Identity and access management (IAM) is a specialty discipline within cybersecurity that seeks to ensure only the right people can access the appropriate data and resources, at the right times and for the right reasons. With the help of identity governance, IAM is an essential part of your IT toolkit and aids in meeting increasingly rigorous compliance requirements.
An IAM strategy has never been more important to the success of an organization than it is today.
The typical business user has dozens (perhaps hundreds) of applications they must access in order to do their jobs. These applications span cloud, mobile and on-premise solutions, and all can hold confidential, sensitive and regulated information.
With this increase of applications, many enterprises have turned to identity management to increase productivity while securely enabling access to applications and systems. Organizations that have implemented an IAM solution with a unified governance framework can automate costly IT processes, while addressing security and compliance requirements, such as General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
Despite identity management being essential to success today, with the increasing number of users, applications, platforms and devices users employ in their day-to-day work, it’s more challenging than ever to get right. It’s no longer enough to simply setup an identity server and try to connect users to applications.
In today’s business world, employees working 24/7 around the world need access to be productive. However, manual IT processes can’t keep up with access demands. Identity management is growing more important because of the unique and central role it plays in helping organizations move forward, securely and confidently. While many security tools focus on identifying and blocking bad actors and software – anti-malware, firewalls, intrusion detection and prevention software – through its ability to help control who has access to what resources, identity management provides powerful security capabilities and enhances business agility.
As more software, data and digital services are implemented and consumed, organizations need to manage access to those systems more effectively. This is where identity governance steps in to manage who has access to what, who should have access to what, and how that access is being used. Employees, partners and customers will need rapid provisioning, effective management of application and data privileges, and the ability to shut off access when access is no longer needed. The more quickly organizations can do this, the more they’ll be able to benefit from their investments in technology.
A successful identity program in practices comes down to a few essential capabilities. These include understanding who has access to what resources and data, who actually should have such access, and having control and visibility into how those access rights are enforced. This sounds easier than it is. In practice, this requires good identity management to be in place.
Not only will effective identity management help any enterprise to improve their security and regulatory compliance postures, but will also help them be more agile and successful at their efforts. The end result is an identity-aware organization that is more flexible, efficient, secure and compliant.
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