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The Advantages of Identity and Access Management in the Era of Digital Transformation

Digital transformation refers to different thinking, innovation and change of the current business models. This is possible by building up a digital strategy which is able to improve the experience of your organization’s employees, customers, suppliers, and partners. For the establishment of the new business and digital strategies, organizations need a strong IT infrastructure that supports all the upcoming changes with agility, productivity and security.

In the last several years a lot of organizations started their digital transformation, using Identity and Access Management technology. It ensures not only a safe and successful digital journey, but at the same time brings successful customer and employee experience.

Why IAM?

Identity Management plays a central role in the digital transformation, including all new business models, applications and ecosystems it supports. Identity Management provides the secure, flexible and adaptive IT infrastructure that every company, government agency or university strives to achieve. It helps to increase customer engagement through new digital channels, to streamline your business operations and to protect data privacy, and security to keep stable your reputation and finances.

According to Gartner, IAM is the security discipline that enables the right individuals to access the right resources at the right times for the right reasons. Therefore, the lack of a proper IAM process in place, puts the data at risk and this situation may lead to regulatory non-compliance or even worse – a data breach event. IAM addresses the need to ensure appropriate access to resources across increasingly heterogeneous technology environments, and to meet all rigorous compliance requirements. This security practice is a crucial measure for any enterprise. It is increasingly business-aligned, and it requires business skills, not just technical expertise.

Talking about transformation in the digital era, it is crucial for the companies to develop long-term technology infrastructure plans that inform how identities are established, maintained, secured, leveraged by applications and distributed within and out of an organization. That means that the major IAM themes in the enterprise’s strategy should include Privileged Access Management, Identity and the Internet of Things, Cloud-based IAM, Identity Governance and Customer IAM.

Which are the main IAM advantages in the digital transformation?

  • Ability to manage digital identity for accessing information and resources:

Identity and Access Management solutions provide the ability to manage digital identity for accessing information and resources. That means that they secure content from unauthorized access by injecting authentication layers between the users and the critical apps and data. Protected target resources may include on-premises or SaaS applications and web service APIs across all business scenarios, from business-to-employee (B2E) to B2C. Besides, Identity and Access management solutions support bring-your-own-device (BYOD), through the use of social identity integration needed for registration, account linking and user authentication.

  • Ability to quickly enable access to resources and applications:

According to our partner, IBM, IAM technology quickly enable access to resources and applications, whether in the cloud, on premises, or in a hybrid cloud. Whether you’re providing access to partner, customer or employee-facing applications, you’ll be able to offer the seamless experience your users expect.

  • Ability to simplify activities:

Creating an identity-focused digital transformation strategy means choosing the right technologies that enable internal or external users to streamline actions, duties, or processes. When you create a strategy intending to enable users, you need to focus on which identities need access to the technology, how they use the technology, what resources they need and most important – how to control their access to prevent unauthorized access.

You are on the right way if your strategies closely align with the purpose of an IAM program.  IAM and IGA (Identity Governance and Administration) programs define who, what, where, when, how, and why of technology access. When composing your enterprise digital transformation strategy based on an identity management program, you are ready to successfully manage the data privacy and security risks.

  • Ability to enable digital interaction

Customer Identity and Access Management (CIAM) is a whole emerging area in the IAM. The increased number of sophisticated consumers need more simplified digital interactions which helps them to easily build up a better and deeper relation with brands. Furthermore, CIAM technologies help drive revenue growth by leveraging identity data to acquire and retain customers.

As mentioned above, IAM is a critical element of the digital transformation which makes it substantial for protecting sensitive business data and systems. When implemented well, IAM provides confidence that only authorized and authenticated users are able to interact with the systems and data they need to seamlessly do their job. Effective IAM solutions include Access Management – a solution that streamlines and manages multiple accesses, as well as Identity Governance and Administration – a solution that helps you monitor and govern the access.

What Is the Difference Between Identity Access Management and Identity Governance?

Identity Access and Identity Governance are often used in cyber security business. From clients’ side the terms are often confusing and difficult to comprehend, but from experts’ side they both are the two aspects of IAM, but concepts of each of them are totally different. This article will explain in details about the differences between the IAM and IG.

For the better understanding, it could be said in a few words, that IAG refers to a process that allows organizations to monitor and ensure that identities and security rights are correct, as well as managed effectively and securely. It includes everything from business, technical, legal and regulatory issues for organizations. Identity and access management (IAM) is just a component of IAG. IAM is the technology for managing the user identities and their access privileges to different systems and platforms. But let’s now analyse each of the two technologies, so that it would be clear what functions and capabilities possess each of them.

  • Identity and Access Management

First: What Do We Mean By “Identity”?

In the cyber space, we all have identities. Our identities display themselves in the form of attributes, entries in the database. A unique attribute differentiates one online user from another one. For example – an attribute could be an email address, phone number, or a social security number. Attributes referring to our private and working life are different and change over the time, as we change jobs, place of living, get married, etc.

Your online identity is established when you register. During registration, some attributes are collected and stored in a database. And here we come to the term – Identity management, which literally means – managing the attributes. You, your supervisor, your company HR person, the IT admin, the eCommerce site service desk person could be responsible for creating, updating, or even deleting attributes related to you.

As mentioned above, Access Management is a process of managing users’ identities, tracks, and at the same time managing their access to certain systems and applications. The process of access management is related to users and customers, whose profiles have to be created, managed, controlled and granted the proper role and access. When it comes to performing access management and keeping sensitive data and information secure, giving the right access to the right people is imperative.

  • Identity Governance

Identity governance (IG) is a subcategory of Identity and Access Management (IAM). IG provides organizations with better visibility to identities and access privileges, and better controls to detect and prevent inappropriate access. IG solutions are designed to link people, applications, data and devices to allow customers to determine who has access to what, what kind of risk that represents, and take action in situations when any violations are identified.

Identity Governance in action:

If someone is trying to access the systems who is not authorized, the identity governance solution can determine the access as suspicious and notify about it to the system administrator. The identity governance systems also help in automating the process of cleaning user access right by analysing whether the users were granted the similar access in the past or not.

Identity Governance offers a holistic approach driven by risk analytics and focused on improving security and compliance. Identity Governance has several techniques to provide preventive or detective controls, reporting, and dashboards, data access governance, improved user experience and contribute towards limited threats to acceptable level.
Moreover, Identity Governance tools enable organizations to enforce, review and audit IAM policies, map governance functions to compliance requirements and support compliance reporting. Specific identity governance product features include user administration, privileged identity management, identity intelligence, role-based identity administration, and analytics.

In general these are the differences in the functioning of the two solutions, but both are used to protect sensitive information and data from getting access without permission and proper privileges. Thanks to IAM and IG, an organization’s data could be better secured from unauthorized access, malicious threats and cyber attacks.

What Does Identity Governance and Intelligence Do to Protect Your Business?

In today’s interconnected marketplace, organizations are challenged more than ever to address regulatory controls and compliance mandates. They also must control access to key resources to protect their data and intellectual properties, being at the same time unique and innovative. For that purpose, it is critical to create effective methodologies, tools, and workflows for managing access and proper identity administration across the enterprise.

And talking about a solution for securing the company sensitive information and network, comes the question concerning all:  How do you manage all of your enterprises’ identities? Do you stay in compliance with regulatory mandates and do you adhere to high standards of privacy and protection?

This is where Identity Governance and Intelligence solutions come in. They are designed to help enterprise IT departments automate their identity workflows, manage manage identities and application access and to stay in compliance with thorough reporting. Besides, Identity governance incorporates measurable access risk controls that helps to set policies and to better drive activities such as access review, privilege management and the management of separation of duties. It provides an integrated, streamlined approach for managing user roles, access policies and risk, ensuring that appropriate levels of access are applied and enforced across enterprise and cloud applications. The solution automates the administration of user access privileges across an organization’s resources, throughout the entire identity management lifecycle.

Use of IGI

Within the enterprise and between enterprises, the users require access to the systems and data necessary to perform their jobs. Most businesses outsource services and work directly with partners and suppliers, that’s why they are faced with the additional problem of giving access to people outside of the organization. No matter where the employee is located and whatever organization they are part of, their access needs to be managed and precisely controlled to lower the risk of fraud and ensure compliance. Governing the way this access is assigned, managed and monitored, is essential activity for the security of the business.

Organizations are obliged to comply with the increasing range of laws and regulations. Proving compliance requires an audit to confirm that the access to this data is properly managed. When there is a lack of good identity governance, these audits can be time consuming and expensive.

The use of mobile phones, tablets and other devices by employees and partners to access company’s systems and data creates a new set of risks. Identity and access governance can help to manage these access related risks. Auditing access rights and controlling the different kinds of duties can be very difficult without the appropriate identity governance tools. These complexities appear when a person performs more than one role.

PATECCO IGI Capabilities

To answer the question – “Who should have access to which resources, when they should have that access, and who decides?”, PATECCO provides IGI tools that deliver user administration, privileged account management, and identity intelligence. Its Identity Governance and Administration Services provide the tools, experience, and capabilities to support these initiatives.

PATECCO Identity Governance and Intelligence capabilities can help you to enable automated workflows and streamline existing processes. They also deploy automated access provisioning, identify and manage roles and segregation of duties to balance information security and business knowledge to avoid complexity and security risks. The IAM Company addresses audit reviews and compliance concerns, and ensures that proper protections and controls are in place to remove as much risk as possible.

Identity governance is important for organizations to ensure the security of their IT systems and data, as well as compliance with laws and regulations. Identity governance enables business compliance in consistent and effective manner that adds value, reduces costs and improves security. It ensures that the users have their access rights assigned, minimizes the opportunities for fraud and data leakage by ensuring that data and applications can only be accessed by authorized admins.

Challenges and Benefits of Access Governance

Many enterprises deploying Identity Management Solutions believe that this will suffice for access governance. The truth is that an identity management solution is only a point solution and access governance requires something more complex – monitoring of the dynamic access rights of multiple users to myriad applications. On one hand, Identity management solution allows IT to automate identity management and access control. On the other hand, an access governance system provides a high-level business overview of access requests, compliance processes, and in what way the risk management strategy ties into user roles and responsibilities. This means that access governance cannot work without identity management and at the same time facilitates advancements.

Today’s compound regulations make compliance an essential consideration. While providing the data trail required for audits and compliance requirements, it’s important at the same time to track, audit, and control what individual employees have access to. More and more companies recognise the need for access governance caused by multiple factors and challenges. This is for example increasingly complex regulations that demand strict adherence, the escalating scale and frequency of cyber attacks, adoption of the cloud which poses a concern about monitor which employees access what data, using which device!

How access governance system governs access rights?

Assigning specific rights to employees for accessing only what they need to ful­l their job roles and responsibilities, efficiently and in a secure manner.

Aggregating data on user accounts that have access to the different applications, databases, data centres, network devices, etc., together a single and easy-to-manage view into access rights and accounts on all systems.

Implementing strong security controls

What benefits does Identity Governance bring to the business?

Identity governance system enables the regulation and control of access in an efficient, systematic, and continuous manner.

Identity Governance grants a comprehensive view of roles and privileges within each department of the company. This results in deep insight into how access is used across the organization by different users.

An access governance system also positively impacts the certification process. Certification and recertification requirements are reduced and users can be certified on an ad-hoc basis, at any point in time.

Access governance facilitates collaborative and analytics-based decision-making, based on the data aggregated across users and departments.

Access Governance goes well beyond access recertification, role management and analytics. Strong capabilities for access request management, access analytics, and advanced direct or indirect capabilities of provisioning changes back are more often than not mandatory features. Increasingly, improved integration with Privilege Management tools or User Activity Monitoring solutions are being developed as a key focus area for many organizations.

PATECCO enables Digital Transformation for enterprises by delivering seamless customer experience, business efficiency and actionable insights through an integrated set of IAM, Governance Risk and Compliance and Cloud technologies.

How PATECCO Identity and Access Governance System Secures Digital Identities?

The major concern of today’s business communities relates to the security breaches attacks which are constantly increasing. This could be a critical obstacle for the success and even for the existence of a company on the market. That’s why a great challenge for the enterprises is to manage properly the numerous digital identities and to know who has access to what information and managing what they can do with that access. All that process is possible by regulation and control of access in an efficient, systematic, and continuous manner.

Why does your company need Identity Governance?

IAG systems play a crucial role for effectively provisioning, and managing access to company resources. A priority need is effieciency. Turning the processes from repetitive and routine into automated, the companies can save time and money. Let’s take for example the process to set up a new hire which can be determined by the role of the new employee. Once systems are in place, HR staff can initiate new employee profiles with appropriate access, based on the jobs they will perform. If an employee leaves, HR will be able to invoke the automated access process to ensure orphan accounts are eliminated.

Identity an Access Governance

The other need for Identity Governance results in compliance with regulatory requirements. The regulations, a company faces, vary depending upon the industry, country, and other factors. In order to govern identity and access, a set of measures should be created against which performance can be judged. It is important that the performance at the IT process level can be related back to the strategic business requirements. For example, if a strategic goal of an organization is to comply with EU privacy legislation, then it needs to process the personally identifiable data that it holds within legally defined parameters. The identity and access processes, necessary to meet these requirements, include:

  • The organization needs to know what relevant data it holds and to classify this data accordingly.
  • Identity management processes need to correctly manage the user’s lifecycle in a timely manner.
  • The access management process needs to control which users have access to information. It also needs to ensure that users with privileged access do not make unauthorized access to data.
  • Processes must be in place to monitor and review which users have access rights to the personal data and which users have actually made access

Capabilities of PATECCO’s Identity & Access Governance System

PATECCO’s IAG system provides a comprehensive view of roles and privileges within each department of the organization, so there is a deep insight into how access is used across the organization by different users. The access governance system offers user-friendly dashboards allowing the business managers a high-level overview, facilitating quick customer response.

One of the advantages are that every part of an employee’s history can be tracked, organized and managed. Via Active Directory, for example, access governance means that managers can view all accounts from a single vantage point. IT managers can pull together and organization’s information, such as who has accounts on what systems, when those accounts were last used, what the accounts enable the account holders to do, and who has responsibility for approving the access provided, all while making it accessible and viewable from one place. PATECCO Access Governance technology allows tracking accounts on all kinds of systems: databases, shared file systems, data centers, access control, backups, passwords, network devices and printers.

Validation of Access Rights

Your internal Information System consists of a number of applications, some of them are in the cloud, while new external accesses are opening up – such as remote work, mobile applications. Therefore, it is crucial to establish a detailed map of the rights of your organization from identities to granted rights.

Usually the audit inquiry starts with questions that are hard to answer. Typical questions asked by nontechnical individuals such as auditors or compliance officers might include “How do you know and control the appropriateness of the access right distribution of an individual?” Many regulations require validation of access rights by all users. The IT-Security officer can quickly get only a partial answer from the application owners: “We can tell what a user has, but are not supposed to know about appropriateness. We suggest you to ask the users’ “manager”. The line-of-business manager can indeed tell whether a certain permission is appropriate for an employee, but only if the information is presented in a readable and reasonable compact way.

Business benefits of implementing IAG system:

Deploying an Identity and Access Governance system offers a number of benefits. It provides a comprehensive view of roles and privileges within each department of the organization. This results in deep insight into how access is used across the organization by different users. Identity and Access Governance system leads to improved productivity of managers by simplifying identity and access certification processes, as well we increased general level of security, reduced costs of managing users and their identities, attributes and credentials. Companies benefit from reduced vulnerabilities and limited risk of data breaches or loss of customer and employee information. That means that the confidentiality is enhanced, so data can be accessed only by authorized individuals.