As the age of the Internet is hitting a crescendo, cyber vulnerability is no longer a growing concern; it is a reality most businesses will face in the near future without adequate network protection.

The major security topic that dominated conversations and headlines in 2015 was the issue of cyber data breaches and the overall feebleness of network security. Major corporations faced the challenge of addressing vulnerabilities after a breach and – even after the stories have been told and protection assured to the public – there is still potential for new cyber attacks to have an even more widespread effect on the security of corporate data, assets and infrastructures across the globe.

Moreover, the ongoing development of the Internet of Things (IoT) has many professionals asking how much cyber security (or lack thereof) will play a role in the continued growth of a business and how we can get it right. The elevation, interconnection and transformation of our everyday encounters into IT analytical hotspots is an astounding wealth of technological innovation, but it prompts as many questions as it answers – chiefly, how will authorization and authentication be robust enough to manage the influx of sensitive data coming in through these devices?

From an identity management standpoint, this is a crucial moment for the security industry, as we are finally seeing the adoption of unified security and identity management policies applied to real-world applications, such as hospitals, school campuses and corporate enterprises. A unified approach to identity management is essential to adapt to the emergence of the IoT and allow IT departments within these enterprises to fill in security gaps and provide solutions that are resilient enough to combat and prevent cyber threats of varying degrees.

When we compare the success of those who operate on unified platforms against those who don’t, it’s clear that there is still plenty of room for cooperation between CSOs, CIOs, CISOs and their colleagues on the physical side to adopt solutions that more effectively manage identities across the enterprise and scale to accommodate shifting business practices and changing threat vectors.