Five IAM features that can make or break the business

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An organization’s identity and access management (IAM) practices can make or break its business. If these controls are lax, unauthorized access to important digital assets is only a matter of time. User convenience pays off when you’re struggling with multiple layers of authentication that slow down business processes from the most demanding employees, partners, and customers.

Striking a balance between these two extremes while ensuring regulatory compliance is in every company’s interest. In most cases, this means moving away from traditional password-based authentication, minimizing unique accounts, and taking a zero-trust approach.

Behind the façade of each area, there is a web of strategies that are often difficult to combine into effectiveness. A A comprehensive IAM system It helps to overcome this challenge. However, not all such systems are created equal, and each organization has a unique checklist based on its industry, business hierarchy, and regulatory climate.

While features vary, a robust IAM system has five basic components that fit into any enterprise environment and support a strong security posture. Here’s a summary:

  • Centralized password management: This reduces human error by enforcing domain-wide password policies based on readily available or custom templates. The IT team uses a single console to identify password complexity level, password age, reset process, and employee alerting methods. The system provides real-time feedback during password change events and blocks combinations that match known outgoing credentials.
  • Passwordless authentication support; Passwordless methods extend the efficiency of multi-factor authentication (MFA) by adding biometrics and trusted devices to the mix. Today, this principle encompasses both digital and physical security situations. The company can combine it with technologies such as iris or fingerprint scanners AI-powered cameras To manage physical access to the premises.
  • Single sign-on (SSO): In the case of SSO, a user logs into an application or service – and is automatically granted access to other connected systems without re-entering their credentials. The central identity provider issues a unique token and authenticates the user when trying to access another digital asset within the same organizational ecosystem. This method improves the user experience, also centralizes authentication processes and reduces the chance of weak passwords or password reuse.
  • Hassle-free account management: IAM should streamline the onboarding and on-boarding process of users and ensure consistency across systems by synchronizing user ID information across applications and directories. Role-based access control (RBAC), another feature in the toolkit, enhances access management by assigning permissions based on job roles, thereby ensuring Access to less rights.
  • Auditing and compliance reporting; With ever-higher regulatory standards regarding data security, IAM must capture logs and provide detailed reports that reflect any employee’s digital access to organizational resources. This helps the company demonstrate compliance with regulatory requirements.

IAM evolution is ongoing.

IAM has become a dynamic field that keeps pace with technological advancements. One prominent vector of this evolution involves distributed ledger (blockchain) technology. Decentralized and non-disruptive in nature, it is the basis for such features. Self-sovereign identity (SSI) and immutable audit trails for compliance-sensitive environments. Blockchain’s full potential for IAM has yet to be fully realized, but it appears to hold great promise.

User and Entity Behavior Analytics (UEBA) is another emerging area. By detecting deviations from normal user behavior in real-time, it helps identify insider threats and advanced persistent threats that may fly under the radar of traditional security measures.

There is a trend toward a zero-trust architecture where no entity, inside or outside the organization, can be trusted by default. IAM systems that implement this approach continuously verify the identity and integrity of users and devices, even when they are inside the corporate network.

Some of these approaches have not yet gone mainstream, but steady The rise of cyber attacks It accelerates their implementation in the IAM realm. A single set of credentials can be the trigger for an entire company to be breached, so CISOs and their teams should make protecting such information a top priority.

David Balaban, Owner, Privacy-PC

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