As your business grows, you'll adopt new applications and technologies.
Noticeably, the business value of your organization depends on its assets. Therefore, if you can protect your business assets, its value improves.
In the modern technology landscape, only using usernames and passwords is not enough. In fact, the Help Net Security research shows that 54% of all employees use the same passwords across multiple work accounts, putting your systems at risk.
Therefore, you'll have to implement more secure ways of preventing data breaches and securing your business assets. This can be achieved through identity management, also known as identity access management.
Identity Management helps you ensure that only the right people with the required privileges can access your organization's various technology tools and resources, increasing employee productivity.
Read on to understand what identity management entails and how it can benefit your business.
Understanding Identity Management
Identity management (IM) is the process of ensuring that only authorized people have the appropriate access to the technology resources that they need to perform their duties.
This involves the authentication, identification, and authorization of your employees or software applications to ensure that they have the rights to access applications, systems, or networks in your organization.
This can be achieved by associating the user access rights and restrictions based on their identities.
Identity management is a crucial security component. The measure protects your business resources and systems by preventing unauthorized access and raising alerts and alarms in case of unauthorized access, either internally or externally.
With the growing regulations, compliance, and governance mandates that aim to protect data from exposure, IM has become the most effective way to protect the software and hardware resources of any business.
What is Identity Access Management?
Identity management works hand in hand with identity access management (IAM). Identity access management is a framework of business processes, policies, and technologies that facilitates the authentication of an identity requesting access to a particular resource.
Access decisions are simple yes or no decisions that make it possible for the right employees to use the right resources when they need to. Identity access management comprises systems and tiered processes that determine whether an employee is authorized to access your systems and which part of your system they should access.
IAM systems include single sign-on systems, two-factor authentication, multifactor authentication, privileged access management, and privilege identity management. These tools help you securely store identities, profile data, and data governance functions to ensure that you only share necessary and relevant data.
Technically, while identity management focuses on authentication, identity access management aims at authorization. Authentication and authorization are two different things. A person might be authorized to be on the corporate network, but does not have access to every application.
Authorization is determined by the identity's attributes, while authentication can occur in multiple tiers within the organization.
Why Do You Need Identity Access Management?
Identity access management is a critical tool for any business or organization. IAM allows only authorized employees and users conveniently access the necessary resources. This increases productivity while allowing you to monitor and control the access and privileges assigned to employees in your organization.
IAM plays a critical role in protecting your business resources against cybersecurity threats. Typically, there are various reasons why you should incorporate IAM systems in your business.
1. Improved security
IAM solutions help you control user access in your organization. They help identify and mitigate security risks that might arise from identity theft, data breaches, and illegal access to sensitive information. Even in case of compromised log-in details, IAM can still prevent unauthorized access to your business assets.
It is difficult for a business to manage access privileges across different systems and applications. On the other hand, too much restrictive access prevents productivity.
However, with IAM systems, you will centrally manage access rights, making it easier for your business to balance between security and productivity. They also make it easier for you to implement your business security policies.
2. Improve productivity
IAM allows you to organize all access policies into a single platform while automating most processes. This reduces the complexity of updating and implementing new security policies across your systems and applications. Your business will not have difficulty adopting new applications and scaling users.
In addition to that, IAM also improves productivity by making it easier for employees to access the resources they need to perform their duties. When an employee logs into your systems, they will not be required to memorize or provide passwords to access the various applications in your organization.
IAM also makes it easier for your business to accommodate remote employees, clients, and vendors with specific access to your resources. This improves productivity without compromising your network.
3. Helps in regulatory compliance
IAM can help your business achieve regulatory compliance such as HIPAA and SOC2. By implementing identity access management, you can effortlessly demonstrate the access control policies and their execution in your organization.
This makes it easier for your business to ensure your client's data security and privacy as per the regulatory compliance policies.
4. Streamlines IT workload and reduces costs
IAM allows access privileges to be updated across your systems at once. The self-service aspect of IAM minimizes the number of helpdesk workloads sent to your IT department for password resets.
It also automates the authentication and authorization tasks in your organization. This significantly reduces the IT workloads and cuts down labor costs associated with accomplishing these tasks.
5. Reduces human error
Identity access management lessens the number of interactions your employees have with your security systems. This prevents careless employees from putting your IT infrastructure at risk.
It also incorporates identity and access management tools that manage access rights to data in place of your IT teams.
This prevents manual account and access errors that could have significant consequences for your organization.
Benefits of Identity Management Systems and Solutions
Identity management systems can benefit your organization in various ways. Not only do they ensure enhanced security, but they also enable saving costs and make it easier for operations to run.
It also enhances the customer's experience and improves your employee's productivity. Besides those, Identity access management can significantly benefit your business by:
1. Encouraging the connection between different parts
In today's changing technology landscape, your business will have more people, applications, and devices that have to stay connected to each other. In the process, this raises substantial security concerns.
IAM provides authentication and security features and allows the integration of future advances.
2. Easily accessible
Your employees and clients need their identities before using your business services and resources. This makes it vital for them to access your platform without limits on using their IDs. Identity management eliminates the barriers for your customers and employees, allowing them to access the needed resources and systems anytime and anywhere.
3. IM optimizes user experience
You would not want to put your employees and clients through the hassle of remembering many usernames and passwords to access your systems. IAM provides identities that allow people to access different systems.
For example, single sign-on allows your customers and clients to access various resources with the same access method. This significantly improves your user's experience.
4. Guaranteed security and productivity
Identity management services ensure that there are no security vulnerabilities in your business. They provide strong authentication and detailed verification methods that will keep your business secure at all times.
IAM also automates facility access, reducing the time spent on accessing your systems. This significantly improves productivity in your organization.
Given how beneficial identity management is, you should incorporate it into your business IT environment. However, given how complicated identity management is, it is best to outsource to a reliable managed IT solution provider. Outsourcing to managed IT solution providers ensures that you implement an IAM solution that guarantees the proper administration with the best identity providers. This helps you cut down the physical maintenance costs and ensures uptime.
Identity access management is a reliable system that will bring a significant digital transformation to your business. You will have the right technology to ensure security and accomplish customer satisfaction.
Therefore, it is best to have your IAM solutions managed and maintained on the cloud by a reputable managed IT solution provider.