What is Identity and Access Management? Who Gets Access and Why?

    Imagine a situation where a stolen password exposes critical corporate information to bad actors. Your IT and security teams are all at sea, struggling to minimize the damage. Therefore, one-step authentication with just an ID and password is no longer enough and viable. Organizations must adopt a process where they completely control who accesses what, when, and from where.  

    Identity & Access Management (IAM)
    IAM: Everything You Need to Know

    In the complex web of corporate networks and digital assets, ensuring the right individuals have access to the appropriate resources at the right times is paramount. Identity and Access Management (IAM) is a framework of business processes, policies, and technologies that facilitates the management of electronic identities. This blog post will explore the fundamentals of IAM, its importance from an organizational and IT administration perspective, and the reasons behind who gets access and why.

    What is Identity and Access Management (IAM)?

    Identity and Access Management, or IAM, is a crucial component of IT security and efficiency, focused on identifying individuals in a system (such as a network, a database, or an organization) and controlling their access to resources within that system by associating user rights and restrictions with the established identity.

    IAM is crucial for organizations to safeguard their information assets while facilitating efficient business operations. A comprehensive identity and access management system protects against unauthorized access and enhances user experience by streamlining authentication processes and managing user identities effectively.

    Understanding IAM: Definitions and Components

    What does IAM stand for? IAM stands for Identity and Access Management, encompassing all the processes and technologies involved in managing and securing user access to organizational resources.

    What is IAM? It is a framework that helps businesses identify, authenticate, and authorize individuals or groups of people to have access to applications, networks, and systems based on established roles within the organization.

    Identity Management System: At its core, an identity management system is the part of IAM that deals with the identification and administration of individuals. This system includes detailed profiles that store user credentials, roles, and access rights.

    IAM Authentication: This process verifies a user’s credentials when attempting to access a computer system. IAM authentication can involve various methods, such as passwords, biometrics, or multi-factor authentication (MFA), to ensure the person requesting access is who they claim to be.

    IAM Systems: These are the platforms that integrate various IAM functions like identity management, access management, user authentication, and compliance into a cohesive system.

    Statistical Insights and Trends in IAM

    • According to a report[1], the global IAM market size is projected to grow from USD 12.3 billion in 2020 to USD 24.1 billion by 2025, at a CAGR of 14.5% during the forecast period. This growth is driven by the increasing awareness of compliance management and the escalating need for mobility solutions.
    • A survey[2] found that 63% of data breaches are linked to weak, stolen, or reused passwords, highlighting the critical role of effective IAM systems in preventing such incidents.

    Importance of IAM from an Organizational Perspective

    For organizations, the implementation of an effective IAM system brings about several key benefits:

    Enhanced Security

    By implementing stringent controls over who can access sensitive data, IAM helps prevent unauthorized access and potential breaches. IAM software can enforce robust password policies, multi-factor authentication, and other security measures to mitigate these risks.

    Regulatory Compliance

    Most industries are subject to regulations that require protection of sensitive information. IAM solutions help meet compliance requirements by providing tools to enforce user access policies and monitor and report on access events.

    Improved User Productivity

    IAM systems streamline user access to technology resources, reducing the time it takes for employees to get the resources they need to do their jobs effectively. Automating the provisioning and management of user accounts and access rights also reduces the administrative burden on IT staff.

    Cost Reduction

    IAM can reduce costs associated with IT management by automating routine tasks like password resets and user account provisioning. Estimates reveal[3] that up to 50% of all help desk calls are for password resets. Automating this process alone can result in significant cost savings.

    IT Admin Perspective on IAM

    IT administrators face the challenge of ensuring continuous protection against breaches while managing a dynamic user base. From an IT admin’s perspective, IAM helps control access and simplify the management of user lifecycles and audit of user activities.

    Key Considerations for IT Admins in IAM

    Scalability: As organizations grow, their IAM solution must be able to scale up to handle more users, permissions, and resources.

    Flexibility: IT admins require solutions that can support diverse workplace environments and complex policies.

    Usability: Effective IAM solutions must be user-friendly to ensure that all employees can navigate them easily and securely.

    Who Gets Access and Why?

    The question of who gets access to what and why is central to IAM. Access decisions are typically based on several factors:

    Role-Based Access Control (RBAC)

    In RBAC, access rights are grouped by role, and access to resources, apps, or dashboards is granted based on the roles assigned to individual users. This approach simplifies management and ensures employees receive access appropriate to their responsibilities.

    Least Privilege

    This security principle involves providing users with the minimum levels of access or permissions they need to perform their job functions. Organizations that implement this principle can significantly reduce the risk of accidental or deliberate misuse of permissions.

    Separation of Duties

    This is a key practice in business where two or more people are required to complete a task. This principle is used to prevent fraud and error, ensuring no single individual has control over all aspects of a critical transaction. 

    Read: Scalefusion introduces Maker-Checker for error-free endpoint management

    Future Trends in IAM

    The future of IAM involves more sophisticated technologies, such as machine learning algorithms that can detect unusual access patterns and automate responses. Additionally, as more organizations adopt cloud services, IAM solutions that can manage identities across on-premise and cloud systems are becoming essential.

    Scalefusion OneIdP: IAM Comes to UEM

    Identity and Access Management is more than just a security measure; it is essential to organizational efficiency and regulatory compliance. As the digital footprint of companies grows and cyber threats become more sophisticated, effective IAM is crucial for ensuring the right people have the right access at the right times, thereby protecting organizations against unauthorized access and potential data breaches.

    The Scalefusion OneIdP suite is a comprehensive IAM framework that covers features like directory services, identity management, and single sign-on. It’s effectively a one-stop IAM solution for organizations and their IT teams to take device or endpoint management to the next level. 

    Book a demo with our experts to learn how OneIdP can meet your identity and access management requirements. Sign up for a 14-day free trial.

    1. PR Newswire
    2. Ponemon Institute
    3. TechTarget

    Abhinandan Ghosh
    Abhinandan Ghosh
    Abhinandan is a Senior Content Editor at Scalefusion who is an enthusiast of all things tech and loves culinary and musical expeditions. With more than a decade of experience, he believes in delivering consummate, insightful content to readers.

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