The Role of Identity and Access Management (IAM) in Cybersecurity

What is Identity and Access Management Security?

IAM security is an essential aspect of overall IT security since it maintains digital identities and user access to data, systems, and resources inside an organization. The policies, strategies, and technology that mitigate identity-related access risks within a company are referred to as IAM security.

Organizations may use IAM programs to reduce risks, enhance compliance, and increase efficiency across the board. It allows workers to see, copy, and alter material pertinent to their employees while restricting access to sensitive data. This data might include anything from sensitive information to company-specific data.

Identity and Access Management refers to the IAM IT security discipline as well as the digital identity management architecture. It also prevents the provision of identification, which enables access to resources and the performance of certain tasks. IAM guarantees that the relevant resources, such as the database, application, and network, are available when you exceed your objective. Everything is going according to schedule.

Components of an IAM Solution

An IAM solution is made up of a number of different components and systems. The following are the most regularly used −

Using a Single Sign-On

Single Sign-on is a type of access control that allows users to log in to numerous software applications or systems with a single login and set of credentials.

Authentication using Many Factors

Multifactor authentications confirm a user's identity by requiring several credentials to be entered.

Management of Privileged Access

By granting higher permission levels to accounts with access to vital company resources and administrator-level restrictions, privileged access management protects enterprises from both cyber and insider assaults.

Authentication Based on Risk

When a user attempts to log in to an application, a risk-based authentication solution assesses the risk level based on contextual factors such as the user's current device, IP address, location, or network. It will then determine whether to provide the user access to the application, request them to provide an additional authentication factor, or refuse them access based on this information.

Data Management

Data governance is the method through which companies control their data's availability, integrity, security, and usefulness. This includes the implementation of data regulations and standards to guarantee that data is consistent, reliable, and not exploited.

Objectives of Identity and Access Management

Following are the major objectives of Identity and Access Management −

  • The goal of this IAM should be to guarantee that legitimate parties have appropriate access to the relevant resources at the right time in order to prevent illegitimate parties from abandoning the system.

  • Contractors, workers, consumers, and vendors are among the persons who have access to the system. You'll need the key to confirm their identities and grant them access to everything during the onboarding process.

  • To protect the system and data, revoke access and begin monitoring activity. Operational efficiency in regulatory compliance, fraud detection, and lifecycle management, as well as security against cyber invasions, are all aims of IAM.

Benefits of Using Identity and Access Management

Following are some of the major benefits of using Identity and Access Management −

Reduce Risk

With more user control, you'll be less exposed to data breaches both internally and outside. This is significant when hackers exploit the user credential as a key method of gaining access to the corporate network and resources.

According to a recent survey, identity and access management systems are the most effective security measure for protecting against insider threats, with 75 percent of firms using identity and access management solutions reporting fewer unauthorized access events.

Secure Access

As your business expands, you'll have more workers, customers, contractors, partners, and so on. At the same time, your company's risk will rise, and overall efficiency and output will improve. IAM enables you to grow your business without sacrificing security for the time being.

IAM security guarantees that users have the necessary access privileges for their work while controlling access inside the company. Without it, mass access request approvals, frequent changes in roles and departments, and a lack of appropriate access review processes lead to excessive access rights, exposing the company to insider threats and amplifying risk throughout the business.

Boosting Operational Efficiency

IAM security enables businesses to accomplish more with less. Many security teams are now understaffed and overburdened, despite the fact that they are required to manage and safeguard an expanding number of devices, data, users, and systems. Organizations may improve operational efficiencies by utilizing IAM programs to automate and streamline access management. According to one survey, operational efficiency is viewed as an IAM program driver by 49% of companies.

Boost Compliance

Organizations are subjected to additional audits, compliance reviews, and obligatory reporting as regulatory compliance and industry standards such as SOX, HIPAA, and GDPR have gotten more demanding and complicated in recent years.

Companies may limit access to just those who need it using IAM security solutions that automate data collecting, reporting, and access reviews, allowing them to be more compliant with industry standards and limit entry to only those who need it.

Organizations can guarantee data is properly managed and verify they are taking proactive actions to satisfy ongoing compliance obligations by adopting smart IAM security policies.

Role of Identity and Access Management in Cybersecurity

An IAM platform's main goal is to give a single digital identity to each person or device. The system then maintains, adjusts, and monitors access levels and privileges for each user throughout their access life cycle.

Following are the primary tasks of an IAM system −

  • Individuals can be verified and authenticated based on their jobs and contextual information like geography, time of day, or (trusted) networks.

  • User login events should be captured and recorded.

  • Manage the company's user identification database and provide visibility to it.

  • Manage user access credentials by assigning and removing them.

  • Allow system administrators to regulate and restrict user access while keeping track of privilege changes.

Role-based Access Control

IAM frameworks are essential for creating role-based access control as well as managing user access to vital information. This allows system administrators to control access to corporate networks and system based on individual users' roles, which are defined on the basis of their job title, authority level, and responsibilities within the company.

Identification of People and Devices

IAM maintains the IDs of devices and apps, so digital identities aren't only for humans. This increases trust and offers more information about whether a person is who they say they are and what apps they have access to.

De-Provisioning is Done Automatically

When workers leave a company, an IAM solution is also essential for preventing security concerns. De-provisioning access credentials to the apps and services used by the departing employee might take the time or could be forgotten, exposing a security vulnerability to hackers. When a user leaves the firm or their job within the organization changes, IAM immediately de-provisions access permissions.

Restricted Access

Employee and third-party provider cybersecurity might benefit from IAM. It can do lot more than just limit or allow access to systems and data.

  • Restricted access to data subsets − Depending on their position, some employees may be granted restricted access to data and systems. It allows employees to carry out their duties while safeguarding the information that is sensitive or outside the scope of their employment.

  • Cannot copy or alter data − Employees are only allowed to examine data, not copy or alter it, in some job descriptions. Internal security breaches are less likely as a result of this.

Role in Preventing Cyber-attacks

Any company's cybersecurity is determined by its identity management framework. It gives systems and equipment utilized by suppliers, customers, workers, and third-party partners an extra layer of protection. The framework, on the other hand, should be interoperable with any existing security systems that may already be in place.