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The identity crisis is one of the biggest challenges facing modern security teams. While more organizations are investing in IAM solutions to manage human and machine identities, only 48% of organizations have identity security controls in place for their business-critical applications. 

However, IAMOps provider Axiom, which today emerged from stealth with $7 million in seed funding, is aiming to address this challenge by using automation to reduce the operational overhead and manual administration required with traditional IAM solutions. 

Axiom’s solution offers just-in-time, automated personalized access for users that integrates with popular collaboration tools including Slack, Google Workspace, and Microsoft Teams

Automated access means that low-risk users and connections are automatically approved, while others are approved depending on contextual factors. This means that security teams don’t need to micromanage each connection. 

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Why automation is critical for managing user and machine identities 

Axiom’s funding comes as identity-based threats have continued to plague modern organizations, with research showing that 84% of firms suffered an identity-related breach over the past 12 months. 

With the number of applications, services and identities in operation throughout a cloud or hybrid cloud environment, automated access administration is a must-have for ensuring scaling identity-based security measures without halting user productivity. 

“Two megatrends are colliding to change the way we work, the evolution of the cloud, where infrastructure has become far more elastic and scalable than ever, and the evolution of the workforce, where continued adoption of a hybrid IT model has made identity the new perimeter, and while both evolved and became more elastic, the IAM that connects them remained static and became the bottleneck to achieving secure cloud access,” said Itay Mesika, cofounder and CEO of Axiom.

From Mesika’s perspective, traditional IAM solutions aren’t efficient at managing user access. 

“While engineering teams are stuck waiting to get the access they need to deliver software that powers business, security and IT teams are overwhelmed with the operational overhead around IAM while trying to achieve and maintain least privilege,” Mesika said. 

Axiom’s IAMOps-based approach instead provides a centralized cloud platform where security teams can orchestrate IAM operations, and maintain visibility over what assets and resources users have access to. 

A look at the cloud IAM market 

The vendor falls loosely within the global identity and access management market, which researchers valued at $12.3 billion in 2020, predicting it will reach a value of $34.5 billion by 2028. 

One of Axiom’s main competitors in the market is Sailpoint, an IAM platform provider that uses artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to help security teams discover and manage identities in the cloud. Sailpoint most recently announced raising $429.5 million in revenue in June 2022. 

Another key competitor is Saviynt, which offers an identity governance and administration solution where users can manage human and machine identities with workflows, automatically approving low-risk access, while generating AI and ML recommendations to help auto-provision identities. 

Last year Saviynt announced raising $130 million in financing, bringing its total funding raised to $170 million. 

According to Mesika, Axiom’s use of personalized access and IAM workflows are the main point of differentiation from other providers.  

“Unlike alternative solutions that focus just on one aspect of the permissions life cycle, such as post-mortem visibility or access-request simplification, Axiom takes a holistic approach to cloud IAM, providing JIT personalized access, customer IAM workflows, and centralized entitlement visibility,” Mesika said.

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