Governing user access to applications and systems across an entire enterprise is a critical component to any security strategy. But it often presents one of the greatest challenges security professionals face.

As employees, contractors, or temporary staff join the company, change jobs or assignments, and eventually leave the company, organizations must constantly update access policies to ensure users only have access to what they need, while removing access to everything they don’t need. Of utmost importance is ensuring user productivity and preventing unauthorized users from accessing business-critical systems. 

Unfortunately, many organizations today address this challenge with manual processes executed by different people for different systems. Manual processes, however, are not effective at addressing these issues for a number of reasons: 

  1. Users must wait to gain the access they need to do their jobs. 
  2. Users are more prone to errors. 
  3. Policies do not cover all access needed and are often applied haphazardly. 
  4. Manual processes are much more costly than automated processes. 

The modern era requires that enterprises automate manual IT processes to both increase productivity and reduce costs. Organizations cannot afford to rely on anything less than proven and trusted products when it comes to the critical tasks of managing access and data. 

Let’s learn more about the benefits of addressing the identity lifecycle management gap.

Benefits of automated identity lifecycle management 

1. Reduce risk 

  • Defines boundaries that govern what people can request and do based on their responsibilities within the organization
  • Ensures that users gain access to the right resources for the right reasons
  • Close the loop by enabling organizations to run regular certification campaigns, access reviews, and a full audit trail from start to finish on individual requests so the enterprise gains a tighter view on who has access to what, as well as when and where that access was granted

2. Reduce IT helpdesk burden and costs 

End users can manage their own access requests and alleviate the burden from IT organizations and seek full self-service access request capability for business users, while IT admins have complete control over what access business users can request. With a flexible workflow, solutions can be configured to create self-service portals and expedite the process of requesting and granting access for on-premises and cloud applications. 

3. Improve efficiencies 

Automated provisioning manages the business processes of granting, modifying and revoking access throughout a user’s lifecycle with an organization, whether that user is an employee, contractor, or business partner. Changes to user access can be automatically provisioned via a large library of direct connectors for applications such as Workday and SAP or synchronized with IT service management solutions such as ServiceNow. 

4. Automate policy management 

The enterprise can leverage a robust policy engine to define separation of duties (SoD) policies and create other policy definitions that establish controls so it can remain compliant with internal policies and federal regulations. Robust policy definitions can be defined to prevent toxic combinations of access (e.g. Accounts Payable vs. Accounts Receivable: ensure the people that approve the checks can’t write the checks in order to reduce the potential for fraud). Policies can also be written in a way to allow managers to create an exception as needed. 

5. Privileged access management (PAM) integration 

An identity security solution with privileged access management integration works with existing PAM solutions to improve security and reduce risks, providing complete visibility and consistent controls over privileged accounts. This integration also allows administrators to manage and govern privileged accounts and their underlying access to facilitate consistent governance. This allows administrators to certify privileged access alongside traditional access.

A PAM integration also helps improve productivity by streamlining the lifecycle management of privileged account access according to established business practices.

6. Integration with identity governance for files 

By governing access to sensitive data, automated identity lifecycle management extends the identity governance platform to provide a comprehensive approach across all applications and files. This delivers enterprise-level identity governance by discovering where sensitive data resides and applying appropriate access controls, as well as real-time visibility to improve security, mitigate compliance risks and support greater efficiency across on-premises or cloud storage systems. 

Next steps for identity lifecycle management

The SailPoint IdentityIQ platform is a next-generation, market-leading solution built on over 10 years’ worth of best practices, experience and insights to take your identity program to the next level. IdentityIQ empowers many of the world’s largest and most complex enterprises to tackle the most important governance needs they face. With best-of-breed identity governance, IdentityIQ addresses the shortfalls of first-generation solutions and manual provisioning processes while providing a robust, extensible platform to ensure that your needs are met today and well into the future. 

IdentityIQ performs complete lifecycle management of all identities. When an identity (i.e. individual) joins an organization, IdentityIQ can perform birthright provisioning (based on employee job type/role) to the appropriate applications and systems.

If an employee moves roles within the organization, automatic event triggers can generate provisioning and deprovisioning requests to help ensure they have the correct access needed for their new role and any access no longer needed is disabled / removed. When an employee leaves, an automatic workflow can trigger to disable accounts and notify managers to transfer access as needed. 

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