Identity Access Management

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What is IAM?

In the outside world, some of the ways in which you can be identified include using your name, your social security number, an identity card (received from your workplace, county, government or other organization). In the cyber world, identity refers to how you are represented online. For example, through a social login, your work or personal email address, a username in an application, etc.

Identity and Access Management (IAM) is a process for ensuring that a user who is accessing a company’s electronic resource (such as a PC, laptop, email, application) is who they say they are and they are only accessing what they should be allowed to access.

You as an identity trying to gain access to the right resource, at the right time, securely is what IAM strives to provide.

Some of the challenges that IAM try to address include:

• Password management

• Alleviating identity silos

• Securing APIs

• Regulation compliance

Identity Access Management (IAM) Capabilities

IAM simplifies the administration of users in the workplace, minimizing the workload on IT administrators. IAM is about:

• How users are identified in a system (hardware or application) and how they are assigned to individuals.

• Adding, removing and updating access credentials to IT resources.

• Identifying, authenticating and authorizing individuals to use IT resources.

• Assigning levels of access to individuals or groups.

• Securing the data held in IT systems by supporting the consistent application of user access rules, procedures and policies across the organization.

Identity access management can be through a third-party service tool or provider or hardware-based tools such as hardware tokens used for biometrics, 2FA, etc.

IAM capabilities include:

i. Identity federation – having an arrangement between domains so users can use a single identity across those systems. For example,

a. BYOI (Bring Your Own Identity) – you may be able to use your Facebook login to log in to multiple resources.

b. Single Sign on – you sign in only once and get access to multiple resources.

ii. Strong authentication

o You being able to prove you are who you say you are when you’re signing in with your username and password.

o You may also want to use multi-factor authentication which entails using, for instance, biometrics, or a token device such as an RFID card, or a passcode sent to your phone or email to authenticate you.

o Adaptive authentication – this relies on your profile and attributes to verify your identity.

iii. Account management and provisioning

o Creating your user profile

o Updating your preferences

o Setting up security questions as you like

iv. Access control – this can be based on:

o Your role in the organization

o Your attributes

v. API and microservices security

vi. Regulation compliance

Factors to consider when choosing an IAM solution

• Extensibility. Ensure the solution you have can be extended based on your requirements.

• Scalability. Ensure that the solution you choose is scalable, i.e., It can handle not just the number of users you have, but can allow you to scale as you grow.

• Compliance with privacy regulations.

• Choose a solution that adheres to open standards

Benefits of IAM

• Improved user experience

• Improved data security

• Aids in compliance and audit requirements

Get in touch for a quote on an IAM solution for you.

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