The complexity in securing digital identities has led to the need for a powerful solution in order to prevent the negative impacts of breaching. Subsequently, one framework after another arises as a solution including Identity and Access Management (IAM).
What is Identity and Access Management (IAM)?
IAM refers to a set of processes, policies, and technologies that help organizations manage and secure digital identities and control access to their systems, applications, and data. In other words, IAM is a framework that ensures the right individuals have access to the right resources at the right time, while unauthorized individuals are prevented from accessing sensitive information.
The Evolution of Identity and Access Management (IAM)
IAM has traditionally been all about security, but as businesses start to manage more digital identities and as the Internet of Things (IoT) brings in billions of new devices, IAM is evolving into something much more than just a security add-on. IAM systems are becoming smarter, and they are now using additional contextual information, such as login location, time of day, browser, operating system, and IP address, to build up a holistic profile of the person or device attempting access. IAM systems typically use a combination of authentication methods, such as passwords, biometrics, and multifactor authentication, to verify the identity of users and devices.
As a result of this evolution, IAM can now make access to data and networks a much more convenient process, provide a more tailored digital experience for customers, and put power back in the hands of customers. IAM is no longer just a security tool but an asset that helps organizations to better serve their customers. As such, businesses should ideally look out for IoT-ready “identity relationship management” (IRM) solutions that offer a single view of an entire IoT estate, whatever the level of sophistication. With an IoT-ready identity platform, organizations can support a wide range of devices, including those that have not yet been invented, and better manage their digital identities and access privileges.
Components in Identity and Access Management (IAM)
IAM involves several components, including identity governance, access management, authentication, and authorization. Identity governance refers to the processes and policies that organizations use to manage digital identities, including user provisioning, deprovisioning, and lifecycle management. Access management, on the other hand, involves controlling user access to applications, systems, and data based on the user’s identity and access privileges.
Benefits of Identity and Access Management (IAM)
Definitely, there are many benefits of adopting IAM. Implementing IAM best practices can give an organization a significant competitive advantage in several ways.
One of the most notable benefits of IAM is the ability to provide secure access to internal systems for users outside the organization, such as customers, partners, suppliers, and contractors, without compromising security. This can increase collaboration throughout the organization, enhance productivity, employee satisfaction, research and development, and ultimately revenue. IAM allows administrators to automate time-consuming, costly tasks such as password resets, which can significantly reduce the number of help desk calls to IT support teams.
IAM can also be a cornerstone of a secure network. Managing user identity is an essential piece of the access-control picture, and an IAM system requires companies to define their access policies, outlining who has access to which data resources and under which conditions. Consequently, well-managed identities mean greater control of user access, reducing the risk of internal and external breaches. This is crucial because, along with the rising threats of external threats, internal attacks are all too frequent. According to IBM’s 2016 Cyber Security Intelligence Index, approximately 60% of all data breaches are caused by an organization’s employees, with 75% being malicious in intent. As organizations become increasingly dependent on the internet as a result of digital transformation and cloud migration, this figure can be expected to rise in years to come if security practices are not implemented.
Furthermore, IAM can bolster regulatory compliance by providing the tools to implement comprehensive security, audit, and access policies. Many systems now provide features designed to ensure that an organization is in compliance. Implementing IAM best practices can help an organization stay compliant with industry regulations and avoid costly fines and legal penalties.
IAM is also beneficial in improving digital experiences for customers.
Primarily, IAM can iron out the kinks of the customer experience by making access to data and networks a much more convenient process. For example, “password-less” access can remove a considerable barrier in the authentication process through recognising the location of the login and whether it’s on a pre-approved device. This not only saves time for customers, but it also enhances security by using contextual signals to identify and authenticate users. By making the authentication process seamless, IAM can also reduce customer frustration and help build trust between the customer and the organisation.
Next, IAM provides a more tailored digital experience for customers. Organisations can use contextual signals to tailor digital experiences according to different audiences or consumers. For example, an airline could provide a different authentication experience for customers in London and customers in Bangkok, adapting to the different types of consumer behaviour in different countries.
Identity and Access Management (IAM) Technologies and Solutions
IAM systems can drive collaboration, enhance productivity, and reduce operating costs while improving regulatory compliance and reducing the risk of internal and external breaches given the adoption of the right IAM technologies. The following are a few examples of IAM technologies that can give value to organisations:
- API security solutions provide IAM for use with B2B commerce, integration with the cloud, and microservices-based IAM architectures. This allows security teams to manage IoT device authorization and personally identifiable data.
- Customer Identity and Access Management (CIAM) enables comprehensive management and authentication of users, self-service and profile management, and integration with (Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), and other customer management systems and databases.
- Identity Analytics (IA) allows security teams to detect and stop risky identity behaviors using rules, machine learning, and other statistical algorithms.
- Identity-as-a-Service (IDaaS) includes SaaS solutions that offer SSO from a portal to web applications and native mobile applications as well as some level of user account provisioning and access request management.
- Identity Management and Governance (IMG) provides automated and repeatable ways to govern the identity lifecycle. This is important for compliance with identity and privacy regulations.
- Risk-based Authentication (RBA) solutions take into account the context of a user session and authentication to form a risk score. The firm can then prompt high-risk users for 2FA and allow low-risk users to authenticate with single-factor credentials.
The Challenges in Implementation of Identity and Access Management (IAM)
Implementing an IAM system can help organizations streamline access management processes and reduce security risks. However, it also comes with several challenges and risks that should be considered to ensure the success and security of the IAM system.
One challenge is dealing with complex data sources. Identity information can come from various sources such as HR systems, Active Directory, and other systems. An IAM system must be able to synchronize user identity information across these systems to provide a single source of truth. This requires a robust data management system that can handle multiple data sources and provide accurate and up-to-date identity information.
Another challenge is real-time management. With the shortage of IT personnel, IAM systems must be able to manage different users in various computing environments automatically and in real-time. This requires automation of identity and access management processes, including user authentication and authorization, to ensure that users have access to the resources they need and that their access privileges are updated in real-time.
Provisioning and de-provisioning are also critical challenges. Manually adjusting access privileges and controls for hundreds or thousands of users is not feasible. IAM systems must automate provisioning and de-provisioning of access privileges to ensure that access privileges for departing employees are de-provisioned automatically across all the apps, services, and hardware they used. This will ensure that access privileges are revoked promptly and effectively, reducing the risk of unauthorized access.
User experience is another challenge that organizations need to consider. Authentication should be easy for users to perform, easy for IT to deploy, and secure. Mobile devices are becoming the center of user authentication because they provide a user’s current geolocation, IP address, and other information that can be leveraged for authentication purposes. IAM systems should provide a seamless and user-friendly experience that ensures security and privacy.
Finally, security risks are a significant concern. Centralized IAM systems can become tempting targets for hackers and crackers. Once compromised, they could allow an intruder to create IDs with extensive privileges and access to many resources. Therefore, IAM systems must be designed with strong security features, such as multi-factor authentication, encryption, and monitoring, to prevent unauthorized access and protect sensitive information.
All in all, cybersecurity threats, such as ransomware, hacking, phishing, and malware attacks, are constantly evolving, and compromised user credentials are often the entry point for these attacks. IAM which has evolved from a mere security tool into a powerful framework that made access to data and networks more convenient, and put power back in the hands of customers. Significantly, IAM is crucial for organizations to mitigate the risks associated with digital identity management and control access to their systems, applications, and data.
E-SPIN Group is a leading provider of enterprise ICT solutions and value-added services. We specialize in providing customized end-to-end solutions that meet the specific needs and requirements of our clients. Our services include consultancy, supply, integration, project management, training, and maintenance, all of which are designed to help organizations achieve their regulatory compliance goals and improve operational efficiency and effectiveness.
At E-SPIN Group, we are committed to providing the highest quality of service to our clients. Our team of highly skilled and experienced professionals is dedicated to delivering customized solutions that meet the unique needs and requirements of our clients. We work with leading technology providers to ensure that our clients have access to the latest and most advanced technology solutions.
Whether you need a customized solution for your entire organization or a point solution for a specific area of your business, E-SPIN Group has the expertise and experience to help. Contact us today to learn more about how we can assist with your organization’s needs and requirements.
Please feel free to browse our website for more information or to search for additional posts that may interest you. Whether you’re looking for related topics or want to learn more about our services, we are here to assist you. Simply perform a keyword search or explore our website to discover what you’re looking for. Thank you for your interest in our content, and we hope to be a valuable resource for you.
Other post you may be interested in: