Identity and Access Management Fundamentals (IAM) and Why It Is Vital For An Organization’s Security Posture

Identity and Access Management (IAM) has been at the center of any organization’s security posture. It’s not only information security analysts or managers who are responsible for maintaining the effective implementation of IAM within an organization, but every employee must know the basics Identity and access management concepts and help build the organization’s defense.

Introduction

Identity and Access Management (IAM) has become an integral part of enterprise security as it facilitates secure, efficient, and adequate access to information resources across diverse information systems of an organization. With Identity and access management tools, organizations can effectively monitor who is accessing their system files and regulate the changes that a person can make.

The Identity and Access Management policy is all about ensuring that every individual has just one digital Identity, thereby guarding against any unauthorized access of company files.

Understanding  Identity, Authentication, And Authorization

It is imperative to be thorough with the concepts of identity, authentication, and authorization to understand the identity and access management system.

  • Identification:

The Identity and access management framework starts with ‘Identification.’ The main objective of identification is to associate a user to appropriate security controls based on the user’s Identity. This ensures that the right users can access the right enterprise assets in the proper context.

  • Authentication:              

Authentication is the process of verifying the Identity of a user. The Identity and access management job description mentions the use of role-based access control, which checks whether a user should be allowed or restricted from accessing enterprise files.  

  • Authorization:

Authorization helps assign the required security controls or privileges based on the authenticated Identity. Even Identity and access management interview questions ask about the authorization function of IAM. This implies that only authorized users can access certain parts of the system and database.

What Is Access Management?

Access Management Systems solution provides a way to identify who can access the information resource and what level by providing secure authentication and authorization mechanism.

Why Do Organizations Need Identity and Access Management Solutions?

Identity and Access Management (IAM) helps organizations protect their confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information assets. An end-to-end IAM implementation reduces the likelihood and impact of security breaches and data theft and ensures that only legitimate users have access to the information they need.  IAM is crucial in protecting confidential and sensitive organizational information systems, assets, and information from unauthorized use or access or modification. The significant benefits of Identity and access management systemare:

  • Compliance: Identity and Access Management Solutions help enterprises comply with various industry standards (e.g., PCI DSS) and regulations (e.g., GDPR) requirements and help them save costs by minimizing the time needed to deal with user account related issues.
  • Ease of access: IAM helps to make life easier for an organization’s employees by giving them ease of access, improved user experience, etc.such as passwordless authentication, biometric, etc.
  • Fewer data breaches: Identity and Access Management Tools uphold consumer privacy by accepting only evidence-based user authorization. It also provides various alternatives ways to secure your organization’s confidential and sensitive information using solutions such as SSO, MFA (Multi-Factor Authentication), etc., resulting in lessening the chances of a data breach.
  • Secure working environment: Identity and Access Management (IAM) creates safer cyberspace by ensuring that all devices and business locations and data centers, and secure locations are under cyber vigilance.
  • Selective system access: Through provisioning, de-provisioning, authenticating, and authorizing identities IAM empowers an enterprise to protect their confidential customer and business information. The concept of selective access to company systems used by employees, customers, suppliers, partner businesses, among others, creates a further wall of protection and surveillance.

Conclusion

As organizations move to a post-COVID-19 scenario, increased cloud adoption and migration will only increase the vulnerabilities, threats, and risks of information theft. The pandemic has increased the frequency and intensity of cyberattacks, which might become the new normal. Therefore, Identity and access management should be incorporated by every enterprise that has its workforce communicating and working digitally.

About Author

Sudhir Singh is a Senior Security Consultant/Product Manager with a rich 13+ years experience in designing and implementing Information & Security Solutions for major financial institutions around the world.

Some of his areas of expertise include IAM, Penetration & Security Testing, PCI-DSS, HIPAA, SOX, COBIT5, Quality Assurance & Control, System Administration (UNIX, Windows), Secure System Design, Risk, Compliance, and Audit.

An avid writer and an even more enthusiastic reader, who likes to keep himself updated in the latest happenings in the field of technology, especially cyber security and information security.


LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sudhir-singh-1903489

           

2 thoughts on “Identity and Access Management Fundamentals (IAM) and Why It Is Vital For An Organization’s Security Posture

  • July 1, 2020 at 11:22 am
    Permalink

    You nicely explained the IAM.
    good article.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.