Every company needs to manage and safeguard the identities of its employees, consumers, partners, customers, and all stakeholders.
A minor data breach can damage the reputation of your company, and could also result in huge financial losses.
To withstand the dynamic effect of such breaches, you should maintain an agile IAM Strategy for your organization.
In this blog, let’s define Identity Management Strategy and discuss why it is important for your business.
What is Identity and Access Management Strategy?
Identity and Access Management refers to a system that leverages technology to manage digital or electronic identities through a well-maintained framework of technologies and policies.
IAM can help IT managers, to monitor or restrict the user’s access to confidential information within the organization.
Hence, while some of the employees can access a part of the data, others can dive deep into it based on the extent of authorization.
This makes the business processes more secure through auto-management of employee permissions.
Significance of Identity Management Strategy:
About 60% of mid-sized businesses with employees engaged in remote work have come across a major cyber-attack, in which 56% were affected by credential theft and 48% were hit with phishing and similar attacks.
If you ask why is IAM strategy important, let’s make this more clear:
- With an IAM system design in place, organizations can encourage the compliance of privacy and confidentiality of data
- It brings great user controls when you consider crucial information and logins
- A well-laid document (policy) that clearly states the identity of users and the permissions entitled to every user or group helps to minimize risks
- Identification of policy violations is easier so that you can take necessary actions in time
- It focuses on high network and server security
- It can minimize the IT workload, where you can change all access privileges at one time
Let’s Understand How IAM Works:
When a user gives the login credentials as input, the IAM system checks the identity of the individual against the database of stored credentials to confirm they both match to provide the required access.
With IAM, you can limit access to sensitive information and avoid possible data breaches.
Here is how IAM works in different ways that makes the business processes hassle free –
#1. Role-Based Access:
In Role-based access control, you define a particular set of privileges and access permissions based on the predefined job positions.
#2. Single Sign-On (SSO):
Certain IAM systems implement SSO, which lets users only verify their identity once.
They gain access to the systems in one go, instead of logging into every system individually.
#3. Multi-Factor Authentication:
Two-factor authentication (2FA) or Multi-factor authentication (MFA) forms the additional steps necessary to complete the authentication process.
This includes the user-fed credentials like passwords, or the additional information such as a One Time Password (OTP), personal identification methods such as biometric data.
Aspects Your IAM Strategy Must Consider:
The global market for IAM is expected to leap from 13.41 billion USD in 2021 to 34.52 billion USD in 2028, making it a CAGR of 14.5%.
While IAM has an increasing demand among organizations, there are some aspects you should consider to deal with identity and access management.
Those are –
#1. Data Integration:
It is necessary to support the movement of data from its source through complete data integration and ensure the firewall policies don’t affect the transition.
This helps the system to respond to the newly fed data and modify the access permissions in every application uniformly.
In case you detect multiple identities for the same user, this needs to be resolved.
This strategy is applied to facilitate transitions among systems.
It involves linking the personal attributes and identity of the users across various identity management systems and achieve interoperability.
#2. Identity Federation:
For this, the target system sets a new password and sends it to the user, to begin with.
However, this should ensure that the previous system and all the variants are abandoned completely.
Data migration from one system to the other can be done in two ways– either through data warehouses or applications.
Warehouses have in-built mechanisms that encourage migration.
#3. Data Migration:
In the latter one, you can perform importing and exporting applications with a user interface, API programming, or both simultaneously.
How to Build Your IAM Strategy?
If you are confused about how to build your IAM strategy, here are the four core areas you need to take care of –
#1. Evaluate The Policies, Processes & IT Architecture:
Firstly, perform a complete analysis of HR systems, provisioning process, competencies, employee lifecycle processes (from hire to exit), active directory, etc. to properly understand the challenges and opportunities.
#2. Explore The Opportunities:
It is important to discuss with internal and external stakeholders to explore opportunities that enhance the Identity Management strategy.
Find the metrics that help you to develop a narrative based on the technology and business aspects of the organization.
#3. Use Advanced Technologies:
Conduct interviews to drive awareness, which helps you adopt technologies based on the requirements of customers, stakeholders etc.
As a business, you should consider building a strategic approach to leverage advanced technologies and manage them towards the direction of the investment you make for IAM.
#4. Develop a Roadmap:
It is ideal to have a plan that takes you from the present to the desired stage.
For instance, a financial institution with IAM in place can use cross-resource skill sets, automated active directories, and account management to minimize the application on-boarding time.
This results in long-term cost benefits to the organization.
Having a strategy can help organizations to scale the business growth.
Identity Management Strategy helps to safeguard the identities of employees, stakeholders, and customers through systematic management of risks, compliance and governance in an organization.
Building an IAM system design is not a project, instead, it is a continuous strategic procedure that needs the development of flexible strategies to hold our actions accountable.
With the help of an IAM system, you can identify and eliminate the security threats in your organization.
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