In today’s digitally transformed world, Identity and Access Management (IAM) plays an essential role in every enterprise security plan. As the business stores more and more sensitive data electronically, the need to protect sensitive information and data becomes critical. In this sense, IAM solution gives or limits the access permissions of different employees according to their roles.
Why IAM becomes more important than ever for enterprises?
IAM solutions must be an integral part of any enterprise security system. Their central management capabilities can help in improving security while decreasing the cost and complexity of protecting user access and credentials. In addition to providing access to employees, organizations also need to work, collaborate, and connect with contractors, vendors and partners, each with their own set of access requirements and restrictions. Furthermore, data and applications spread across cloud, on-premises and hybrid infrastructures are being accessed by a variety of devices including tablets, smartphones, and laptops.
Identity and Access Management is a Cyber and Information security discipline that ensures the right people have appropriate access to the organization’s critical systems and resources at the right time. For that reason IAM is based on three major pillars (Identification, Authentication and Authorization) which prevent the company to be exposed to cybersecurity threats like phishing, criminal hacking, ransomware or other malware attacks.
Benefits of IAM solutions having a significant influence in the cybersecurity
As mentioned above, effective IAM infrastructure and solutions help enterprises establish secure, productive, and efficient access to technology resources across these diverse systems while delivering several important key benefits:
- IAM enhances security: This is perhaps the most important benefit organizations can get from IAM. Consolidating authentication and authorization capabilities on a single centralized platform provides business and IT teams with a streamlined and consistent method of managing user access during identity lifecycle within an organization. For example, when users leave a company, centralized IAM solution gives IT administrators the ability to revoke their access with the confidence that the revocation will take place immediately across all the business-critical systems and resources which are integrated with centralized IAM solution within the company. Thus, by controlling user access, companies can eliminate instances of data breaches, identity theft, and illegal access to confidential information.
- Reduced Security Costs: Having a centralized IAM platform to manage all users and their access allows IT to perform their work more efficiently. In the digitally hyperconnected world, employees have access to hundreds of systems and resources as part of their job. Efficient centralized IAM solution can successfully address this challenge which results in huge savings of time and money for the company. A comprehensive IAM solution can reduce overall IT costs by automating identity processes that consume IT resources, such as onboarding, password resets and access requests, eliminating the need for help desk tickets or calls. Whenever a security policy gets updated, all access privileges across the organization can be changed in one sweep. IAM can also reduce the number of tickets sent to the IT helpdesk regarding password resets. Some systems even have automation set for tedious IT tasks.
- IAM Provides direct connectivity: Connectivity is a hallmark of IAM because it provides direct linking to more than one hundred systems and applications. Supporting a wide range of systems, IAM makes it possible not only to apply Workflow Management and Self-Service to user account management, but also to a variety of other service provisioning processes including: requesting physical access to a work area, applying for a smartphone, or submitting a helpdesk ticket.
- Least Privilege Principle: Least privilege is an important practice of computer and information security for limiting access privileges for users. With the increasing number of data breaches involving an insider, it is necessary to ensure access to all your corporate resources are secured and granted using least privilege principle. In a company it is a common practice for employees to move across different roles in the organization. If the granted privileges are not revoked when the employee changes the role, those privileges can accumulate, and this situation poses a great risk for many reasons. That makes this user an easy target for cyber hackers as his excessive rights can be an easier gateway for criminals to access the broader part of the company’s critical systems and resources. Or this can eventually turn into the insider threat where a person gets the ability to commit data theft. Sometimes companies forget to remove these excessive privileges from a user’s profile when he or she leaves the company. That leads to a security risk where the user can still access the company’s systems even after the termination. In this case, a well-designed centralized IAM solution can help organizations eliminate insider threat challenge by utilizing the Least Privilege Principle to a great extent.
There are many factors which have proved that Identity and Access Management evolution will influence on the cybersecurity industry. These factors refer to weaknesses in password security, increasing number of distributed and interconnected systems, technological advancements, and, the basic business needs to manage access and regulatory compliance risks efficiently. An end-to-end IAM implementation provides assurance that only authorized, authenticated users are able to interact with the systems and data they need to effectively perform their job. All that results in reducing the likelihood and impact of data breaches.