Today a lot of enterprises rely on higher security and governance to run and keep their business successfully. We are witnessing a trend where the more connections are increasing, the more security breaches affect companies from all around the world.

The enterprises suffering such data breach problems experience significant losses in terms of recovery costs and brand damage. That hard situation comes when there is some type of “unauthorized access” (whether from internal or external threats) to corporate applications and sensitive data.  As a result, companies make a detailed review of their current Identity and Access Management (IAM) processes and after detecting some gaps, start looking for new IAM approaches. In this way they want to ensure that their organizations are safe from access-related security breaches, optimize the operational costs associated with access control and meet their internal and external compliance requirements.

Regardless what IAM system you will choose, in this article we will give you an idea of what steps to take for building an effective Identity and Access Management (IAM) strategy, focused on mitigating key risks for the organization.

1. Use federated identity management approach

Companies could implement a federated identity management approach whereby the organisation providing the data or service trusts the authentication measures in place at a collaborating organisation. If you use such an approach, it’s not necessary to share the personal details of the user requesting the access, only an assertion from the trusted party that the user is authorised to make the request. 

2. Keep a good governance

Good governance ensures that there is a consistent approach to risks and compliance across different lines of business. It is able to reduce costs by avoiding multiple, ad hoc, approaches to compliance and risk management. Identity and access governance ensures that only authorized persons have access to the confidential and regulated data.

Remember that the power of identity and access governance is in managing privacy across the enterprise. Governance is your procedure and framework that makes everything consistent across the board. That means risk management and compliance for all your lines of business.

3. Avoid multiple authentication

Authentication process is used for confirming the user identity. The typical authentication process allows the system to identify the user via a username and a password.

The less authentication your users have to go through, the better. You could have a negative feedback if users have to go through a multiple authentication levels to gain access to an email or account. Some may even find their own shortcuts, which is where problems can arise.

Single sign-on can help, but cannot resolve the problem. Users operating in an SSO environment could have negative feedback from their home and mobile workers due to the extra levels of authentication required to access the new system.

There are stronger methods of authenticating the user, including certificates, one-time passwords, and device fingerprinting. Thanks to them, could be provided a stronger combination of authentication factors.

Phases of IM Strategy

Building the Identity Management Strategy requires three distinct phases: assessment, analysis and planning, as well.

1) Assessment Phase: Assess your current infrastructure and architecture and identity-related processes;

2) Analysis Phase: Determine key technology and process gaps and identify needed identity capabilities and integration points;

3) Planning Phase: Define high-level, future-state identity architecture; Develop a phased implementation roadmap; Document and present final recommendations

In order to secure identities and data, as well as tо ensure readiness, organizations need to respond proactively to the coming changes by adapting the right strategy, operations and architecture of their IAM and its supporting tools and services.