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How the Benefits of Automated IAM Save You Money and Time?

Do you know that a great percent of businesses still face challenges with manual management of access to systems and applications used by their employees? From a long time, the world has gone digital and the automation is regarded as an essential factor for specific business processes. As a result, businesses can benefit in their daily activities from having automated Identity and Access Management.

We all know that identity is regarded as the foundation of security and robust automated identity and access management (IAM) system keeps your company’s information an data safe. This is the reason why so many businesses adopt IAM systems. IAM can both increase convenience and reduce the security risks by giving the users only as much access as they need, when and where necessary. So, the automation of IAM reduces not only the probability of a human error, but it also reduces IT department workload, increases end user productivity, and ensures ongoing compliance of user accounts. But these are not all the advantages that IAM solution provides – it also saves you money and time. In this article we will list some of the financial benefits companies can gain by using an automated IAM.

Why manual IAM is risky and not effective?

In contrast to manual IAM, which requires admins to manually change these factors for each individual within the organization, the automated IAM technologies enable administrators to automatically provision and monitor users and grant time-based access. In such situations, the manual IAM can lead to errors in access restriction and eventually large losses in time, money and security. According to Forrester report, which examined the pitfalls of manual IAM and the benefits of automated IAM, around 47% of technology decision-makers have experienced internal data breaches. On the other hand, their competitors were more successful by securing their organizations with automated processes. All these facts show, that the lack of automated IAM could pose detrimental effects on the business in this modern era. The disadvantages of having a manual IAM system include: lack of evidence for access activities, delayed action and unpremeditated disclosure of data, difficulties in making changes, lack of security, risk of data loss or theft.

Why companies schould have an automated IAM?

IAM automation provides a significant number of positive outcomes. Before any of them can be realized, however, automation must be prioritized. Here we will mark several important benefits of identity and access management automation which increase efficiency, resiliency, and accuracy in a number of ways.

  • Reduces IT costs

An automated IAM solution saves IT workers a great amount of time. The savings occur throughout the employee lifecycle. When new employees come, they need a username, password, and access to all the apps and company data they need. With manual provisioning, it takes the average IT worker half an hour to set this up – when they can get to it. With automated provisioning, an account is created in minutes. Automated provisioning saves many hours of labor as new workers are hired. The same is true for deprovisioning when an employee leaves the company. This is a huge benefit from a security perspective but also eliminates the risk of a former employee accessing data causing a costly breach or compliance violation.

  • Increases end-user productivity

When maintenance functions like password resets and privilege changes are executed automatically, the end users should no longer wait for IT personnel approval before performing routine tasks. In this way employees are able to focus on their working responsibilities, rather than identity upkeep. The system allocates users with the rights and privileges to access the system and will keep the user confined to those capabilities.

So, with automated IAM, such kind of processes are smooth and efficient. The employee requests access through a portal, and the request is automatically routed to the right manager. All the manager has to do is click a box to approve or deny the request. IAM sets easily workers up for single sign-on, meaning they only need to log in once at the beginning of the day. There is no need to waste time logging in and trying to recall the right password every time they switch apps. In this way the employees are more productive, your business operates more efficiently, saving time and money.

  • Eliminates deprovisioning

Imagine the situation when an employee needs to move to a different role in your company. That means that he/she needs a whole new set of credentials or access. Not having an automated IAM, makes the process more complex. Your IT department must manually check all credentials of the employee across the database, and then undergo onboarding process.

Now imagine another case – when the employee leaves the company. The system administrator or user may forget to revoke individual permissions for the employee after accessing sensitive information. When not cancelling certain user rights, this can lead to costly mistakes that may lead to compliance issues. Automated IAM systems make it easier to revoke specific user access authority after a while. Once the user logs out, authority and authentication require those rights to be fed into the system again. This process allows the company to avoid security breaches that would lead to loss or leakage of sensitive data.

  • Audits and compliance are easier, cheaper, and better

Companies spend so many hours compiling paperwork to fulfill compliance regulations, perform internal audits, and prepare for external audits. A good and automated IAM solution has compliance tracking built into the system. In addition to saving time and money, automated tracking prevents costly errors that may be caused by manual processing. It gives auditors and regulators timely, punctual and detailed reports.

After reading all the above listed benefits, a question quickly comes to our mind – why do people still use manual IAM? One of the primary reasons is the assumption that switching to automated IAM will not benefit the organization’s bottom line. However, companies who utilize automated IAM can achieve over 100% more ROI than they did with manual processes. Adopting automated IAM will reduce  costs while increasing return on investment. In fact, according to the report, manual IAM costs can actually be double that of automated systems. The excess costs of manual IAM can be attributed to the expense of IT hours required to maintain the system and its inefficiencies.

8 Tactics to Get Identity and Access Management Right

Identity and Access Management has always been an ongoing process and an essential element of the enterprises’ infrastructure that demands continuous management. No matter you have completely implemented directory, it’s useful to take advantage of best practices to help continuously manage this crucial part of your IT environment.

PATECCO management team has a long experience in executing projects from different industries. When it comes to IAM implementations, its experts know what exactly works effectively and what not. For this article we have tapped the collective knowledge of these experts to come up with these eight IAM best practices: They will help you improve your identity management system to ensure better security, efficiency and compliance.

#1: Create a clear pan

IAM projects require excellent planning and project management expertise, with a project team representing various stakeholders within the company. Most importantly, you need to have a business perspective and tie the phases of your IAM project to quantifiable business results and benefits. IAM solutions need regular care and feeding long after the initial go-live date, which means planning for follow-up optimizations is crucial.

# 2. Implement IAM in phases

Implementing IAM in phases will definitely shorten the “time to value” of your project — the time before the business sees a distinct benefit — in the process giving you executive backing that will ensure the full funding of future phases.

# 3. Define identities

Start implementing a single, integrated system that ensures end-to-end management of employee identities and that retires orphaned identities at the appropriate time. This is where IT responsibility begins in the identity management lifecycle. You should also identify a primary directory service (often Active Directory) and a messaging system (such as Exchange Server).

#4. Implement workflow

Implementing workflow on the base of “request and approval” provides a secure way to manage and document change. A self-service web-based interface enables users to request permission to resources they need. It’s necessary to define who can control that list of services and who is responsible for managing workflow designs.

# 5. Make provisioning automated

Manging new users, users who leave the organisation, and users who are promoted or demoted within the organisation require provisioning, de-provisioning and re-provisioning. Automating them will reduce errors and will improve consistency. Start first with automating the basic add/change/delete tasks for user accounts, and then integrate additional tasks such as unlocking accounts.

# 6. Manage roles

You will need a certain amount of inventorying and mining to precisely identify the major roles within your organisation, based on the resource permissions currently in force. When the user places a request, the owner of the affected data has the ability to review, approve or deny the request. It is also important to define who will manage these roles and to ensure that roles are created, modified and deactivated by authorised individuals following the proper workflow.

# 7. Become compliant

Many companies are now affected by the GDPR regulations, and your identity management system plays a beneficial role in remaining compliant. You should focus on clearly defining and documenting the job roles that have control over your data, as well as the job roles that should have access to auditing information. Determine compliance rules, and assign each step to a responsible job role.

#8. Provide knowledge and control to business owners

After the IAM system implementation, you should let business data owners manage access to their data and to provide central reporting and control over those permissions. For that purpose education is needed of both end users and the IT staff that will be charged with ongoing administration and operation. From time to time, make a refreshment of their knowledge, to keep up with turnover and new product capabilities.