Identity Access Management (IAM): Concepts


Identity and Access Management is an ensemble of policies, technologies and business processes that seamlessly manage digital or electronic identities. IT managers can control user access to critical information by implementing an IAM framework. Privileged access management, multifactor authentication and two-factor authentication are used for Identity and Access Management. These systems also enable the secure storage of identity and profile data along with data governance to ensure that only relevant and necessary data is shared. IAM solutions can be installed through third-party vendors’ cloud-based systems on-premises or in a hybrid mode.

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Why is IAM important?

IT departments and business leaders are facing growing legal and organisational pressure to safeguard access to company resources. Consequently, they cannot track and allocate user credentials using manual and error-prone methods. Identity and access management optimises these processes while allowing for extensive access control and monitors all company assets in their cloud and on-premises.

IAM has features in manifolds, including AI, biometrics and behaviour analytics which fits the new security scenario perfectly. For example, IAM’s tight control over resource access in highly dispersed and dynamic contexts corresponds with the industry’s shift from firewalls to zero-trust models and security needs, for information and technology. Though IT professionals may believe that IAM is resourceful only for larger organisations but, in reality the system can be used for all types of business, irrespective of their size.

Components of IAM

IT professionals may use IAM to limit user access to necessary information within their organisations. These solutions also provide role-based access control, which regulates access to networks or systems based on the responsibilities of specific corporate users. In this regard, access refers to an individual user’s capacity to perform a specific task, such as creating, viewing or modifying a file. Within the organisation, roles are defined by job, responsibility, and authority.

IAM systems collect and store user login information and maintain a business database of user identities. With that, they coordinate access permission assignment and revocation. This implies that IAM systems should offer a centralised directory service with supervision and insight into all parts of the company’s user base.

Internet identities are not restricted to humans. In the coming years, IAM may manage the digital identities of apps and devices.

IAM can be managed in the cloud as well using (AaaS) authentication as a service or (IDaaS) identity as a service. In both cases, a third-party vendor handles user authentication, registration and data management.

IAM Benefits

IAM technology can be used to automate the creation, extraction, recording and management of user identities and their associated access rights. Any organisation that has IAM can gain from its extensive usability. Here are the benefits of IAM that companies can expect after integrating it into their system.

  • In the area of security, the use of an IAM set can make it easier to enforce user authentication, validation and permission regulations. Also, it helps to solve concerns about power creep.
  • With the use of IAM, people and services are appropriately verified, authorised and audited, and access rights are provided in accordance with policies.
  • Implementing identity access management systems enable firms to function more efficiently by reducing the time, effort, and money necessary to manage network access manually.
  • IAM systems assist businesses in better complying with regulatory rules by allowing them to demonstrate that company information is not being exploited. Companies can also show that any data required for audits is readily available.
  • Companies that handle identities effectively have better control over user access, lowering the chance of internal and external data breaches.

Implementing IAM solutions and adhering to the best practices can help businesses obtain a competitive advantage. IAM solutions enable businesses to grant individuals outside the organisation, like partners, suppliers, contractors and customers, access to their network. They can provide access via on-premise applications, mobile applications, and SaaS without jeopardising security, which in turn, will improve cooperation, lead to higher production, increase efficiency, and lower operational expenses.

Many developing IAM solutions aim to decrease risk by keeping personally identifiable information with the owner of the information rather than distributing it across susceptible databases. A decentralised identity system, for example, allows individuals to keep control over and manage their own identities. Individuals may control how and where their personal information is shared, potentially lowering company risk and responsibility.

Thus, IAM is centred around managing the digital identities of individuals, like employees, partners, and customers. They can control their access to systems, applications, and data based on their roles, responsibilities, and permissions. By implementing IAM solutions, organisations can mitigate the risks associated with unauthorised access, data breaches, and insider threats.

To enhance your cyber security knowledge, apply for the 10-month Executive Programme in Cyber Security for Organizations [EPCSO]. This course is brought to you by the prestigious IIM Indore. It has a holistic curriculum enabling interactive online learning. You can indulge in capstone projects that will give you an overall career enhancement to be ready for professional complexities.

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