Lastwall Blog
5 min read

Lastwall's Origin Story: When Identity Matters Most

Published on
March 18, 2024
Shawn Moorhead
Shawn Moorhead, Lastwall's VP of Business Development, specializes in introducing advanced authentication platforms to critical infrastructure and defense organizations, enhancing their security posture.
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An individual’s identity defines who they are as a person. It’s a notion that encompasses a broad range of factors including one’s personality, actions, social circumstances, and belief systems. Before the internet age and the advent of social media, identity was a localized concept only visible to those with whom a physical connection is shared. Now, in the era of hyper connectivity, digital identity is eclipsing physical identity as humans begin to spend the majority of their personal and professional lives online. As a result, validating that an individual is who they claim to be is of paramount importance.

Navigating the Digital Identity Landscape

Lastwall was born out of this need - validating and authenticating identity, and gatekeeping access to a range of online applications and target services. As an Identity Provider, Lastwall is the muscular bouncer outside a nightclub, the heavily armed guard in front of the highly secure building, or the series of complex locks on a safe door. We exist to ensure that only authorized individuals are able to gain access to the places where they are supposed to be. Specifically designed with a security-first approach for use in the most stringent and sensitive environments like government, defense, and critical infrastructure, Lastwall is not the login platform that provides access to your instagram or personal email accounts. Instead, Lastwall helps regulated businesses and government and defense agencies leverage the workforce efficiency benefits of cloud computing, while also prioritizing data security. 

Lastwall's Innovative Approach to Identity Validation

Lastwall’s founders recognized the impact cloud computing would have on organizational operations back in 2013 when the company was initially launched. Fast forward to 2025, and Gartner predicts that “85% of enterprises will embrace a cloud-first principle” and “over 95% of new digital workloads will be deployed on cloud-native platforms”.  Furthermore, Gartner states that the majority of government organizations are currently using cloud services. This means that traditional enterprise security models are becoming obsolete as more workflows and data than ever is being hosted online in potentially vulnerable cloud repositories. When coupled with the fact that over 80% of hacking events involve the use of lost or stolen login credentials, the need to protect the most sensitive environments from malicious credential-based attacks is abundantly clear, and it all starts with identity.

Partnerships and Growth: Lastwall's Journey with DIU

In 2017, Lastwall partnered with the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) of the U.S. Department of Defense to integrate its authentication platform for seamless, risk-based access to cloud services. As the pentagon’s de-facto experimentation and innovation unit, Lastwall was able to grow with DIU and focus on expanding its low attack surface, highly secure identity platform to defend against the emerging and disruptive threats making headlines today (account compromise, Phishing, SIM-swapping, Malware, Meddler-in-the-middle attacks, post-breach lateral movement, multi-factor authentication attacks, etc.). 

Ensuring Future-Proof Security with Lastwall

What makes Lastwall unique is the way in which the technology was developed. Rooted in Zero Trust principles, the platform’s core foundation is based on unique Public Key Infrastructure developed in-house by our talented team of engineers. Keeping Lastwall’s software bill of materials (S-BOM) to a minimum was also critical in minimizing third party risk and exposure to vulnerabilities. The platform is secured using the NIST SP 800-53 & 800-63 protocols, with U.S. Department of Defense Cloud Computing Security Requirements Guide Impact Level 4 (DoD CC SRG IL4) and U.S. Government FedRAMP Moderate certifications underway (authorization to operate anticipated in Q2, 2024). Perhaps most interesting, a third party test of Lastwall’s capabilities, sponsored by the Canadian government and completed by Canada's Centre of Excellence in Next Generation Networks, demonstrated that Lastwall effectively protected the access to third party cloud services from the "borrowed/lost/stolen password and 2FA" attack, "lateral movement post breach", and "steal now/decrypt later" attack in a post quantum environment using quantum resilient algorithms. Being geared toward future threats such as those posed by the advent of quantum computers, Lastwall’s commercially available quantum resilient encryption remains ahead of the security curve. 

Balancing Security and Convenience: Lastwall's User-Centric Approach

But, as most IT managers in the cybersecurity community know, security without convenience is useless. People naturally shy away from complexity, even if that sacrifices security, resulting in the IT-admin-dreaded practice commonly known as shadow IT. This inevitably is why Lastwall’s platform is oriented for simple enterprise deployment and integration with existing IT architecture, along with a focus on making the user experience easier and more secure. 

Differentiating Lastwall in the Crowded Identity Platform Market

Identity platforms claiming to focus on security are popping up everywhere in the age of remote work, increased cloud adoption, and IT digitization. Most fall victim to major hacking events, showcasing the innovation sector’s push to be ‘First to Market’. Conversely, Lastwall’s ethos has been and will continue to be ‘Secure to Market’, as the preferred platform for use when identity matters most.