What Is Identity & Access Management?
Identity & Access Management (IAM) is about ensuring that the right people have access to the right systems, applications, resources and data. Here is our description of the concept.
Digitization of working life and work processes is a must for nearly all companies today. This has long been the case. Collaboration platforms, mobile technology and cloud environments contribute significantly to the improvement of staff productivity and efficiency, but the more applications and systems a company implements, the more complex its IT environment becomes.
In fact, a large company (with more than 2,000 employees) has implemented an average of 175 applications while smaller companies have an average inventory of 73 applications. Over the last four years, the number of applications has gone up by 22 percent – across industries and company sizes.
The rapid growth in applications means that it will be easy to lose track of the IT environment. Thus, many companies experience a concrete need to strengthen, simplify and automate the management of employees, including their roles, rights and access to systems, applications and data. This is where Identity and Access Management enter the picture.
What Do We Mean By Identity & Access Management?
Identity management, identity administration, user management, access management, identity and access management, Identity and Access Management. The concept goes by many names.
Identity & Access Management is an umbrella term that combines the two disciplines, Identity Management and Access Management. The term is often abbreviated to IAM.
It covers the organizational processes, policies, and technologies associated with managing the company’s IT users and their access to applications, systems, data, work groups, etc. IT users include employees, external partners, suppliers or customers, among others.
Quite simply, the discipline ensures that the right IT users have:
- access to the right resources,
- at the right times,
- for the right reasons.
This is why an Identity and Access Management platform includes the capability to create, verify and authorize the user, so that he or she is assigned the correct accesses and rights in the company’s applications.
Identity and Access Management has been a critical part of companies’ IT infrastructure for many years, as the discipline significantly helps to facilitate IT users’ ability to work.
How Does an Identity & Access Management Platform Work?
Basically, an Identity and Access Management platform is traditionally based on three core elements:
- Administration and management
- Logging and control
Administration and management include processes that can handle the life cycle of IT users as their job roles (and thus their access needs) change over time. It includes assignment, maintenance and closure of accesses and rights.
Authorization is about the platform validating or verifying an IT user’s rights to access a specific application or system. This verification takes place on the basis of features of the user’s digital identity on the platform and in the company’s policies, which take the form of roles and rules in the platform.
An Identity and Access Management platform logs and monitors user-related actions in the IT environment, making it possible to establish an audit trail or perform ongoing checks of the use of applications and systems, as well as IT users’ access distribution.
Large numbers of companies, for example, have difficulty answering three key questions: Who has access to what? Why do they have such access? Is there an actual need for them to have such accesses?
An Identity and Access Management platform can offer an answer to those questions, simply by providing functionality to manage and document IT users’ access across the IT environment.
This is Why Identity & Access Management is Critical for The Business
Identity and Access Management has long been a discipline that belonged in companies’ IT departments. However, the discipline not only makes the IT department’s work easier, but it also offers many concrete benefits for the company as a whole, as well as for key business parameters.
The discipline is closely linked to both the security and the productivity of the company. Therefore, it is a big mistake to consider Identity and Access Management platforms a simple IT tool. First and foremost, it is a strategic tool that supports key business needs.
The Administrative Burden is Eased
As a business grows, so does the number of applications, servers, and databases. This means that more users will need to have access to more things. Or rather: There are more users whose access needs should be assessed. Identity and Access Management automates and streamlines the processes associated with rights and access assignment, thereby easing the administrative burden.
Automation of Digital Onboarding
When a company changes – and either has to upsize or downsize its staff – Identity and Access Management automates and streamlines the digital onboarding, so that employees already have the access they need to fulfill their responsibilities from the first day of work, while guaranteeing that no one has access to the company’s systems after their employment ends. This offers a boost to both organizational productivity and security.
It Makes It Easier to Enforce Access Policies and Strengthen IT Security
An Identity and Access Management platform also makes it easier to enforce access policies. This means that no employee will have more access than they need. If the employee changes job role or position, the platform will automatically revoke the accesses that are no longer needed. This is one of the most efficient methods of protecting IT users and company data from unauthorized access. User identities are one of the biggest targets of hackers and cybercriminals, simply because, in many companies, there is a tendency to accumulate accesses with individual users. Hacking a user is an easy way to gain access to a company”s business data.
The Company’s Productivity and Efficiency Are Strengthened
With streamlined and secure user management processes in place, the company can rest assured that all accesses are created and active at the time they are needed. This gives IT users the best conditions that will allow them to work efficiently and become a productive part of the organization.
It Becomes Easier to Document Processes
An Identity and Access Management platform ensures that only the right people have access to the right resources at the right time for the right reasons. A logging functionality, which is an integral part of the vast majority of platforms, makes it easier to document and create transparency about how the company manages IT users, and works to protect critical business resources.
2ndC Compliance Suite Is One of The Leading Identity and Access Management Platforms on The Market!
Compliance Suite automates the processes of creating, managing, and discontinuing employees and their access to the entire IT environment, and can potentially save you 75 percent of the time typically spent on user management.
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