An Interview With Jay O’Donnell CEO Of N8 Identity

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N8 Identity, Inc., has essentially re-imagined identity governance with an agile, cloud-based and mobile-first solution that brings security and value to organizations of all sizes. Below is our recent interview with Jay O’Donnell, CEO at N8 Identity:

Jay O’Donnell

Q: Could you provide our readers with a brief introduction to N8 Identity?

A: We strive to address the changing needs of business by intelligently managing access across all devices, in the cloud, and in the datacenter through both our Managed Identity Services and TheAccessHubTM, our award-winning Identity-as-a-Service (IDaaS) governance platform. One of the unique things of TheAccessHub is that it runs on Microsoft Azure just like Office 365. This provides dramatically accelerated time to value and allows its full capabilities to be accessed on any device, at any time, from anywhere – as opposed to legacy on-premise systems.

Q: Can you give us insights into your products?

A: Sure. Our flagship product is TheAccessHub, as mentioned above – it’s an Identity-as-a-Service Governance platform, or IDaaS platform that manages identities, entitlements, compliance and certification. It was purpose-built in the cloud using a modern, API-based micro-services architecture. A key feature of the TheAccessHub is its Artificial Intelligence-driven risk engine, which represents a new and intelligent shift in identity governance by providing Access Advisory and Peer Access Analytics. Essentially what that means is that it makes it very easy for non-technical business users to use because the system helps them make informed choices, and secondly, it virtually eliminates the operational and security challenges associated with previous generation role discovery, engineering, and management solutions.

We recently launched TheAccessHub Enterprise Edition. It’s aimed at mid-sized organizations with growing security needs. The Microsoft Azure-based platform provides identity governance for employees, contractors, vendors, partners and/or customers, and delivers visibility and management of “who has access to what” across the enterprise whether they are on premise, in the cloud, or any hybrid combination.

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There are other benefits for organizations, as well. The complex and monolithic platforms of the past require heavy customization and take months – or longer – to install and make usable. Because TheAccessHub is cloud-based and designed from net-new technology, customers can be up and running in hours.

Furthermore, the user experience is mobile-first and very easy to use, which means colleagues don’t need a degree in computer science to use it effectively. The interface is intuitive and basically drag-and-drop – like a shopping experience.

We also offer TheAccessHub Admin Tool, which accelerates Azure Active Directory B2C implementation by providing powerful data synchronization and account migration from your current site to Azure Active Directory B2C. TheAccessHub Admin tool also offers a Helpdesk-friendly console to help administer your customer accounts.

TheAccessHub OneView CIAM is a cohesive Customer Identity & Access Management (CIAM) solution that plugs into Microsoft Azure Active Directory B2C to drive a single customer view, and to rapidly address GDPR requirements – a feature so many companies need today! TheAccessHub extends Microsoft Azure B2C’s powerful social sign-on, registration, and self-service functions, by unifying customer data, and building trust through transparency.

Q: You’ve recently been accepted into the Forbes Technology Council; could you tell us something more?

A: We’re really proud that we were accepted into the Forbes Technology Council – it’s invitation-only and very exclusive, and it will give us the opportunity to network with other business and thought leaders in the tech industry. We’re particularly excited about offering our voice and point of view to the conversation with business leaders who may not have the experience or insight into identity governance we can offer. We look forward to sharing our expertise with the entire community and collaborating with others who are seeking solutions on the security challenges facing so many businesses today. A lot of these companies, especially the more traditional businesses, face complex new obstacles – from digital transformation to GDPR – and we are able to offer unique support and guidance in these areas.

Q: What do you predict for the future of Identity Governance technology?

A: We see Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning becoming even more central to the Identity Governance tech space. Today’s Identity Governance platforms require significant manual effort to operate and not very user friendly. As such, non-technical business users struggle to use them. This includes cryptic roles and entitlements, IT-focused user experiences and little to no “guidance” on what they should do to complete a given task – often leading to inappropriate access being granted, as mentioned previously. AI and machine learning are changing all of this by providing guidance to these non-technical business users so that they can make better choices by delivering insights into what these roles/entitlements actually mean, which leads to more accurate assignment of permissions. We see that ultimately the business will be able to establish policies that would govern AI in performing these tasks on behalf of business users. This will lead to advancements in active breach prevention and continuously compliant business operations. Identity Governance will ultimately become fully autonomous.

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Q: What can we expect from N8 Identity in the future?

A: We have a lot of exciting announcements ahead, as we’ve been deepening our relationship with Microsoft and other key partners. Our goal is to help organizations realize the vision of Autonomous Identity Governance™ with AI-driven identity solutions – and much of our upcoming news will be tied to that. Stay tuned!

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