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How the Modern Identity Governance Solutions Enhance Security of the Digital Enterprises?

In times of progressive digital transformation, Identity governance is one of the most neglected branches of cybersecurity. That is why it is crucial for the enterprises to adopt or to update their current identity governance in 2022. And before implementing or updating such identity management tools, the companies should ask several important questions such as: How they ensure the permissions their users have are appropriate to their roles? Can enterprises prevent users from accumulating unnecessary privileges? How can enterprises improve their visibility into their users’ identities?

In case your corporation enterprise doesn’t take these questions into account, you may face challenges with external and internal threats. It is critical for the companies to be able to see, understand and govern their users’ access to all business applications and data. This turns identity into a business enabler for organizations, helping them to properly secure and govern all of their digital identities at the speed of business today.

Identity is not only a number of employees

When talking about identity governance, enterprises often think only about the individual users operating under their scope: their employees. That’s ok, but the corporations must bear in mind their contractors, partners, and other third parties when considering access management and identity governance in 2022. If all these groups of people have access to the network, their permissions should be as strictly controlled and monitored as any of your employees.

Furthermore, your identity governance in 2022 must extend beyond the identities of people including also the identities held by applications and software. These can move through your network and access data in much the same way a human user can. Allowing them free govern in your databases can only lead to serious issues. So, application identity governance tools are only going to become more important as cloud applications and cloud architecture continue to transform enterprises.

Identity Governance could be effectively combined with PAM

In fact, maintaining proper role management through identity governance in 2022 makes a key assumption. Specifically, the users logging in are the users to whom the account belongs.

Bad circumstances such as password sharing, stolen credentials, and phishing attacks can place your employees’ identities at severe risk; this applies doubly if the employees in question have significant administrative powers within the network. By incorporating robust privileged access management with your IGA solution, you can prevent hackers and insider threats from turning your role management against you. This can include implementing granular authentication, implementing multifactor authentication, and deploying behavioural analysis to observe discrepancies.

The benefits of modern Identity Governance solutions

Nowadays the benefits of modern Identity Governance solutions go beyond security. Modern Identity Governance solutions empower organizations with automated workflows that can streamline access requests, detect permission discrepancies, and handle temporary assignments to help your IT team prioritize other projects, thus, eliminating human errors. Organizations can also manage their non-employee identities e.g. – third-party vendors or partners without disruptions and ensure strict monitoring of their access in the network. Without proper identity access governance, it is challenging for organizations to assign and keep track of the applications and resources that identities have access to. Some organizations have hundreds, even thousands of applications.

Here are several important ways that identity access governance benefits your business:

  • Visibility

Let’s say it right: you can’t protect what remains unseen. That is why visibility represents the heart and soul of cybersecurity. Identity governance provides visibility and monitoring over employee and user permissions. Also, it helps IT admins get a high-level view of what’s happening across the IT environment, allowing them to quickly make changes and troubleshoot problems that could have easily become worse if left untreated.

  • Streamlined User Identity Lifecycle Management

When onboarding and offboarding, managers and IT personnel typically had direct physical access to the resources that they needed to manage and change, but now that’s not necessarily the case. This means that new solutions need to be leveraged to maintain the proper level of control over users, devices, networks, and other IT resources, and this is where an IGA solution becomes integral.

  • Enhanced Compliance and Security

Identity governance also helps businesses meet their compliance needs. Almost all IGA solutions provide out-of-the-box compliance reports for easy fulfilment; additionally, it can often fill those reports automatically, alleviating a burden on your IT security team. The modern Identity Governance solution reduces risk and improves compliance and security by managing access control in a comprehensive and streamlined manner. By using tools that streamline user identity lifecycle management, your organization is at less risk for the wrong users having access to confidential information, and you have higher visibility into what different users do and do not have access to.

  • Risk Management

IGA solutions enable a robust approach to managing and governing access by focusing on three aspects of access. First, they practice least privilege access, eliminating excess privileges and granting access to only those who absolutely need it in order to do their jobs. Secondly, they terminate “orphaned” accounts as quickly as possible. These accounts that are no longer being used, either because an employee is no longer with the company, or any other reason, are perfect targets for those looking to breach the environment. Finally, IGA solutions monitor for segregation of duty (SoD) violations. This critical risk management concept dictates that no single individual should be able to complete a task, creating a built-in system of checks and balances.

With these clear, measurable benefits, it’s easy to see why Identity governance solutions are quickly becoming an essential component in many organizations’ security strategy. Identity governance in 2022 will not be a panacea. It must be a part of a comprehensive cybersecurity platform, made of well integrated and well-thought-out solutions.

PATECCO Launches a New Whitepaper – “How can Management, Audit and IT Simplify the dentity Governance Process Using Security Verify Governance”

The latest whitepaper from PATECCO is here. Learn more about IBM Security Verify Governance and what are the goals of IGA processes. In the whitepaper you will also find interesting information on the following points:

  • People – Processes – Technology
  • Reduction of security risks
  • Proposed solution
  • Compliance with recertification campaigns
  • Lifecycle of roles with SVG workflows
  • Analytics – Risk analysis with SVG Access Risk Control

Click the image below to read the white paper:

Is Identity Governance the Key to Your Enterprise Digital Transformation

In the era of a mass digital transformation, employees and customers can access the data and application from any place in the world and with any device of their choice. So, we can openly say that in this digital age, Identity has become the prime gatekeeper of the security and enabler of businesses. Identity Governance plays a vital role in organizations to manage identities and meet audit and compliance requirements. With growing business complexities and competition, organizations are becoming more data driven, cloud ready and security and privacy focused. In other words, organizations are exploiting Digital Transformation capabilities intending to bring buyers closer to market along with improved operational efficiency. Digital Transformation requires organizations to have real-time visibility on the changes in the infrastructure e.g., new added applications, visibility on who has access to what and why, automation with timely access provisioning/de-provisioning cycles, etc.

  • Managing an identity governance infrastructure

Managing an identity governance infrastructure is not an easy task and the complexity grows as you scale. That is why a successful Digital Transformation requires implementing an effective Identity Governance solution that tracks all the dependencies across the different business stakeholders and manages risk while transitioning from a legacy to the next-gen IGA platform.

Therefore, Identity governance is now a critical component of most organizations’ identity and access management strategies. It allows businesses to securely provide automated access to digital resources, while at the same time managing compliance risks. Identity governance is also mainly concerned with three things – govern the identity lifecycle, govern access lifecycle and secure privileged access for administration.

  • How Effective Is Identity Governance?

Managing identities is crucial. If done well, you will be able to simultaneously protect your employees and put them at ease, making it easier for them to be as productive as possible. Be it password management, access requests, or any other governance type, they are all worth investing in. Automating some facets of identity governance can be especially helpful and save IT administrators time to put towards business needs of higher importance than fielding service requests all day.

The benefits of modern Identity Governance solutions go beyond security. Modern Identity Governance solutions empower organizations with automated workflows that can streamline access requests, detect permission discrepancies, and handle temporary assignments to help your IT team prioritize other projects, thus, eliminating human errors. Organizations can also manage their non-employee identities e.g., third-party vendors, partners, etc. without disruptions and ensure strict monitoring of their access in the network. With structured workflows, it is easier to meet audit requirements. Additionally, Identity governance allows organizations to verify that the right controls are in place to meet the security and regulatory compliance requirements. Consequently, modern Identity Governance not only simplifies Identity workflows but also protects the security of the enterprise.

  • Build a culture of identity governance

To make the digital transformation more successful, the companies should build up a culture of identity governance. What does this look like? Identity governance culture means that the people in an organization, at every level, understand why identity management is important. They perceive that poor access controls can lead to data breaches and other negative security incidents, so they realise that the complex system integrations and technological layers of digital transformation need clear identity controls in order to work.

A company with an identity governance culture will embed strong identity management into everyday work streams. People will want to follow processes instead of feeling pressured to – and circumventing them. For example, a bad habit such as password sharing, which might have been tolerated previously, will no longer occur because employees and other stakeholders recognize that it is a high-risk behavior. Digital transformation can happen without a strong commitment to building an identity governance culture, but it probably won’t go well. Identity governance is an elemental success factor in the digital transformation. The degree of application and data integration required for DX, along with its tendency to connect multiple business entities, make rigorous identity management an imperative.

If you are interested to read more about Identity Governance tools, read the Whitepaper below:

PATECCO Organizes a Free Webinar About Managed Services in Partnership with Eu-hub.net

The Identity and Access Management company, PATECCO, organizes in partnership with EU-HUB Network, a free Webinar on topic “The mapping of growing responsibilities to predictable budgets”. The online event will take place on 07th of May 2021, at 10.00 a.m. CET. The webinar’s duration will be one hour and it will be divided into three parts – introduction, Managed services description as well as presentation of other IAM solutions and Questions and Answers.

Interested companies from all industries could register for the webinar on the following webpage: https://www.eu-hub.net/english/webinar-events/, with a key word: “Managed IAM Services“. In the webinar all participants could learn more about the specific features and capabilities of Managed Services, what are the advantages and benefits of working with managed service provider and how this kind of services could contribute for the increased security, efficiency and productivity of your business. Moreover, PATECCO IAM experts will share best practices of several use cases related to implementation of solutions such as Privileged Access Management, Security Information and Event Management, Identity Governance and Intelligence and Cloud Access Control.

Before you register for the webinar, here is some more information about PATECCO:

The IAM consulting company is established in the year of 2009, in Herne, Germany. It is a privately held enterprise providing services in the areas of the development, implementation, and support of Identity & Access Management solutions. PATECCO provides value-added services to customers from different industries such as banking, insurance, chemistry, pharma and utility. Keeping long-term partnership with Microsoft and IBM supports the success for numerous international consulting projects.

As a managed service provider, PATECCO ensures a cost-effective alternative to manage the monitoring, detecting, investigating, alerting and responding to cyber threats. PATECCO managed IT solutions allow a business of any size to focus on its core competencies while leaving its day-to-day IT needs to a team of professionals that are not only proactive in managing IT services, but are also available 24/7. As a managed service provider, PATECCO offers a single point of contact, convenience, and flexibility for all of IT needs.

Why Organizations Need Identity Governance In their Journey to Digital Transformation

In March 2020, the enterprise business landscape drastically changed. Within two weeks, thousands of businesses closed, working remotely became the new normal, and malicious hackers took the opportunity to attack the increasingly vulnerable business systems. Enterprises, with poorly structured or monitored identity and access management system became a common target for cyber attackers. In such a long-lasting situation Identity governance and administration (IGA) is a critical component in reducing identity-related vulnerabilities and creating policies to manage access compliance. Now, more than ever, we need these two things to overcome the challenges of post-COVID-19 enterprise business security.

Why Identity Governance matters?

Organizations embracing digital transformation need a consistent framework for operationally managing and governing their rapidly expanding digital ecosystem and IGA is an important piece. At its core, the goal behind IGA is to ensure appropriate access, when and where it is needed.  IGA is the branch of identity and access management that deals with making appropriate access decisions. It allows your company to embrace the benefits of hyper-connectivity while ensuring that only the right people have access to the right things at the right times. When it’s done right, IGA improves the security and gives valuable insights about employee activity and needs.

In this article we will explain why Identity Governance matters and why it is a critical factor for the companies in their journey to the digital transformation.

Identity Governance and Administration (IGA) is becoming increasingly important amongst Identity and IT Security professionals. This is an area that provides operational management, integration, security, customization and overall support for an enterprise IAM program. IGA combines the entitlement discovery, the decision-making process, and the access review and certification of access governance with the identity lifecycle and role management of user provisioning. Inappropriate and outdated access to the company resources is a commonplace in many enterprise IAM programs today and it creates substantial risk. A comprehensive IGA program across diverse constituencies can help identify and manage these risks and address compliance requirements. Organizations can implement IGA in phases, making it easier to adopt and will quickly find it provides a solid foundation for reducing risk and improving security.

  • IGA Delivers Timely and Effective Access to the Business

Identity governance and administrations give your users speedy and efficient access to the resources required to do their work. It makes it happen by leveraging tools such as single sign-on software equipped with functionalities like multi-factor authentication and more. This allows them to become and stay productive regardless of how quickly or how much their responsibilities change.

Likewise, IGA also authorizes business users to manage and request access, which reduces the amount of work in information security or IT operations teams. Your employees can meet service level requirements with automated policy enforcements without compromising compliance or security.

  • IGA Automates labor-intensive processes

Identity governance and administration cuts on operational costs by automating labor-intensive processes such as password management, user provisioning, and access requests. Automation helps IT administrators save time on administrative tasks and fulfill business needs of higher importance.

Many IGA tools provide a simple user interface through which users can self-assist their requirements and address service requests independently without IT admins’ intensive involvement. The tools provide a dashboard that populates with metrics and analytical data on user access controls, helping organizations optimize and reduce associated risks.

  • Regulatory Compliance

With regulations like the GDPR, SOX, and HIPAA the industries are focusing on access issues more than ever. Limiting and monitoring access to only those that need it is not only a crucial security measure, but one that is becoming critical to staying in compliance with these regulations.

IGA solutions not only help ensure that access to sensitive information like patient records or financial data is strictly controlled, they also enable organizations to prove they are taking these actions. Organizations can receive audit requests at any time. An effective IGA solution makes the required periodic review and attestation of access business friendly, effective, and comes with built-in reporting capabilities to meet relevant government and industry regulations. Taking a visual approach to the data can make this whole process more accurate and easier to deploy to the business.

  • Identify risks and strengthen security

Organizations face significant threats from compromised identities triggered by stolen, vulnerable, or default user credentials. With a centralized and comprehensive overview of user identities and access privileges, identity governance and administration solutions empower IT administrators to identify weak controls, policy violations, and improper access that can open the organizations to disruptive risks and rectify these risk factors before they escalate. It keeps track of user identities and allows you to detect compromised accounts, which enables you to strengthen your assets’ security.

  • IGA Monitors the Non-Employee Identities on Your Network

Making identity governance a business process priority means exerting concrete control over your network. You can use it to monitor and regulate the behaviour of your enterprises’ nonhuman and third-party identities, ensuring they participate only in the necessary workflows.

Identity governance can segment and restrict, enforcing discipline when programs try to take advantage of every leniency. In this case, you can view identity governance not only as a cybersecurity measure but as a way to keep your workflows uncluttered.

Identity Governance and Administration (IGA) provides the identity foundation that powers today’s most important security initiatives, including Zero Trust, Digital Transformation, and Cyber Resilience. With a comprehensive IGA program, you’ll have the critical capabilities and identity services to bridge data and product silos and adapt at the speed of change.

Which Are the Major Components of Identity Governance and Administration Solution?

Organizations embracing digital transformation are taking a hard look at Identity Governance and Administration (IGA) solutions which are becoming critically important amongst Identity and IT Security professionals. IGA is an area that provides operational management, integration, security, customization and overall support for an enterprise IAM program. Besides, IGA combines the entitlement discovery, the decision-making process, and the access review and certification of access governance with the identity lifecycle and role management of user provisioning.  So nowadays, what the enterprises critically need is a consistent framework to operationally manage and govern their rapidly expanding digital ecosystem. At its core, the goal behind IGA is simple – to ensure appropriate access, when and where it is needed.

IGA is considered as much more than a technology. It is also perceived as an ongoing means of governance through a set of controls, processes, and actions related to the determination and enforcement of appropriate access throughout the organization’s environment. This is a continuous process of grooming, review, decision making, documentation, and enforcement for how access privileges are issued.

IGA Main Components

IGA consists of multiple elements, each solving a specific piece to the puzzle and often originating from its own product category. IGA programs can look to each of these elements separately, and bring a set of point products from multiple vendors together to address the broader IGA problems, or they can look to vendors that have fleshed out their offerings to include these elements as part of their IGA offering. These elements can be described as follows:

  • Identity Lifecycle Management/User Provisioning – Automation of the identity lifecycle process through the creation, updating, and cleanup of user accounts and their corresponding information across multiple target systems.
  • Access Governance – Consists of two essential elements: Entitlement Management / Role Management (it is related to Collection and organization of current entitlement state across multiple target systems) and Access Review and Certification. That relates to presentation of current entitlement state, facilitation of review process, capturing access decisions made, and facilitation of attestation that the new access state is appropriate.

Identity Lifecycle Management

Today’s organizations are more connected than ever before. As the number of applications, systems, and resources have increased, so have the number of identities and user accounts. Creating, maintaining, and securing identities is a complex and costly effort. The complexity is often due to the sheer volume of identities. But, the complexity of managing identities is also compounded by the dynamic nature of an identity.

As a subject’s relationship with the organization changes the attributes and privileges associated with the identity must be updated. These dynamic changes are commonly referred to as the identity lifecycle. All identities go through a similar lifecycle which can be described in three basic steps: Join, Move, and Leave.

• Join: This phase involves the creation/registration of identities.

• Move: This phase handles the changing of identity attributes and elements that define the relationship such as group memberships, roles, entitlements, and permissions as the identity’s relationship changes over time.

• Leave: This phase involves the termination of the relationship with the identity. It could also relate to archiving of some information and deletion of other information.

Another point of focus with identity lifecycle management is the goal of gaining administrative leverage. Keeping the data consistent across systems is the only way to manage all the connected systems as a common whole, rather than a collection of silos. The data may be represented and persisted differently from system to system, but the job of the provisioning infrastructure is to deal with these differences, transform the data accordingly, and ensure that the relationships between the systems is preserved.

User provisioning technologies help organizations manage and enforce access policies. Access policies bind identities to entitlements. An access policy determines what systems, resources, and information a user can access. Furthermore User provisioning technologies employ a variety of techniques to assign and enforce access policies including Rules (Rule-driven policies determine access rights and entitlements according to a given set of attributes on a subject’s identity record), Roles (Users are assigned to roles based on a given set of attributes on their identity record. Each role has a set of associated permissions and entitlements) and Workflow (Workflow driven access policy management is used when rule or role driven policies are not available or when a human needs to make a policy decision).

The last phase of the provisioning process is fulfillment. Once the lifecycle event has been processed and access policies have been applied, the provisioning system knows which connected systems to provision the user to, what attributes to synchronize, and what entitlements to assign.

Access Governance

Access governance provides the needed “relation” between compliance, the access management policies, and the critical business systems that need them. It enables better control and produces intelligence so that key decision makers can have a better understanding of the state of access and how it is being utilized in order to provide greater insight for making better decisions. Access governance also provides a way to hold end users accountable for the access they use, it holds managers accountable for the access they approve and administrators accountable for the access they manage.

Entitlement Management

Access decisions are all about the entitlements. Entitlements are the “what” in the question of “who has access to what. Entitlements represent capabilities in business systems that in turn help the business achieve its varied missions. To use entitlements, enterprises first have to know they are out there – in every business system, application, and platform. But simple awareness is not enough.

Access Review and Certification

Usually the access review phase of access governance is of a great importance and is the most time and labor intensive. Everyone who has access to important systems and resources, such as those containing data that have regulatory implications, must be certified at reasonable intervals. This includes employees and nonemployees alike, regardless of location and business role.

Identity Governance and Administration is a unique combination of technology and processes with impact at the organizational level. It leverages components such as Identity Lifecycle Management and Access Governance to support compliance with regulations, internal controls, and audit pressure and is a powerful means to improve security and reduce enterprise risk.

How Does Identity Governance Achieve Security and Compliance?

Nowadays, in the era of Digital Transformation, more and more organizations and people are using the new technologies of smart devices, cloud computing and social media to shop, to buy or deliver services and for other commercial purposes. In this hyperconnected world, Electronic Identities (IDs) provide the opportunity for organizations to know their customers and at the same time to secure information systems and sensitive data. Both objectives are successfully achieved by Identity Governance process.

Simply explained, Identity governance is a policy-based centralized orchestration of user identity management and access control. Identity governance helps support enterprise IT security and regulatory compliance. Organisations are facing rising demands and compliance regulations while managing the access and support of many devices and systems that carry critical data.

What Does Identity Governance Perform?

Identity Governance and Intelligence solutions help companies to create and manage user accounts and access rights for individual users within the enterprise. In this way the companies conveniently manage user provisioning, password management, access governance and identity repositories. IGI Solutions also enable companies to make sure that they take appropriate actions to meet compliance challenges. They help conduct a more accessible and useful review process with a reporting ability to meet significant government and industry rules. Besides, IGI solutions perform a great visual approach, allowing the users to witness privileges and certifications in a user friendly and graphical display.

  • Role Management

Key capability of identity governance and intelligence solution is role management, which is deeply tied into the Principle of Least Privileges. This Principle states employees and users only have the minimum permissions necessary to fulfil their job functions. Furthermore, role management allows your IT security team to monitor permissions and privileges on each user’s account. With the availability of the visibility, the security team can remove any unnecessary permissions they detect.

  • Centralized Access Requests

Without centralizing the access requests, the IT security team must handle each request manually, which is hard and time-consuming process. To avoid such situation, identity governance solution should include a centralization portal for all access requests. This portal helps you to connect all of the applications in your IT environment. Besides, the administrators can monitor the usage of the special permissions and can submit and process access requests, approvals, and denials in more efficient manner.

  • Identity Lifecycle Management

In identity and access management, Identity Lifecycle Management refers to the processes utilized in creating, managing, and removing a user identity from your network. Without the right permissions, your employees cannot perform their jobs properly and providing the wrong permissions could create cybersecurity issues. That is why Identity Governance solutions can help your IT security team onboard and offboard permissions efficiently and with securely.

  • Managed Services

It is crucial for the security of the enterprise to protect and monitor the permissions of your third party-users and applications, vendors, customers, and partners. Each of these identities requires identity governance to operate securely. In case your enterprise’s IT security team is not able to handle governing all of these users, your IGI solution provider can help you manage these tasks remotely. By the help of managed services, it is possible to provide 24/7 identity monitoring and to process the role management, compliance reporting, and access request features.

What Challenges Does Identity Governance Address?

  • Compliance

With regulations like the GDPR, SOX, and HIPAA industries pay attention to access issues more than ever. The security measure to limit and to monitor the access to those that need it, is not enough. Now it is becoming critical to stay in compliance with these regulations, as well.

IGI solutions not only ensure that access to sensitive information (such as financial data) is strictly controlled, but they also enable organizations to prove they are taking these actions. Enterprises can receive audit requests at any time. A good IGI solution makes the required periodic review and attestation of access business friendly, effective, and comes with built-in reporting capabilities to meet the government and industry regulations. Taking a visual approach to the data makes the whole process more accurate and easier to deploy to the business.

  • Risk Management

IGI solutions reduce the exposure of sensitive data by limiting and guarding access to information. They enable a robust approach to managing and governing access by focusing on three aspects of access:

First, they practice the principle of least privilege, eliminating excess privileges and granting access to only those who need it in order to do their jobs. Secondly, they terminate “orphaned” accounts as quickly as possible. These accounts that are no longer being used (because of an employee dismissal or some other reason) are perfect targets for cyber criminals aiming to breach the environment. Finally, IGI solutions monitor for segregation of duty (SoD) violations. This critical risk management concept dictates that no single individual should be able to complete a task, creating a built-in system of checks and balances.

  • Business Changes

Companies develop and change constantly and IGI solution makes these changes more efficient and less risky. IGI solutions provision access based on roles, and not on individual accounts, that’s why the strategy of Role Based Access Control (RBAC) works equally well for small changes (like individual promotions or transfers) and large changes (like mergers, acquisitions, and corporate reorganizations). IGA solutions efficiently shorten the timeline for executing bulk additions or transitions of user accounts by automating and streamlining provisioning and approvals.

Considered as a part of Identity and Access Management (IAM), Identity Governance offers organizations increased visibility of identities and access privileges of users. That gives them the opportunity to effectively manage who has access to what systems and when. Identity governance empowers the business to do more with less, meet increasing audit demands, and make the companies more secure, while enabling them to develop at the same time.

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.

The Role of Identity Governance in Security and Compliance

In the complex network of managing user rights, permissions and accounts, tracking who has access to certain resources becomes almost impossible. Every organisation is facing demands, mandates and compliance regulations while managing the access and support of many devices and systems that contain critical data. Identity Governance and Intelligence solutions help business with the ability to create and manage user accounts and access rights for individual users within the company. In this way they can more conveniently manage user provisioning, password management, access governance and identity repositories.

Why is Identity Governance Critical to Security?

Identity governance is the core of most organizations’ security and IT operations strategies. It allows businesses to provide automated access to an increasing number of technology assets and at the same to manage potential security and compliance risks. Identity governance enables and secures digital identities for all users, applications and data.

In case the identity governance is compromised, the organization is left vulnerable to security and compliance violations. Companies can solve this problem by investing in identity governance and intelligence (IGI) solutions that address the business requirements of compliance mangers, auditors and risk managers. According to our partner IBM, “IGI provides a business activity-based modelling approach that simplifies the user access and roles design, review and certification processes. With this approach, you can establish trust between IT and business managers around business activities and permissions, making workflows understandable for nontechnical users. IGI solutions enable security teams to leverage powerful analytics to make informed decisions about identity, give users the applications and the flexible data access they need, and help to ensure compliance with ever-evolving regulations.”

When we talk about managing access within the organization, a number of researches show that more than 50 percent of users have more access privileges than required for their job. In most cases the reason is bulk approvals for access requests, frequent changes in roles or departments, and not regular reviewing user access. The trouble is that too much access privilege and overprovisioning can open an organization up to insider threats and increase the risk throughout the business.

It’s necessary to make sure that users have the appropriate access and to prevent facing with insider threats. The risk could be decreased by using role-based access controls (RBAC) – this means having solid, well-defined roles in place and knowing specifically which access privileges each role needs. As organizations grow and evolve, the right IGI solution can allow for more efficient changes and decrease risk by focusing on role definitions and role assignments rather than on individual accounts. The strategy of RBAC works well to decrease the timeline in executing bulk additions where a lot of change is happening at once, like during mergers, acquisitions and corporate reorganizations.

Why is Identity Governance Critical to Compliance?

Companies today have to manage customer, vendor, and board member demands, but at the same time they also must make sure they are compliant with any number of regulations, such as GDPR, HIPAA, and SOX. The increasing number of federal regulations and industry mandates that organizations face today, leads to more auditing, compliance reviews, and reporting.

Identity Governance is a critical discipline involved in this regulation. To be GDPR compliant, organizations must ensure that the personal data they process, collect, and store is properly protected. IBM Security Identity Governance & Intelligence (IGI) can help with that process. IGI allows only the right people to access and manage GDPR-relevant data. IGI presents these people to a business manager holistically in a single pane of glass. (source: IBM) IGI solutions not only strictly control the access to sensitive information like patient records or financial data, but also enable companies to prove they are taking actions to meet compliance requirements.

Furthermore, IGI solutions make the review process easier and more effective with built-in reporting capabilities to meet relevant government and industry regulations. A good compliance program allows for frequent and multiple access reviews to take place at any given time to meet ever-increasing auditor demands without engaging numerous resources from the organization.

One of the main reasons for implementing an IGI solution, is to ensure that users only have access to the resources they need. It also makes sure that you provide appropriate access, risk mitigation and improved security posture of your organization. Unfortunately, a lot of companies today may not view this as a strategic priority and that is a prerequisite to suffer a security incident at some moment. What such companies should do, is to trust IGI solutions and their strong capabilities. See here how PATECCO IGI Solutions are the foundation for a solid Identity and Access Management program in your organization.

Why Identity Governance and Administration is Fundamental to Information Security?

Cybersecurity is possible if only there is a full visibility and control of the users’ activities in the enterprise network. Within your organization, you should know who has access to what and how that access is being used. Now may be you are asking yourself: “Is my identity governance working intelligently enough?” If your answer is “Yes”, that means that your identity governance clearly monitors the complex activity of human and nonhuman actors throughout an organization and implements appropriate controls to ensure the right actors have access to the right data at the right time.

As Kuppingercole says in its reports, Identity Governance and Administration is one of the core disciplines of today’s IAM (Identity and Access Management). IGA factually is a combination of Identity Provisioning and Access Governance. IGA is one element of IAM and needs to work seamlessly with Adaptive Authentication, Privileged Access Management, and other technologies. By implementing IGI tools, you can improve visibility of how access is being utilized, prioritize compliance actions with risk-based insights, and make better decisions with clear actionable intelligence.

Governing Digital Identities

Almost half of data breaches happen within an organization—and the reason is a failure to govern the digital identities of employees and other users, such as contractors, partners and even software bots. Governing digital identities is as complex as it is critical to security. When roles change, access must be changed accordingly without any delay.

Nowadays leading organizations are governing the digital identities of their numerous employees. They all view identity governance as an enabler of their own transformation and larger trends such as the Internet of Things. The implementation of IGI system brings benefits such as improved security, compliance with privacy regulations and increased productivity. For large organizations the task to get users the access they require can be really time consumable. As employees and contractors work on a variety of projects, transfer departments and locations, change their job functions, and get promoted, their requirements for access constantly change. At a deeper level, system administrators require access to privileged, shared accounts that allow them to perform business-critical and administrative functions

For all of these scenarios, PATECCO provides identity governance solutions including privileged account management, which controls access to shared, root-level or admin accounts. The effective identity governance and intelligence solution provides users with proper access from the beginning to the end of the user life cycle. It also ensures that all access is approved and recertified throughout the life cycle until properly deprovisioned. The IGI solution has also the ability to identify potential risky access and risky users by analysing all user access and in this way helps for preventing insider threat attacks.Deploying an identity and access governance system offers a number of benefits. IGI Solution provides a detailed view of roles and privileges within each department of the enterprise. This results in deep insight into how access is used across the company by different users.

The access governance system enables the regulation and control of access in an efficient, systematic, and continuous manner. The access governance system positively impacts the certification process, as well. That means that certification and recertification requirements are reduced and users can be certified as required. Besides, an access governance system facilitates collaborative and analytics-based decision-making, based on the data aggregated across users and departments.

Organizations must be ready to evaluate their own capabilities and gaps against common practices for access and identity management in areas such as access certification, entitlement management, tracking and reporting. They also must be prepared to prioritize closing those gaps accordingly. Identity and access governance is just the right solution to help bridge those gaps and help organizations apply and maintain compliance.