Identity and Access Management (IAM) is an organizational system that defines and manages the users who are accessing critical resources. It identifies, authenticates, and authorizes individuals to utilize IT resources including files, hardware, and applications.
Identity Access Management goes beyond the simple provisioning and revocation of access credentials; it also serves as the defender and enabler of resources. A robust IAM system strengthens security. It makes sure that the application of user access rules and policies across the organization remains consistent at all times. IAM tools may come in the form of the identity provider, two-factor authentication, single sign-on, and more. It enhances business productivity through automation and management, streamlining the duties of network administrators. This carefully conceived system significantly shortens communication cycles between users and administrators.
DUTIES OF IDENTITY AND ACCESS MANAGEMENT
IAM systems deliver the following responsibilities:
1. Manage User Identities
Identity and access management software could work as a core directory used to create, modify, and remove users. It could be integrated with one or more directories. IAM can also create new identities for users who require an advanced type of access to an organization’s tools.
2. Provisioning/De-Provisioning Users
Identifying which tools and access levels to authorize a user is called provisioning. Users can be granted access depending on their role, department, or other factors. Since it takes a lot of time to determine each individual’s access to every resource, IAM can speed up the process by provisioning based on the guidelines defined by the admins. Oftentimes, users are assigned one or more roles, depending on their job function.
While the IAM system automatically grants them access, de-provisioning is the opposite. It removes the access of users to prevent security risks.
3. Authenticating users
IAM systems authenticate the identity of users. Through multi-factor authentication (MFA) and adaptive authentication, it confirms whether the person is actually who they claim to be.
4. Authorizing users
Access management guarantees that the user gets the exact level and type of access to a certain tool. Users can also be grouped so a large number of users can be granted similar privileges at the same time.
Identity and access management tools create reports after the actions performed on the platform are done. This ensures compliance and analyzes security risks.
6. Single Sign-On
IAM solutions with a single sign-on (SSO) feature enables users to authenticate their identity using only one portal instead of several resources. After the authentication, the IAM system functions as the source of identity truth for other channels available to the user. It eliminates the need for a user to memorize different passwords.
IAM solutions have become an essential component of IT security. It benefits not only users and security administrators but the whole organization as well. It brings forth the following benefits:
IAM solutions can determine and mitigate risks that involve your IT network. You can use this software to highlight policy violations or remove inappropriate access privileges, without having to extensively search through various distributed systems. IAM can also ensure that you’re able to comply with regulatory and audit requirements.
Moreover, it helps boost security by doing the following:
- Get rid of the usage of weak passwords – Data breaches are sometimes caused by stolen, default, or weak passwords. IAM solutions can put in place the best practices in managing credentials, removing the risks that users face. It also ensures that passwords are changed regularly.
- Mitigating insider threats – The truth is, there are company insiders with malicious intentions. By ensuring that only authorized users can access your critical data, you can limit the damage caused by these people.
- Advanced tracking of anomalies – Modern IAM solutions employ machine learning, artificial intelligence, and risk-based authentication to identify and fend off threats.
Ease of use
IAM makes it convenient to sign up, log in, and do user management processes for application owners, end-users, and system administrators. This makes users more satisfied.
IAM simplifies and automates the identity and management lifecycle, easing the workflows for scenarios like new hire or role transition. This improves processing time for access and identity changes and mitigates errors.
Reduced IT Costs
IAM services can help you save money on your operations. When you use federated identity services, you don’t need local identities for external purposes, which streamlines application administration. Moreover, cloud-based IAM services can eliminate the requirement for on-premise infrastructure purchases and maintenance.
Security sits at the core of every business’s IT network. To ensure that you have robust network security, it is ideal to have Identity Access Management (IAM) tools at hand. This enhances the control of user accounts’ access and privileges, minimizing the risks of a data breaches.
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