Governance & Standards

Solving global IAM & compliance challenges for multinational companies

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Data sovereignty is rapidly becoming one of the biggest challenges in identity and access management for multinational organizations. Managing and enforcing who can access what data becomes highly complex for large companies with operations (and identities) spread out around the globe. They need granular access control on a company level, wherever the data or employee is located. 

Multinational organizations must keep track of employees, partners, customers, and devices across various locations while also following the rules of different regionally applicable data protection and privacy laws. Being found out of compliance is a costly mistake that no one can afford. The stakes are high, but limited technology capabilities have often severely hampered the ability to limit potential damage. 

Three of the access and compliance challenges that multinational organizations must address are:

  1. Meeting data protection regulations in each jurisdiction and managing identities and access policies across regional IDPs. 
  2. Ensuring compliance with foreign data privacy laws, such as  GDPR, regardless of where the company headquarters are located. 
  3. Enforcing data storage policies to avoid countries where governments can lawfully or unlawfully seize data.

Multinational companies' skyscrapers towering over a city with a blue sky.

This article discusses the challenges multinational companies face in securing their identity and access systems. Then, we’ll explore how Orchestration Recipes can help you effectively deal with cross-border access issues.

Challenges with global identity & access for multinational organizations

When business operations span multiple geographies, companies are navigating data privacy regulations, complying with foreign data privacy laws, and proactively enforcing data storage policies. It’s no small feat. 

Like most organizations today, multinationals have hybrid or multi-cloud environments. So not only do identity solutions need to support and secure cross-border identities, but also the different cloud platforms. Not all identity services are available in all geographies, and country IAM managers pick from the best locally available options. Integrating IAM solutions with existing infrastructure and legacy systems can be hard. Ensuring seamless interoperability is crucial for effective identity and access management. Challenges are vast, and the following must be considered carefully: 

Regulatory compliance and governance

Different countries have different data protection and privacy regulations (GDPR, CCPA, PIPEDA). Multinational organizations need to comply with these regulations while implementing IAM solutions, both for workforce employees and partners but also customers. Enforcing consistent identity and access policies across all regions can be challenging. Misalignment can lead to security vulnerabilities.

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Scale and complexity

Multinational organizations often have a large number of employees, contractors, and partners in dispersed geographic locations around the globe. Managing identities and access for a vast user base can be complex. In addition, different regions may use different IT systems, applications, and platforms. Integrating these into a unified IAM system can be challenging. 

Application performance issues

Dependance on applications for business-critical operations is the norm today. Apps must work seamlessly and quickly to enable workers to do their jobs and keep the company running. For multinational organizations, these apps are distributed around the world on different IDPs and clouds. App latency from long-distance identity verification can cause performance issues leading to reduced efficiency, productivity, and output. If orchestration services are limited to a single hosted region, the resulting cross-globe hopping between services can have a detrimental effect on said outputs.

Cybersecurity concerns

Having a larger footprint globally with diverse systems increases the organization’s attack surface. Implementing robust security measures becomes crucial to prevent unauthorized access. Multinational organizations may face sophisticated cybersecurity threats, so IAM systems must be resilient against various attack vectors.

Addressing these challenges requires a comprehensive and adaptable IAM strategy that considers the unique needs of multinational organizations while prioritizing security and compliance.

Solving cross-border challenges with Identity Orchestration Recipes

The identity management processes for data sovereignty and privacy compliance requirements for organizations with global operations are extremely complex and difficult. With Strata’s Identity Orchestration recipes, data accessed across multiple identity providers (IDPs), strong authentication services, and cloud platforms, it remains sovereign, resident, and local to comply with regional regulations.

The Maverics Identity Orchestration Platform weaves all of your apps, clouds, and IDPs into a flexible identity fabric. Instead of reallocating resources and investing dev time into rewriting apps, you can integrate modern authentication directly. Benefits of using Maverics for multinational organizations include the following:

Secure access for a multinational workforce

Provide all your employees everywhere in the world with access to the applications they need to get their jobs done. Support multinational operations with region-specific IDPs that give users controlled access to common apps. 

Stay in compliance with international customer data 

Ensure users have regulated access to common applications across region-specific, in-country IDPs to stay in compliance with local regulations to avoid violations of GDPR, CCPA, and other region-specific laws. Maverics’ custom service extensions empower organizations to create multilingual customer journeys, safeguarding customer data in accordance with local regulations.

Protect your data across geographies

Safeguard global data against potential local data seizures in regions with extensive data privacy and access laws. The Maverics Cloud is accessible in six global regions, including the US, Canada, the UK, the EU, Brazil, and Australia. Organizations can deploy multiple instances in diverse regions, allowing for the management of data policies at the local in-country level.

Generate accurate analytics reporting across regions

Have the right data at your fingertips to produce comprehensive reports demonstrating compliance with local data regulations. App owners gain the ability to select the specific geographic destination for user and policy data, assess IDP health, monitor observability telemetry metrics, and consolidate all information into a unified compliance-friendly report.

A multinational companies' blue world map with dots on it.

Support global supply chains with geo-specific identity services

Today’s supply chains often extend across international borders, yet, unlike products that can traverse freely, data is often constrained by diverse local regulations. Maverics addresses this challenge by consolidating identity analytics and activity data, ensuring that authorized individuals have comprehensive visibility into the relevant data. Maverics is accessible in six global Snowflake regions: the US, Canada, the UK, the EU, Brazil, and Australia.

Decrease performance overhead from geographic latency

Avoid sending your data on a global journey—opt for distributed identity and localized data to enhance performance. With the Maverics distributed air gap architecture, you can deploy Maverics Orchestrators near your applications and within specific regions, ensuring that there is no runtime communication between the Orchestrators and the Maverics Cloud.

Global Access Orchestration Recipes through Maverics allow you to secure and control cross-border access to your common global resources.

How Global Maverics Orchestration Recipes work

One of the newest Maverics Orchestration recipes was created to allow users based in different locations to route through their country’s specific IDP to access the same global applications used across the company. By tailoring controls to suit the needs and regulations of individual regions helps organizations minimize their vulnerability to attacks while streamlining and enhancing their overall security stance.

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Upcoming global Orchestration Recipes will provide multinational organizations with:

  • A cross-border identity data framework
  • Detailed visibility at the user level
  • Robust audit trails for compliance
  • Enhance authentication and security measures. 

The Maverics deployment model supports global enterprises through unique air-gap architecture technology. It enables Identity Orchestration to be deployed in-region and near apps and avoids round-trip global journeys that result in latency to access data. Users get a familiar loin experience with global resources while remaining compliant with region-specific access policies. Maverics acts as an authentication gateway to direct users to the right IDP. 

Solving global identity and compliance challenges with narrative and keyword.

Make multinational identity operations seamless and secure

Operations in multinational organizations need to enable their employees to have shared access to a common set of applications no matter where those employees reside. At the same time, specific geographic data residency regulations must be adhered to; compliance must be demonstrated without putting security at risk all while supporting multiple IDPS and identity policies. 

Maverics is built from the start as a distributed platform to support multi-cloud, multi-geography, multinational organizations with their identity management needs.  Visit the Strata Global Access Cookbook page to see how Maverics works and to get the recipe, or contact us to get started with Maverics today.