IAM helps reduce internal and external attack risk by centralizing identity and access control. This includes verifying identities and granting access based on an identity governance strategy.
It also helps monitor user accounts to prevent privilege creep, such as zombie accounts that remain active with set access rights even though the actual users have left or changed teams. It also enables secure login practices that make passwords harder to hack and share.
With the advent of multi-cloud environments, IoT devices, BYOD, and remote work, companies must facilitate secure access for more types of users to a more significant number of systems. IAM systems simplify this process by ensuring users only have the privileges necessary to complete their jobs. The systems can also mandate multifactor authentication, which asks users to sign in to a network or system using two or more different forms of identification.IAM systems can also monitor activity to identify suspicious or unauthorized behavior, which is essential for reducing security risks and meeting compliance standards.
Numerous IAM solutions are offered as a service, making deploying and administering them simple. You should be mindful, too, that doing this can also make your company dependent on a different party for uptime and security. For this reason, you must list features you need from your IAM solution, including centralized management, single sign-on, governance, compliance, and risk analytics.
While it can be tempting to put IAM protocols on the back burner, doing so can expose your business to more cybersecurity threats and data breaches. Investing in the right IAM solutions can give you an edge over your competition by lowering your risk of internal and external breaches. It can also help you meet increasingly stringent compliance requirements while avoiding the costly fines associated with non-compliance.
IAM systems automate user accounts, authentication, and authorization for a company’s networks, apps, data storage, and other resources on-premises or in the cloud. They enable a business to control access to its sensitive data without sacrificing productivity or efficiency. Implementing an IAM framework can reduce risks and keep hackers from breaching your systems.
IAM tools frequently provide functionality that speeds up user login by requiring multifactor authentication, or MFA. Users must use MFA to confirm their identity while logging on, either by entering a unique code or using an alternative verification mechanism like a mobile phone. This adds a layer of security to safeguard your information from unwanted people who could try to access it by using brute force or social engineering techniques.
Another function of IAM tools is to provide flexible ways to assign and update privileges and manage policies that address user verification practices, access management rules, and audit schedules. Many compliance regulations require detailed documentation describing these policies, which IAM tools can help you create and implement.
IAM solutions can also reduce the time system administrators spend on routine help desk requests for password reset and access modifications by allowing users to self-service these requests through an easy front-end interface. This saves IT time and will, enables employees to have greater control over their access profiles, and reduces the chance of accidental or intentional changes that can open a company to risk.
As the second step in your login process, after a user’s identity is verified, IAM systems manage the access privileges they are granted. This ensures that only the appropriate users can access information and resources. Companies need to apply the principle of least privilege, giving access only to those who need it to do their jobs and ensuring benefits are revoked as soon as the job is done.
Some IAM systems also offer behavioral authentication, analyzing mouse-use characteristics and keyboard typing patterns to recognize abnormal behaviors. This is especially useful for protecting your business’s most sensitive systems and data. Some modern IAM solutions also use biometrics to get even more granular, assessing characteristics such as fingerprints, irises, faces, palms, gaits, and voices to authenticate users.
IAM solutions also help you set and enforce security policies that meet compliance standards. This is particularly important as cybercriminals continue to target users for the most common methods of hacking and stealing information.
In addition, IAM can also help you create and automate workflows for users to reset their passwords or unlock their accounts. This saves time for your IT department and helps ensure that all account activity is logged and monitored. This can be particularly helpful for meeting regulatory compliance requirements like PCI and GDPR, which have stringent standards surrounding who can access information in your organization.
In addition to verifying a user’s identity, IAM systems monitor their access privileges. They do this using a system of roles linked to policies. Each part has benefits that match a user’s job and department within the enterprise.
This way, users are only granted the specific level and type of access to a tool they need to work effectively. This helps reduce the chances of hackers gaining unauthorized access to confidential information. IAM systems will also alert you when suspicious activity occurs, allowing you to detect data breaches and ransomware attacks before they become too serious.
Lastly, IAM will help you streamline your IT department’s workload by automating routine tasks like password resets. This frees up time for IT staff to focus on more critical projects, like implementing a Zero Trust strategy and adopting best practices like leveraging data governance tools. Choosing a vendor with an established track record is essential to get the most out of your IAM solution. Ask about the level of security they offer, such as requiring multifactor authentication for high-profile users and resources that contain sensitive information. Search for IAM technologies that can be integrated with your Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) systems. You may use this to build a complete IAM platform and raise your cybersecurity profile.