Identity and access management (IAM) is a set of business processes, policies, and technologies that make it easier to manage electronic or digital identities. Information technology (IT) managers can control user access to critical information within their organizations by implementing an IAM framework.
Single sign-on systems, two-factor authentication, multifactor authentication, and privileged access management are examples of IAM systems. These technologies also enable the secure storage of identity and profile data, as well as data governance functions to ensure that only necessary and relevant data is shared.
What is the significance of IAM?
Businesses and IT departments are under increasing regulatory and organizational pressure to safeguard access to corporate resources. As a result, they can no longer assign and track user privileges using manual and error-prone processes. IAM automates these tasks while also allowing for granular access control and auditing of all corporate assets on-premises and in the cloud.
IAM, with its ever-expanding set of features such as biometrics, behavioral analytics, and AI, is well suited to the rigors of the new security landscape. For example, IAM’s tight control over resource access in highly distributed and dynamic environments aligns with the industry’s transition from firewalls to zero-trust models, as well as with IoT security requirements.
While IT professionals may believe that IAM is only for larger organizations with larger budgets, the technology is available to businesses of all sizes.
IAM manages an identity’s lifecycle through a combination of processes & Procedures, organizational structure, and enabling tools and automation.
During this lifecycle:
Identification: methods to provide a subject (the entity that requests access) with a recognizable identity (e.g. user account, VAT, social security number, passport, etc.).
Authentication: Methods to ensure that a subject is who he claims to be (e.g. password, token, fingerprint, etc. ).
Authorization: methods to control what actions a subject may perform on an object (an entity that is being accessed) (e.g.list of subject permissions and list of object permissions.).
Before implementing any IAM system, companies must determine who in their ranks will be in charge of formulating, enacting, and enforcing their organization’s identity and access policies. In order to be effective, the IAM team must represent a cross-section of the organization’s various divisions and types of users.
Those working in IT who are tasked with setting up an identity management system that will be primarily used by employees on-premises should become familiar with the OSA IAM design pattern SP-010. As a result of this pattern, IAM components and the systems that rely on IAM can be more easily interacted with by various roles. As part of the IAM framework, policy enforcement and policy decisions are handled by separate entities.
IAM Security Products
IAM vendors range from large corporations like IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, and RSA to pure-play providers like Okta, Ping, and SailPoint. As SAT Microsystem, when selecting the best IAM product or service for your organization’s needs, also considers features such as centralized management, single sign-on, governance, compliance, and risk analytics.