Tag: IAM

Identity Access Governance Benefits Your Business in 4 Ways

Identity Access Governance

Identity and Access Management, or IAM, is a framework of policies and technologies within an organization that ensures the right people have access the right resources at the right time for the right reasons. IAM plays an important role in any organization’s security program. Today more than ever, organizations need to protect who has access to their applications and data. This can be achieved through identity access governance.

When we refer to identities, we are referring to digital identities. These include employees, contractors, partners, and customers. They could also include applications, devices, software bots and temporary identities that perform work in the cloud.

Without proper identity access governance, it is challenging for organizations to assign and keep track of the applications and resources that identities have access to. Some organizations have hundreds, even thousands of applications.

Here are four important ways that identity access governance benefits your business:

1 – Strengthen security and lower risk – Compromised identities caused by weak, stollen or default user credentials are a threat to organizations. With centralized visibility into access data, you can detect and address inappropriate access, policy violations or weak controls that put your organization at risk.

2 – Improve compliance and audit performance – Identity access governance allows organizations to verify that the right controls are in place to meet the security and privacy requirements of regulations like SOX, HIPPA and GDPR. You can establish more repeatable practices for a more consistent, auditable, reliable, and easier to manage access certification effort.

3 – Deliver fast efficient access to the business – By giving your users timely access to the resources they need to do their job, identity governance enables them to become more productive. It also empowers business users to request access and manage passwords, which reduces the workload on Helpdesk and IT operations teams. With automated policy enforcement, identity access governance allows you to meet service level requirements without compromising security or compliance.

4 – Reduce operational cost – Identity access governance automates labor intensive processes such as certifications and password resets. This can reduce the time IT staff spends on administrative tasks.

There are many identity access governance administration systems on the market to choose from. Gartner recently provided a list of top IAM systems for 2021.

If your organization needs help to select and put in place an identity governance system, MacIsaac Consulting can help. We have helped both large and small organizations succesfully deliver IAM programs. We help companies stay compliant and avoid access deficiencies related to risk and compliance audits.

Reach out to us today for our free consultation and assessment.

About the Author: Mike MacIsaac is a principal IAM consultant for MacIsaac Consulting.

Identity and Access Management (IAM) Is More Important Than Ever

It’s a company’s worst nightmare. A data breach or cyber-attack. Cyber-attacks continue to be a growing threat, but not all data breaches are caused by outside hackers. Ask Morgan Stanley. In 2015, the financial services firm revealed that an employee had stolen data from more than 350,000 accounts. Forrester estimates that 80% of data breaches have a connection to compromised privileged credentials, such as passwords, tokens, keys, and certificates.

To avoid a data breach nightmare, company’s must ensure only the right people can access appropriate systems, data, and resources, for the right reasons. This is accomplished through Identity and access management (IAM). IAM is a specialty discipline within cyber-security. It helps companies increase productivity while securely enabling access to applications and systems.

IAM has to be an essential part of your IT toolkit. The typical business user has dozens (even hundreds) of applications they must access to do their jobs. These applications span cloud, mobile and on-premise solutions, and all can hold confidential, sensitive and regulated information.

To address the access management problem, there are many different IAM products on the market. I’m currently finishing a project to put SailPoint IIQ in place for a large financial institution. SailPoint is a Java based web application that integrates with legacy systems and Active Directory (AD) enabled applications. Auto-provisioning, native change detection, reporting and access certifications are some of the features SailPoint IIQ offers. Some of the other popular IAM products include Oracle Identity Management (OIM), Microsoft Identity Manager and Microsoft Azure Active Directory.

Regardless of the product you choose, having the right IAM strategy in place is key. The implementation of IAM can be very challenging. It takes strong collaboration between business, IT and operational teams. It also takes prioritization from leadership. Without executive sponsorship, business system owners and stakeholders may be reluctant to assist.

If you are in early stages of IAM or if you are already into delivery, MacIsaac Consulting can help. We provide services to help you put the right IAM strategy in place and we provide delivery resources.

About the Author: Mike MacIsaac is the founder and principal consultant for MacIsaac Consulting. Mike provides leadership as an IT Project and Program Manager as well as an Agile Scrum Master/Coach. Follow Mike on Twitter@MikeMacIsaac or subscribe to Mike’s blog.

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