According to Gartner, Identity and Access Management (IAM) is the security discipline that enables the right individuals to access the right resources at the right times for the right reasons.

IAM addresses the challenging task of ensuring appropriate access to resources across increasingly diverse technology environments as well as keep up with the necessary regulatory compliance standards.

Organizations typically used on-premises IAM solutions to manage identity and access policies. Nowadays as companies add more cloud services to their environments, the process of managing identities for accessing critical data is getting more complex. Therefore, moving from an on-premise solution to a cloud-based Identity-as-a-Service (IDaaS) and cloud IAM solutions becomes the next step.

Identity and Access Management technology can be used to initiate, capture, record, and manage user identities and their access permissions. All users are authenticated, authorized, and evaluated according to policies and roles.

Pros of Identity Access Management

There are several points that make using an CIAM (Cloud Identity Access Management) solution very valuable:

  • You can give them access to all your applications using just one set of credentials through Single Sign-On.
  • Enables your users to work from any location and any device.
  • Add extra layers of security to your data and apps using Multifactor Authentication.
  • Maintain compliance of processes and procedures.
  • Mitigate the implementation of the principle of least access by having full control over access to apps, which can be terminated at whim.

While looking for an Identity Access Management it is essential to keep a few things in mind.

Just like looking for an endpoint solution, or and email security gateway, I think of the acronym F.U.N.D.S

Full (or close to) Support for All Apps:

While cost saving measures are crucial to efficiency, Identity Access Management is just as important to your network integrity.  The security of your Road Warriors is crucial. As we move to a more at-home workforce, we need to ensure that the solutions we choose are flexible and scalable enough to fully cover them. Make sure the software and services you use are compatible and work well with your IAM solution.

Understand the Identity Access Management Solution:

There is a lot of confusion floating about the “Identity Access Management” market. Understanding what they mean could be the difference between a solution working best for your company or completely failing it. While you do not have to understand the technical side of how these IAM products work, you should understand the limitations of the product and design a policy around those limitations. Knowing exactly what it is and what it does can help you maintain compliance and enhance employee access (or employee removal)

Not without a Demo:

How can you know that a solution can work for you if you do not test it out? The security infrastructure we employ for our organizations is as unique as a fingerprint for a person. You need to make sure that the solution works for you, is not redundant, and does not drain necessary resources. You can do this by testing it. Plain and simple. Go back to looking out how a roll out approach works. Make sure that the solution can handle your infrastructure and do what you need it to do. Testing an IAM is crucial. If a solution doesn’t fit, much hassle can be involved in correcting issues.

Do your Research:

This idea is a pretty broad one. Do your research on…everything. Do your research on competitor solutions to the one you’re using/and or considering.  Do your research on your business hardware and business needs. What issues are you trying to solve? Understanding and researching every aspect of your email security gateway is a great way to cut costs down the line from account compromises.

A good rule of thumb to keep in mind is accurately defining a problem. For example. You’re not trying to solve authentication issues, that will always be there. What you’re trying to solve is the occurrence rate of them affecting your organization.

Solicit the right questions:

By this time, you’ve done your research, understand the solutions, and tested it out. You should be able to solicit the right questions. Ask about limitations to app coverage. Look into how their “SSO” security ensures authentication methods. Ask them about your specific software infrastructure. Inquire about how their solutions mitigate service outages and what does it do differently than the other solutions out there.

This is a crucial part of the process, and this is also most likely where you can save the most time, which in turn saves the most money.  


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