Identity and Access Management (IAM) is a structure of enterprise processes, guidelines and tech tools that enable a business to administer digital identities on its information technology (IT) network. IAM tools are designed to empower IT managers with the capacity to manage and regulate user access to crucial information within their companies, based on the roles individual users play within the enterprise.
In this framework, access refers to the ability of an individual user to execute a particular task, such as creating, viewing or editing a digital file. The organization’s job hierarchy of authority, competency and responsibility is what defines the role of everyone on the IAM system.
Benefits of Identity and Access Management
IAM technologies enable organizations to create and manage user identities for their IT systems and automatically control the access these users have to the data flowing on the system.
This presents the following benefits to organizations compared to using manual IT network access management methods:
- Higher productivity, more efficiency and lower operating costs due to the reduced effort, time and resources required
- Easier and more uniform interpretation, implementation and enforcement of cybersecurity policies across the company
- Lower risk of internal and external network breaches
- Improved compliance with government regulations – data required for auditing process can be provided quickly
- Additional collaboration opportunities with users outside the enterprise, i.e. customers, partners, suppliers and contractors can be granted access without compromising network security
How To Choose The Right IAM System For Your Business
The first step to choosing the right identity and access management tool for your business is knowing exactly what it should do for you. On a basic level, any IAM system should perform the following tasks:
- Identify both individuals and roles, and define how those roles are assigned to individuals
- Provide a centralized hub where administrators can instantly update any user’s access rights
- Simplify user access while minimizing chances of both accidental errors and deliberate abuse
- Uniformly assign specific privileges to groups of individuals based on job functions
- Secure both itself and the sensitive personal/corporate data stored on it from external attacks
More broadly, IAM systems can be single sign-on systems, privileged access management (PAM) or multi-factor authentication. They can be delivered through on-premise installment or via cloud-based subscription.
Legacy IT systems usually have a built-in identity and access management functionality, but updating this is often challenging, expensive and time-consuming. Therefore most companies today are opting for third-party IAM tools that reduce the need for technical support. These tools are available in various models, such as an Identity-as-a-Service (IDaaS) cloud model, a hybrid cloud model, or a microservices model.
Some of the popular IAM tools available today include Microsoft Azure Active Directory, IBM Security Identity and Access Assurance, Oracle Identity Cloud Service, Okta, Centrify and RSA SecurID Access.
Do You Have an IAM Strategy in Place?
Not having an effective IAM strategy presents substantial risks for both compliance and security. Creating and implementing a coherent IAM plan is more important than ever given the disruptive trends of the modern IT business environment. Bring your own device (BYOD), cloud computing, and working remote, are all examples of why IT managers today have more people and devices to take into consideration when keeping business data flowing while also managing access to that data.
However, adopting an IAM tool also introduces the risk of having all of the company’s cybersecurity protocols in one place. If it is compromised, the whole IT system can be breached. Therefore you need experts who can guide you to find and implement the right tool for your business.
Let the professionals at ASB Resources show you how to build a strong, robust and efficient IAM system that will take your business to the next level. Schedule a chat with one of our experts today!