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Why Identity Management Is A Worthwhile Investment

Posted on February 11, 2021 by IDMEdge

Identity Management plays an instrumental role by safeguarding the identities of users, systems, and devices and ensuring only the right people access the right IT resources.

With cybersecurity issues increasing more than ever, there is a greater need for organizations to adopt security technologies like IAM solutions.

Many understand and emphasize security and privacy. This is why a lot of organizations are investing in IT security.

According to Gartner, the global IT security market could reach $170.4 billion in 2022.

However, other organizations still don’t have proper knowledge about these technologies or think they won’t have the budget.

When they seek counseling, some of the frequently-asked questions are –

Is it really necessary to have an IAM solution?

Is the investment worthwhile?

If you are also finding the answer to these questions and want to know what an IAM solution can do for your organization, this article can help.

Let’s begin!

What Is Identity Management?

Identity Management or Identity Access Management (IAM) consists of technologies and policies to ensure only the right users have the right access to an organization’s resources.

And the software with IAM capabilities is called an identity management solution. It identifies, authenticates, and controls access to IT resources for users based on their job profile or role in the organization.

IAM solutions provide organizations with security against identity theft, data breaches, and attacks by using powerful and latest technologies such as multi-factor authentication, biometric authentication, data encryption, etc. In addition, they also help maintain regulatory compliance to avoid penalties.

Components of IAM

Some of the key components of IAM are:

  • Authentication: It involves how a user gains access to an organization’s network or systems. To gain access, the user must produce required credentials like username and passwords for authentication. It may include authentication techniques like two-factor authentication (2FA), multi-factor authentication (MFA), and one-time passwords (OTPs).
  • Authorization: It involves access controls for a user after they have successfully accessed a system or network with a proper authentication process. Authorization depends upon a user’s role within the organization to access the resources.
  • Identity: An identity includes user attributes using which the system can authenticate them. These attributes are name, date of birth, email address, nationality, phone number, and so on.
  • Features: To provide security and manage and control identity, an IAM solution offers lots of features such as password management, workflow management, provisioning user accounts automatically, audits and reports, single sign-on, privileged access, role-based access, and more.

With all these capabilities in an IAM solution, your organization can stay secure and compliant. There are many IAM solutions you can find in the market based on your organizational requirements and budget.

But, if you are wondering whether you should invest in an IAM solution, let’s look at some of the benefits it provides.

Single Source of Truth

You can’t trust anyone completely when it comes to cybersecurity. This is why solutions like Zero Trust are created to provide you with 360-degree security to your systems, networks, and data. In addition, modern-day threats have become sophisticated that it’s hard to recognize them, and if you fail to do so, it can penetrate deep into your systems to cause severe damage.

Thankfully, IAM solutions offer a single, reliable, and consistent way to visualize and control identities across your organizations.

Security from Malicious Intent

Cybersecurity issues are rising in every sector. With more and more businesses coming online, especially after Covid-19, the risks have become even higher.

According to a report, 36 billion records were exposed in 2020’s first half due to data breaches. Consequently, organizations suffer immensely in terms of reputation, customer trust, and millions of dollars.

That said, IAM is an effective strategy to protect your organization from security incidents, such as identity theft, breaches, malware injection, etc. It provides security by allowing your administrators to enable automation for tasks like onboarding new employees, granting them access permissions to systems according to their role, and removing users with a click.

Workflow Efficiency

Apart from providing security, an IAM solution can also help increase workflow efficiency and employee productivity. It offers automated workflows and provides access to useful tools and technologies. This eliminates manual, repetitive tasks, and employees can spend their time doing valuable tasks and contribute towards innovation.

Furthermore, it can track employee activity to provide insights into their performance and detect any suspicious behavior. It’s because online threats can come from both externally and internally, which is why monitoring your team members is beneficial both in terms of security and efficiency.

Reduce Password Issues

Humans and machines together use millions and billions of passwords for various systems. That said, compromised credentials are one of the biggest causes of modern data breaches. Many people use a single password across different systems or use very weak passwords that hackers find easy to break into.

IAM solutions come with features for password management to help you enforce the password management best practices. It may include minimum character length, password updates, and sturdy authentication measures like biometrics, role-based access, and authentication.

Furthermore, you can use a safe authentication method like multi-factor authentication that asks for multiple sources of proof for identity verification. You can set up iris scanning, face recognition, fingerprint sensors, etc., to reduce the risk of your passwords getting hacked.

Meet Compliance

Regulations such as GDPR, HIPAA, PCI DSS, etc., require you to adhere to data privacy and security standards. This ensures that customer data remains safe and not ill-treated. And for compliance, companies must offer superior data protection and access controls in addition to password management and revoking access.

Not to mention, there may be amendments in the rules and regulations that can become difficult for you to track.

At this time, you cause an IAM solution and always stay compliant. These solutions are based on the latest compliance rules and offer the best data privacy and protection. They ensure centralized management of authentication, access controls, modifying access rights, privilege-based access, and assessing access rights regularly and reporting.

As a result, you can prepare yourself for audits and avoid penalties in the future.

Automation

Repetitive, manual processing is not only tedious but also time-consuming.

What if your regular security and privacy tasks can be automated? It’s possible with a good IAM solution that can help automate various tasks. It includes automating managing identities, authorization, and authentication.

This way, you can save a lot of time by automating these processes and utilize this time for other productive tasks.

Controls and Audits

Knowing who’s accessing what is important for your organizational security, be it your network, application, or systems. IAM solutions help you manage access controls effortlessly by allowing you to visualize everyone with access to what system.

You can allocate access to employees based on their roles or privileges and administrator their activities. In addition, you can remove an employee’s access from systems if they are no longer a part of your organization. You can also reassign access to people if needed. All these capabilities of an IAM solution make access controls an easy task compared to traditional approaches.

Furthermore, you can get a fully-fledged report of all the log-ins and activities and access controls. It will help you a lot during audits.

Better User Experience

People use multiple systems and applications like social media sites, company computers, allocated assets, banking applications, etc., every day, and each of them has a password. Accessing your accounts and remembering a large number of passwords is challenging. And if you keep just one password for all, it’s again risky.

With an IAM solution in place, accessing systems as well as managing your passwords and accounts becomes effortless. You can opt for systems like Single Sign-On (SSO) to make the process even easier with a click. There are also provisions for you to access different sites using your Facebook or Gmail accounts instead of entering your username or email and passwords each time.

As a result, you can have a better user experience with an IAM solution and save your effort and time.

Information sharing

Sharing information in a vulnerable environment comes with a lot of risks. Cyberattackers who may be monitoring your systems can quickly intercept and access your data to cause misuse or data theft. This is why it’s important to maintain security while sharing information internally or externally.

IAM solutions aim to strengthen your network, applications, and system with the latest technologies like data encryption, end-to-end encryption, etc., to keep your data private and secure so no one can intercept or misuse it.

Secure Connection between different systems

With digital transformation, businesses need to connect different applications, devices, and people to stay connected. For example, you might want to integrate an analysis tool in your marketing software or your content management system (CMS) with plugins.

Connecting two systems also invites risks because the other connected application can also be affected if one of them is compromised. This is why you need to ensure integration is secure in your system, ensuring all the tools in line are also safe.

IAM solutions can help you by providing safe administration using the best technologies and identity providers like Google Authentication and Salesforce.

Better ROI on Cybersecurity Investments

In order to ensure security, many organizations end up using too many security tools. It not only confuses them but also increases the IT costs. Therefore, using a correct security solution based on your organizational needs is essential.

Using an IAM solution can integrate seamlessly with Security Information and Event Management (SIEM), Privileged Access Management (PAM), and other solutions to offer a comprehensive security environment for your organization. It not only provides top-notch security but also helps reduce your cybersecurity investments. Furthermore, you can also use cloud solutions to further decrease your IT costs instead of expensive on-premise solutions.

Conclusion

If you face challenges in managing identity and access controls for users so that the right users can access the right resources, IAM solutions can help you. I hope the above information explaining the benefits of IAM solutions help you decide if you should invest in an IAM solution.