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SECURE NETWORK ACCESS

Chris ScheelsMarch 12, 2020

Better Together: Appgate SDP and ITSM

It is critical you choose an SDP that can seamlessly integrate with your enterprise tools and processes your firm relies on every day. Lack of this kind of integration can lead to the very silos you’re trying to eliminate.

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If you ask enterprise security and IT decision makers what keeps them up at night, it might be this: companies on average deploy 47 different cybersecurity solutions and technologies at the same time.

It isn’t just the sheer volume of cybersecurity tools creating nightmares, but the need to realign siloed security systems and workflow processes so they can operate cohesively. Failure to do so, and it becomes difficult – if not impossible – to combat today’s sophisticated threats, or experience a return on investment for the $18.4 million annually that companies spend on cybersecurity.

It’s time to break down siloes in cybersecurity, and for that reason organizations are turning to Software Defined Perimeter (SDP) solutions as a more secure and agile alternative to traditional VPNs, firewalls, and NACs. It is critical to ensure that any SDP solution you choose seamlessly integrates with the enterprise tools and processes your workforce relies on every day. Lack of this kind of integration can lead to the very silos you’re trying to eliminate.

Organizations evaluating SDP solutions to secure network access must recognize that not all vendors are created equal. This blog post is the first in a new series examining how Appgate SDP, the industry’s most comprehensive Software Defined Perimeter solution, seamlessly integrates with your existing core tools and processes – as well as those you might deploy in the future. This post will focus on Appgate SDP integration with IT Service Management (ITSM).

ITSM: An Integral Part of Workflows

ITSM covers a vast amount of IT related activities to help an organization deliver, operate and control services for internal or external customers. ITSM has become an indispensable approach for organizations to effectively manage security incidents and generate IT tickets.

ServiceNow, Remedy, and Jira Service Desk are just a few of the ITSM software tools used to deliver exceptional IT service, fast, and of course more generally the workflow and tracking of IT tasks. Workflow and process tools like ITSM are critical to the success of the business, and the same holds true when factoring in enterprise security and IT: Security needs to work with existing workflow and tools to streamline processes, reduce complexity and increase employee productivity.

If your organization is using a network security solution that isn’t API-driven, or that doesn’t integrate easily with ITSM workflow tools, these security challenges are difficult to address or even identify. Historically this has been the case: a bunch of different core business tools and applications that don’t play nicely with one another, so the overall security ecosystem is held back from its full potential.

Let’s examine a common scenario that might sound familiar. IT administrators have unfettered access to many of your most critical systems. While this access is required to address IT issues, it also creates security risks if that access isn’t carefully managed and monitored. Internal threats are then compounded as hackers target admins based on their level of access, which can result in bad actors gaining access and exfiltrating critical data from a production server.

On the flip side, in highly regulated environments where admins are restricted from having 24/7 access to critical systems, the required access needs to be granted, often manually, which not only introduces more opportunity for human error in granting and removing access, but also ties up staffing resources unnecessarily. Let’s say an admin creates an access request to patch a production server via a ticketing workflow process. Someone then approves access through the workflow process, and another person manually grants access to the admin. The admin patches the server, closes the ticket and this is where it ends. Except that it doesn’t: The ticket is closed without having the access removed as well. A CISO’s nightmare is when auditors find that this granted admin access is still active and was never de-provisioned, and this can result in the organization failing a regulatory or internal audit.

Appgate SDP Strengthens ITSM Security Gaps

Too often, organizations put up with complex manual processes or are forced to retrofit ITSM and other core tools to accommodate a new security solution. It should be the opposite, where the security tool you deploy slides into place. Now running the business becomes faster, more secure, operationally efficient and less complex.

With better integration between secure access controls and existing workflows, you can more tightly control access to sensitive and privileged information. Streamlining and automating this type of “just-in-time” or “right-timed” provisioning ensures that privileged access is granted at the exact moment it is needed, and then closed exactly when the work is finished. As a result, organizations can experience secure access provisioning tied directly to business processes, established workflows and existing technology. Further, enterprises have a tidy audit trail that reduces audit scope, preventing extended access to systems beyond the period it was granted.

Appgate SDP is built for the new requirements of the modern, hybrid enterprise. It offers a better approach to secure access that dynamically creates one-to-one network connections between the user and the resources they need to access. Beyond improving your security posture, Appgate SDP delivers a number of features designed to accelerate and keep pace with IT:

  • API-First Mentality – Appgate SDP is built with a 100% API-first mentality, fitting neatly into existing workflow processes and helping to streamline them, as well as reducing provisioning overhead.
  • Automates Manual Processes – ITSM tools can be used to track access approval requests, but they rely on individuals to manually provision the correct amount of access to the correct resource at the right time. Appgate SDP is programmable and extendable, automating these manual processes in seconds and in turn delivering enhanced security by reducing complexity that leads to human error.
  • Micro-Segmentation – Appgate SDP applies “The Principle of Least Privilege,” which leverages micro-segmentation to reduce your network’s attack surface and eliminate lateral movement within network resources. Granular access is granted to only those resources needed by your employees, and exactly when they need them.
  • Just-in-Time Provisioning – Once privileged access is granted, Appgate SDP can auto-provision that access to the specific resources. And the best part is when the ticket is closed, Appgate SDP sees the closed ticket and automatically de-provisions the access.
  • Process Transparency – Just-in-time provisioning further offers the CISO a complete audit case of why access was requested, when it was approved, when access was granted, what that user accessed during the access window, and definitive confirmation of when the access was de-provisioned. This visibility strengthens your security posture and greatly reduces the audit scope.


Would you like to further understand and experience how Appgate SDP integrates with an ITSM solution?
You can jump into the driver’s seat and get hands-on with the solution in our free guided Test Drive experience.

Or, watch a brief demonstration on how AppGate SDP auto-provisions access by integrating with Service Now:

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