With Gartner predicting that 80% of companies will close their data centres completely by 2025, it’s clear that companies are embracing cloud-based infrastructure. How we work has changed; employees are increasingly mobile, and our IT environments are far more complex. As attack surfaces broaden and incidents of credential theft skyrocket, most CISOs have come to the realization that, in order to protect business critical information, they need a new, user-friendly approach to traditional security.

Establishing a modern security model doesn’t have to be complicated. The right identity solution can streamline, and often automate, access management processes. That’s why CISOs are increasingly turning to Okta for reliable security solutions.

Read on for the top 4 reasons why forward-thinking CISOs rely on Okta.

1. CISOs can implement a zero trust model by customizing security policies at a granular level.

Melody Hildebrandt, 21st Century Fox’s Global CISO, knows that the traditional perimeter-based security model is no longer the best way to protect IT infrastructure. “By design, our users are collaborating outside the perimeter,” says Hildebrandt. “Our main goal is to enable our users to thrive and work in the way they want to work… and to do so in a way that is fundamentally secure.”

The solution? A zero trust framework that establishes adaptive security perimeters around each individual user instead of the network as a whole. Zero trust provides employees with more flexibility while keeping company and customer data safe.

With the Okta Identity Cloud, Hildebrandt achieved her zero trust goals, gaining greater access control over individual applications, while increasing visibility. “Okta was key to accelerating our evolution,” says Hildebrandt. “This was the identity plane where we could introduce so much of the control that we needed to have in order to assess who a person is.”

2.  Okta provides a strong layer of authentication, protecting even the most sensitive IT environments.

Every day, millions of customers sign on to M life, MGM Resorts International’s loyalty program. For CISO Scott Howitt, securing access is of utmost importance to protect sensitive customer data and valuable loyalty points.

Fortunately, Howitt’s found a strong, reliable authentication solution in Okta Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA). While customers can access their accounts by entering their credentials (facilitated by Okta Single Sign-On), more sensitive actions (like redemption requests) prompt users to supply additional information. MFA also increases visibility, making it easier for associates to keep an eye on suspicious security logs and access requests—but only when it’s necessary. When it’s not, they’re free to focus on helping customers have a great time.

“MGMRI is all about entertainment,” says Howitt. “A good information security program enables our associates to focus on the customer and their experience rather than worrying about how to keep their information safe.”

3.  CISOs benefit from an ideal balance of convenience and security—Okta reduces risk while helping employees stay productive.

Balancing security and convenience is a constant battle for anyone working in IT. With a strong identity solution like Okta in place, you can have both—and according to Allergan’s CISO, sacrificing one for the other is not an option. “You can have the best security control in the world, but if people aren’t actually going to use it, they actively try to get around it, or it stops the business from functioning, it’s not an adequate control.”

Aaron Finnis, CISO at Flinders University, recently faced this challenge head-on. “We have to think of different ways to make our services much more seamless to users, and to automate them if we can.” The obvious solution was to move the university’s on-prem infrastructure to the cloud, but Finnis knew that if he did this, he’d need to put a modern security framework in place.

After rolling out Okta Multi-Factor Authentication to the school’s IT administrators, Finnis was so pleased with the results that he decided to deploy MFA to the wider university community. “It’s almost like having an additional person on the security team,” says Finnis. Now, Flinders users can securely access more than 150 apps through a single dashboard.

4. Okta reduces friction by securely connecting cloud and on-prem technologies.

When Flex CISO, Friedrich Wetschnig, reached out to Okta, he was contending with a sprawling hybrid IT infrastructure. Thousands of suppliers needed access to the company’s supply chain at varying times, and about 200,000 employees required access to a variety of cloud-based and on-prem apps.

After working with Okta to build a new supplier portal, Friedrich Wetschnig, Flex’s CISO, wanted to boost employee productivity by streamlining and securing employee access to all their tools. “We had to find a centralized solution,” says Wetschnig. “And that’s where Okta came in. Okta improves security, but also makes it more user friendly. Security is no longer just a support function but a business enabler.”