Why you need to extend enterprise IT security to the mainframe

Organizations with mainframes face a unique challenge: extending consistency across the entire enterprise, including mainframe environments.

modern mainframe

The ongoing issue lies in the incompatibility of tools designed for both mainframes and enterprise settings, resulting in disparate solutions, training methods, and user experiences. This highlights the immediate need for greater uniformity across the organization.

Ensuring modern security standards

For organizations relying on mainframes, ensuring modern security standards for access is essential. This entails identifying network users and validating their authorization to access sensitive data, typically managed through an identity and access management (IAM) system.

However, a common discrepancy arises as the IAM system used in the enterprise often differs from the one employed for mainframe authentication. To achieve comprehensive protection and uniformity, it is imperative to leverage the same IAM system on both the enterprise and the mainframe. This not only fortifies secure host application access but also facilitates regulatory compliance, crucial in helping to prevent cyber threats.

Striking the right authentication balance

When contemplating authentication experiences, the challenge lies in striking a balance between convenience and risk mitigation. Organizations must prioritize user-friendly access to information and services while concurrently implementing robust security measures to prevent breaches.

An additional layer of security can be introduced through multi-factor authentication (MFA). However, the landscape of MFA is not without its vulnerabilities, as demonstrated by recent cyberattacks exploiting human behavior within MFA systems.

Escalating threats and complex challenges

Mainframe organizations encounter two significant hurdles: many users relying on insecure eight-character passwords, and the common struggle of managing separate MFA solutions for the mainframe and the enterprise.

Traditional authentication methods like text messages, emails, and one-time passwords become susceptible to attacks, providing avenues for threat actors to bypass MFA defenses.

Extending enterprise IT security to the mainframe: Key considerations

1. Centrally managed host access: Re-evaluate current host access methods and eliminate eight-character passwords by unifying authentication through a trusted MFA solution employed both in the enterprise and on the mainframe.

2. Secure and zero footprint host access: Explore cloud-based host access solutions that require no desktop installation, offer managed deployment, scalable access, and enhanced security features such as centralized control, lockdown capabilities, and encryption.

3. Advanced authentication for mainframe users: Tailor multi-factor authentication to specific use cases, considering factors such as privileged user needs and varied hardware access requirements. Extend advanced authentication to the mainframe, maintaining consistency across the organization.

The modern mainframe is automated, protected, connected

In the intricate landscape of mainframe modernization, solutions need to address legacy challenges while aligning with modern expectations. Enhanced mainframe capabilities benefit the entire ecosystem, contributing to a dynamic and connected IT environment.

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