision-making. They can assess the impact of IAM initiatives on security, usability, and business processes, ensuring a balance between security controls and user experience. This collaborative approach also enhances the organization's ability to identify and address emerging risks, adapt to evolving regulatory frameworks, and align IAM with business objectives.

Furthermore, interdisciplinary teams can drive innovation in identity security. By fostering cross-pollination of ideas and knowledge sharing, these teams can explore emerging technologies, such as blockchain-based identity solutions, privacy-enhancing techniques, and AI-driven anomaly detection, to strengthen identity security and stay ahead of evolving threats.

How Grip SSCP Can Help

Grip SSCP enables security teams to put identity….first. Our agentless deployment maps every identity and SaaS relationship in minutes, not months — giving our customers full visibility into their SaaS-Identity attack surface with on-demand security enforcement driven by Grip’s automated workflows and AI-powered access control.

Zero-touch Discovery

Grip’s AI-powered identity graphing gives security teams a panoramic view of their entire identity attack surface — past, present, and future. With Grip, security teams have more confidence to secure their SaaS-Identity attack surface with observation-based identity and SaaS mapping, authentication tracking, policy dodging, compliance risks, and exploit chains.

Relevant SaaS-Identity Risk

Prioritize what matters with dynamic risk associated to identity assets baed on use, misuse, and abuse, contextual intelligence, device and SaaS insights, and internet telemetry. Pinpoint missing security controls and protections, like SSO and MFA, along with dangerous combinations, credential exposures, and identity exploit chains anywhere identities consume SaaS — ranked and indexed according to accessibility and impact.

Consistent, On-demand Security and Access Control

Infuse security policy to identities directly, triggering appropriate controls, realized on-demand through identities whenever and wherever identities are used. Leverage real-time SaaS security automation with centralized policy and decentralized enforcement, including annihilating weak and duplicate passwords, rotating credentials, and applying access controls via workflow orchestration with SSO, MFA, and OIDC for access control.

Continuous Compliance and Audit-readiness

Maintain ongoing line-of-sight to the full SaaS inventory and identity sprawl by enhancing existing tools with Grip's insights for full-scale orchestration to extend the impact of every technology Grip touches. Harness Grip's universal integration to any other system across the IT and security stack, including SIEM, XDR, EDR, IAM, ITSM, CNAPP, GRC, and CSPM — all via simple API and webhooks standards.


The emergence of identity-first security, as reflected in concepts like zero-trust architecture, has brought significant implications for identity governance and identity security. The shift towards converged IAM platforms, assumed to dominate deployments by 2025, offers centralized management, improved efficiency, and enhanced security controls. The adoption of a cybersecurity mesh architecture, expected to reduce security incidents and financial impacts, emphasizes the importance of identity in the overall security strategy.

Lastly, fostering interdisciplinary fusion teams in IAM leadership enables organizations to make informed decisions that balance security, usability, and business objectives, leading to more robust identity and access management practices.

Map and mitigate SaaS-Identity risk with Grip SSCP

By embracing identity-first security, organizations can establish a solid foundation for protecting their critical resources, ensuring compliance, and mitigating risks in the evolving digital landscape. The integration of identity governance, converged IAM platforms, cybersecurity mesh architectures, and interdisciplinary fusion teams will contribute to a comprehensive and effective approach to identity security.

Get started with a free SaaS-Identity Risk Assessment.

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