Getting the balance right: securing systems without limiting user productivity

4th September 2019BlogTom Richards

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Are you missing opportunities to better secure your data?

There are new tools in fight against cyber-security threats and associated business risk, which give you greater control over access to data while allowing you to move fast on new opportunities. At Northdoor, we stay abreast of the latest advances, so you don’t have to – and IBM i 7.4 could be the key to a more effective, agile security strategy.


Cybersecurity and technology risk are on every business leader’s mind. Research shows that today, around 60 percent of large enterprises are required to report to their board of directors on these topics – with this proportion expected to rise to 100 percent by 2020.

Without extremely granular control over their IT systems, enterprises can struggle to find the balance between rock-solid secure data and enabling easy access to data for users. No one wants to stand in the way of the productivity of employees, after all. However, by leaving the door open to threats, companies put their reputations and finances at risk.

By teaming up with Northdoor to leverage the security audit feature in IBM i 7.4, enterprises can gain unprecedented insight into how comprehensive and effective their security plan is in reality. Harnessing the augmented authority collection function, they can restrict access to objects without affecting application performance. As a result, companies can give employees the tools to work to their full potential without leaving themselves open to unnecessary risk: a win-win situation.

Fly high, not blind

To capitalise on opportunities, companies must continually refine their security strategies to address emerging risks, without limiting business agility. There’s no point deploying a security plan and simply hoping that it works. Security audits are an essential business practice, which need to be carried out to evaluate the rigour of a new security plan, verify that security controls are in place and functioning as intended, validate that system security evolves alongside changes to the system environment, and prepare for future events.

In the latest release of the IBM i operating system, IBM has stepped up the security audit capabilities. At Northdoor, we can show you how to utilise these capabilities as best suited to the size, security needs and specific requirements of your organisation. Using the security audit journal, internal and external auditors can gather detailed information about security-related events to thoroughly assess how well security policies have been applied and are working.

Benefiting from object-based security

Another way that IBM has upped the security credentials of IBM 7.4 is via the newly improved authority collection feature. Originally introduced in version 7.3, authority collection was previously user-based, enabling you to track how individual users interacted with your systems. In IBM i 7.4, companies can now set authority levels via object, allowing them to prove that no one without the minimum levels of authorisation can touch an object.

This new capability addresses a well-known issue where excessive authority was granted to objects within an application to ensure that it functioned well. It closes off security exposures in companies’ systems without limiting performance.

Take advantage of the latest advances in security from IBM 7.4 with help from Northdoor. With our comprehensive knowledge of IBM i on Power Systems we can get you up to speed on new features and functionality so that you can start seeing the benefits fast.

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