As organisations become more digitalised and interconnected, the management of digital identities and access to resources has become a critical aspect of cybersecurity and risk management. Identity Governance and Administration (IGA) has emerged as the solution to address this aspect, integrating processes, policies, technologies, and systems to facilitate effective user access management – providing the right people and devices with access to the right resources, at the right time, while ensuring regulatory compliance. However, implementing IGA alone cannot guarantee complete security and compliance. Proper practices and adherence to best practices are essential for effective IGA. Therefore, what are the best practices for Identity Governance and Administration (IGA)?
1. Clear Governance Framework
A governance framework should clearly define the roles and responsibilities of each user, including their access rights and limitations, to ensure that all users are fully aware of their responsibilities and comply with security policies and regulations. The governance framework should also include policies and procedures for user provisioning, deprovisioning, access requests, and access reviews. A clear governance framework is an essential element of a consistent and transparent approach to managing digital identities and access to resources, as well as improving compliance and overall security posture.
2. Regular Access Review
Regular access review involves conducting periodic assessments of user access rights, including establishing a clear process for reviewing and approving user access rights and using automated tools to streamline the access review process. With these best practices, organisations can identify inactive accounts and accounts with unnecessary access, and remove them to increase security and maintain compliance.
3. Setting up Multi-factor Authentication (MFA)
With cyberattacks becoming more sophisticated, the utilisation of multi-factor authentication (MFA) that requires authentication beyond passwords such as biometrics and security token enhances security by ensuring that only authorised users are able to access the system or data.
4. Regular policies and procedures review and updates
An organisation should ensure that they are continuously aligned with regulatory compliance. This includes periodically reviewing and updating policies and procedures related to user access management, including user provisioning, deprovisioning, access requests, and access reviews. As the threat landscape changes rapidly, with new risks and compliance requirements that may arise at any time, policies and procedures need to be reviewed constantly to identify potential risks ahead of time, allowing the security team to mitigate risks before a cybersecurity incident occurs.
5. Training and awareness programs
Ensuring security and regulatory compliance is the responsibility of every individual in an organization. Each user should understand their role in maintaining the security of the organisation’s digital assets. Regular training and awareness programs should be conducted to ensure that every user is aware of their access authorisation and understands the impact of their actions on the security posture of the organization. Such programs should also emphasize the consequences of unauthorised access, misuse of access rights, and the importance of reporting any suspected security incidents or vulnerabilities to the appropriate personnel.
All in all, Identity Governance and Administration (IGA) is a critical aspect of cybersecurity and risk management, especially as organisations become more digitalised and interconnected. While implementing IGA is important, it alone cannot guarantee complete security and compliance. Therefore, adhering to best practices is essential for effective IGA. Clear governance frameworks, regular access reviews, multi-factor authentication, regular policies and procedures review and updates, and training and awareness programs are some of the best practices that organisations should adopt to manage digital identities and access to resources effectively. By implementing these practices, organisations can improve their security posture and regulatory compliance, ultimately protecting their digital assets and mitigating cyber risks.
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