Identity Access Management (IAM)

In order for employees to work productively, they must have access to data required to do their job. That said, it is also possible for an employee to have too much access, which can lead to security issues. The process of managing and authenticating user identities is called Identity and Access Management (IAM). In this article we will discuss the basics of IAM, and why it is important for businesses.

What is Identity and Access Management?  

IAM is a framework containing processes, policies and tools for defining and managing roles and access rights. This includes control over both users and devices. The users may include customers, employees and contractors. The devices may include computers, personal mobile phones, servers, IoT devices and more. The IT systems include SaaS applications, on-premises applications and file storage. The main goal of IAM is to ensure that users’ identities are authenticated and secure.

What is the process of Identity and Access Management?

IAM solutions typically manage three tasks: identification, authentication, and authorisation. The user will be identified by entering their login credentials, which is checked against a directory of all users. The solution will provide authentication once the user enters their password and one-time passcode. Additional conditions, such as the user’s location or the device they are using, may be required for some access. Finally, an IAM Solution will manage a user’s access authorization. In a CRM solution, for example, a user with editor rights can update existing records, whereas an administrator can change field names and create new accounts. A robust IAM system will also enable reporting on these duties, as well as additional security capabilities like lifecycle management and user behaviour analytics.

What is the significance of Identity and Access Management?

Businesses need Identity and Access Management because it improves their security posture, helps with compliance, and allows for secure third-party collaboration. By effectively managing user access, businesses can significantly reduce the likelihood of data breaches and unauthorised access to confidential information. This is also related to regulatory compliance, such as HIPAA and GDPR. Finally, businesses that use an IAM solution can easily grant access to critical systems to outsiders such as contractors and government agencies without exposing themselves to security risks.

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