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Identity and Access Management (IAM): Key Benefits and Strategies

An IAM (identity and access management) solution can be helpful to an organization in managing resources and applications. IAM ensures that the appropriate individuals and job functions are granted the necessary resources required to perform their duties. It allows organizations to control the identities of people, computers, and Internet of Things (IoT) objects.

Identity and Access Management (IAM) has become integral to every organization’s security policy with the sporadic increase in data breaches and cyber-related incidents. It has become evident that organizations must ensure that their IAM tools and processes are appropriately configured to gain the best security benefits. This article will explain what IAM means, why IAM is important, the benefits involved, and some implementation strategies.

Why IAM?

Identity and access management is the security practice that allows appropriate entities to use appropriate resources at the right time, on the devices of their choice, without interruption, as stated above. IAM is made up of the tools and procedures that let IT managers give each entity a distinct digital identity, authenticate them whenever they log in, provide them access to resources, and manage those identities throughout their entire lifecycle.

IAM is not limited to employees of an organization. Remote users, mobile users, managers, contractors, customers, and business associates all want secure access, which organizations must be able to provide. Identity and access management is crucial to any company’s security architecture because it stands between users and important enterprise assets. It prevents the misuse of easily cracked passwords and compromised user credentials, which are frequent ports of entry for threat actors who seek to install malware or steal sensitive data.

Identity and Access Management (IAM) Security

IAM security covers the procedures, plans, and tools that lessen the hazards of identity-related access within an organization. IAM security increases the effectiveness and efficiency of access control across an organization by detecting, authenticating, and approving users while preventing unauthorized users. IAM programs allow businesses to reduce risks, enhance compliance, boost productivity, and ensure greater user access control.

Key benefits of IAM

Identity and Access Management is the security practice that gives users relevant access to the required technology and resources. It also includes three main concepts, i.e., Identification, Authentication, and Authorization. Combining these three major elements ensures that a user can access the required resources while securing sensitive resources. Below are the key benefits of IAM

  • Multi-factor security

IAM systems’ multi-factor security features, including facial recognition, fingerprint sensors, and iris scanning, assist businesses in transitioning from two-factor to three-factor authentication.

  • Advanced tracking of anomalies

Modern IAM systems use machine learning, artificial intelligence, and risk-based authentication technologies to identify and block aberrant behaviour beyond simple credential management.

  • Mitigating insider threats

IAM can reduce the harm malicious insiders do by ensuring users can only access systems they are authorized to work with and cannot raise privileges without proper authorization.

  • Eliminating weak passwords

The chance that users may use default or weak passwords can essentially be eliminated by IAM systems, which enforce best practices in credential management. IAM policies can also ensure that individuals change their passwords periodically.

IAM Strategies

An identity and access management strategy is an easy route for an organization to thrive in this digital world. An organization needs a robust and reliable IAM strategy to manage access to its digital assets for employees, customers, and contractors. Below are some IAM implementation strategies.

  • Zero-Trust Policy

An organization’s IAM system continuously monitors and secures its users’ identities and access points under a zero-trust policy. Before now, most organizations’ policies allowed users to stay signed in and retain access even after the function or role they attained to perform a task was done. However, zero-trust practices ensure that every employee is always recognized and their access is regulated.

  • Policy-based management

Users should only be given the permissions necessary to complete their assigned job, not anymore. Users should be granted access to resources through an IAM depending on their department, employment description, or any other qualities that appear relevant. These policies may then guarantee that resources are secure regardless of where they are being accessed from as part of the centrally controlled identity solution.

  • Central identity management

Since managing access to resources at the identity level is a central principle of zero trust, having centralized administration of those identities can significantly simplify this strategy. This can entail transferring people from different systems or, at the very least, synchronizing an IAM solution with other user directories in an organization’s environment, such as a directory for human resources.

  • Secure privileged accounts

In an access control system, not every account is created equally. Accounts with privileged access to sensitive information or special tools can be given a level of protection and assistance appropriate to their role as an organization’s gatekeeper.

  • Secure Access

An IAM should ensure that it verifies the identities of those logging in since identity-level security is crucial. Considering the circumstances of the login attempt, such as location, time, device, etc., could entail installing MFA or using MFA in conjunction with adaptive authentication.

Conclusion

Every organization must ensure its IAM strategy remains relevant and flexible as the threat landscape and regulatory conditions change. Organizations must establish IAM policies that protect against external and internal threats and a well-defined roadmap to achieving a sound security posture. Strong IAM practices are also excellent for building trust with employees and customers. As organizations expand their business operations, the need for identity and access management will also become more critical to business success.

 

 

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