By 2019, more than 80% of organizations will use access management software or services according to an article published by Gartner. Identity Access Management (IAM) is an information security discipline that encompasses policies, processes, and technologies to ensure that appropriate people have access to resources at the right time.
A proper IAM software is composed of identification, authentication, and authorization. When the three work together, they ensure only the allowed users have access to resources and the unauthorized ones are kept away. Lack of a proper IAM process could result in data breaches which could result in regulatory issues during auditing.
This blog offers some deeper insights as to why identity access management is essential:
Improved Data Security
The current rise in the use of mobile devices for work and the increase in cyber crimes are some of the reasons for the demand in IAM. At the heart of every organization’s policy is the need to ensure they provide a safe and secure environment, failure to which data loss or unauthorized access to sensitive information could lead to financial losses.
IAM ensures that the right individuals have the proper access to appropriate resources while at the same time any unauthorized persons are denied access. IAM significantly improves data security. You can employ a SharePoint permissions management tool which is automated to show who has access to what and when they access the specified data.
More Effective Access to Resources
Most organizations rotate their employees with a view of exposing them to challenges in other departments. With each rotation, employees are given different access, which could expose them to attacks by cybercriminals. Regardless of the type of IT security measures in place, if you do not protect existing access, then you are a sure target of the next cybercrime.
IAM helps you to ensure that once employees change their duties, their access is also limited. One of the most common ways that cybercriminals attack a system is through phishing emails. Therefore, instead of investing in complex security systems, it is wise to ensure that all existing access points are well secured. This ensures a reduction in internal and external data breaches.
Employee Training and Education
90% of cyber attacks occur as a result of stolen passwords, according to the Identity Management Institute. Individuals or parties with access to systems sometimes make errors when faced with security problems like giving away their passwords or sensitive information. It’s essential to ensure that your employees are well educated and trained on the importance of protection of passwords and ways to avoid making adverse security mistakes.
Users should be educated on what to expect when they first access a system. They should be made aware of their usernames and authentication process available – it could be the use of passwords or biometric identification. With adequate education and training of your workforce, you will avoid any major hacking incident.
It Improves Compliance
Most regulations require businesses to report incidences of data theft or breaches. For instance, the GDPR requires you to do so within 72 hours of the incident to the necessary bodies. You might also have to report the breach to your customers and stakeholders. As such, having an identity and access management platform by your side will provide you with enough information on the data breach.
You can assess who caused it, what time it happened and the best chances for mitigating the risks. Other than in reporting an incidence of a data breach, most regulations will also need you to report the aspects of your organization’s data hygiene from time to time. This will help achieve both the threshold security requirements and avoid any fines that come with non-compliance.
Encouraging Ethical Practices
Employees who have security access are more prone to getting involved in fraudulent activities and also covering their tracks. Granting individuals too much access to confidential information enables corrupt individuals to execute their well-mastered plans effectively.
Employees can be driven by different factors to engage in fraudulent activities. It could be because of a layoff, not getting a promotion, dissatisfaction at the workplace or revenge. This is an area where identity access management can come in handy to monitor employee activities and detect unusual activities or events.
Many firms are increasingly adopting identity access management with its growth expected to increase each year. However, you cannot ignore its complexity, and the strategy chosen should have a technology in place to automate the identity management lifecycle and reduce errors that arise when manual means are employed.