Identity Governance and Administration (IGA): What Is It and Why Do You Need It?

Identity Governance and Administration (IGA) is a secure approach to streamline user identity and access controls to improve security for an organization. With the increasing cyberattacks prevailing in the modern business landscape, it’s necessary to have techniques and technologies to safeguard you from intruders. And IGA is one such technique that can help you do that. It not only can protect your organization from inside and outside agents that can breach your security and misuse your assets but also keep you compliant with regulations. So, let’s understand all about IGA and how it can help your organization.

Table of Contents

What’s IGA?

Identity governance and administration (IGA) refers to a policy-based method for access controls and identity management in order to maintain security, improve compliance, and prevent risks throughout an organization. 

IGA lets you leverage the most efficient way to mitigate security and identity risks. Using an IGA solution works well with your Identity and Access Management (IAM) approaches to automate workflows while provisioning and deprovisioning the users, enable reporting to stay compliant, manage permissions, and scale easily. 

Beyond your traditional IAM tools, IGA systems combine identity governance and administration to offer an additional layer of functionality. They help at greater lengths during auditing and to meet compliance needs. IGA also helps manage identity and access, enabling users to access using any device and from any place. It basically combines two things – identity administration and identity governance.

  • Identity administration: It refers to the policies and processes covering the allocation of duties, logging, managing roles, access reviews, reporting, and analytics.
  • Identity governance: It involves administrating accounts and credentials, provisioning and deprovisioning devices and users, and managing permissions. 

What Does an IGA Do?

IGA solutions can help you manage your user identity. They work with IAM tools to perform many tasks, including:

Permission Management 

You can streamline user access verification and review in different applications and resources using IGA. IGA solutions also help deprovision and provision access permission for applications and users. In addition, IGA tools can verify and specify user actions and manage and define their roles. 

Password Management

You can use single sign-on and password managers to strengthen your password management process. It will also prevent users from choosing weak and same passwords for different applications and safeguarding your sites and applications from security issues. 

Workflow Automation

Using IGA solutions helps you automate your workflows, such as onboarding new users, offboarding them, assigning roles with different access levels, approving user access for certain systems and applications, and so on. 


IGA tools come with functionality like logging, reporting, analytics, etc., so that you can document everything easily and on time. It helps you during audits and provides better compliance management in accordance with data-focused regulations. You can also detect flaws quickly with the help you accurate reporting and analytics and optimize your processes to prevent compliance and security risks. 

Why Do You Need It?

Data privacy risks are growing, which has led to regulatory bodies like HIPAA imposing stringent rules on how user data must be used, stored, or managed. They require more transparency into customer data, and if any rules are violated, the organizations responsible can be penalized. Suppose you don’t abide by the rules intentionally or unintentionally. In that case, it can have devastating effects on your reputation, use trust, and finances, let alone security vulnerabilities that can transform into attacks at any time. 

To this, IGA solutions provide businesses with clearer visibility into their access privileges, user identity and better controls to detect inappropriate access and prevent them. 

Gartner named IGA security’s importance as the fastest-growing IAM sector in 2012. And there are lots of reasons why you must also recognize its importance. 

Here are some of the reasons for it:

Improved Security

Using the weak and same password everywhere increases security vulnerabilities for organizational data and other assets. With IGA, you will have centralized visibility into who can access what resources so you can stay informed and detect weaknesses, inappropriate access, violations, and other risks. This way, you can take immediate actions to counteract the risks and improve your security posture organization-wide. 

Furthermore, using a decent IGA solution can also help you reduce the aftereffects of a breach, as it can detect attacks at an early stage. It will enable you to close the attack point to prevent the breach or impede the attacker’s progress. 

Reduced IT Costs

IGA automates manual, labor-intensive tasks like access requests, certifications, provisioning, deprovisioning, password management, etc. As a result, it helps reduce IT operational costs. Using an IGA solution with a user-friendly interface that IT staff can use without difficulties can help them save time on administrative processes while empowering them. They can also access clean dashboards to see the work progress and areas that need their attention and use the analytical tools to track metrics to reduce risk and strengthen controls. All these processes accelerate and consume less workforce, time, and cost.

Better Compliance

Regulatory bodies like GDPR and HIPAA have become strict with data privacy laws. They require organizations to maintain data privacy laws to protect user data and ensure its proper management. 

To this, an IGA solution help organizations meet compliance by letting them verify that they are taking the right controls to protect user data and meet privacy and security requirements set forth by the regulatory bodies. 

IGA solutions offer the capabilities to manage passwords, review, approve, and request access through a common, strong policy and control risks and roles. It also encourages organizations to employ technologies like role-based access controls (RBAC) to manage access controls effectively, reduce risks, and cut compliance costs. The solutions help them manage their access controls easily and consistently without unnecessary efforts. 

Streamlined Identity Management

User identity management has become complex with a distributed workforce. Employees, freelancers, and contractors now work from anywhere – a completely different scenario when your workforce was limited to your organizational premises. They may access your resources from any location, using a variety of different devices and networks. Employee onboarding, offboarding, provisioning, and deprovisioning all have become online.

This is why managing their identities have become difficult. While it has increased convenience, it also poses security risks. If you don’t have a proper way to manage access controls, your data can be leaked, and your security posture can be compromised to cause cybersecurity risks. 

Hence, you need to have secure solutions like IGA tools to maintain proper access controls and identify users, locations, devices, and networks they may use. Here, IGA can combine with IAM to provide capabilities like: 

  • Sign sign-on solutions and password management to protect devices and resources from unauthorized access
  • Workflow automation to accelerate repeated tasks 
  • Request management to allow right access levels to users and streamline access controls

Detailed Logging and Reporting

IGA solutions come with capabilities such as event logging, reporting, and analytics. This helps you understand where, when, how, and who has access to what resources. You can view all the data in a centralized dashboard and learn everything that’s happening in your organization, assets, and data. 

As a result, you can make quick and better decisions, troubleshoot issues and risks in time, and make changes safely to ensure no vulnerability is left unaddressed. It also helps you prevent security risks and improve compliance requirements. 

Increased Productivity

Safe access to organizational resources allow your employees to work from anywhere in any time zone. And IGA makes this possible while allowing you to control all your users, their identities, and access to your resources. 

This flexibility helps your employees increase their productivity as they can use technologies like single sign-on, biometrics, etc. that are not only safer but also easy and quick for them to get started. In addition, automation through IGA relieves your team from the extra pressure of managing IT processes manually. 

Hence, your organization can witness better employee performance, organizational growth, and scalability. 

Additional Benefits

Apart from all the awesome benefits you can avail yourself of by using a good IGA solution; there’s more to it. These solutions come with additional benefits for your organization, such as integrations to connect with other useful tools and applications that you may use for your workflow. 

You can connect to systems containing data about your users, systems and application they access, and authorization for those systems. Using connectors, it becomes easy for you to understand which user has access to what data, add new users, grant access to them, and do many other tasks. 


IGA can offer plenty of benefits to organizations. It can improve your security posture, compliance management, user identity management, and employee productivity. 

IGA solutions come with many useful features like logging, reporting, analytics, integrators, and more to give you a wholesome understanding of who has access to what data in your organization. It not only helps you keep your organizational assets safe but also prevents you from cyberattacks and compliance risks. 

Thus, employ good IGA and IAM solutions to enjoy all these benefits for your organization.