With digital transformation, businesses are increasingly depending on the data stored in their systems. In recent times, where data seems more valuable than oil, ensuring that the right data is being accessed by the right people at the right time determines the difference between success and failure. Estimate suggests IAM software around the world are under attack- on an average 30 billion login attempts were made by hackers, with roughly 82 million attempts in a day. Identity Management Software is a major tool involved in cyber security as it helps in maintaining the right balance between protecting your data and giving access. Thus, it is crucial to have an effective IAM software and cloud strategy as a component of the IT security armor.

What is IAM?

Identity and Access Management is defined as a solution that enables the right person to access an enterprise’s resources at the required time for valid reasons. Its function stretches beyond conventional authentication and authorization to an entire new line of modern identity services. IAM solutions that maintain a balance between the identities of employees in an organization and beyond the company’s ecosystem of partners, suppliers, customers etc. is considered to be the best.

Key Benefits of IAM (Identity and Access Management)

Here are a few key benefits or features of IAM

  • Eliminates the Weak Passwords: As per the studies conducted, it was proven that data breaches are due to weak passwords or default. Therefore, IAM ensures the best practices in managing credentials and eliminates the risks of the users using the default or weak passwords.
  • Mitigating: It is known that the growth of data breaches is from the insiders. Here IAM ensures that the users have access to the systems and limits the damages caused by insiders.
  • Advanced Tracking: IAM solutions go beyond the simple or weak credentials by including modern technologies like machine learning, risk-based authentication, and artificial intelligence to recognize and block the eccentric activity.
  • Multi-factor authentication: IAM solutions help Endeavour the progress through two-factor or three-factor, or multi-factor authentication by featuring fingerprint sensors or face recognition, which can help eliminate the risk of anomalous activity.

What are the types of Identity and Access Management Solutions?

Earlier, the conventional IAM solutions included answers to a basic question: How can employees within an organization cautiously access business resources within their firewall? However, as businesses are digitally evolving owing to advancement in technology IAM solutions also need to emerge. Nowadays, businesses increasingly depend on swift and modernized solutions that enable them to work collectively with their partners and suppliers. They feel it is necessary for third parties like customers and partners to have better access to their system.

Growing business competition calls for various types of IAM solutions. These include Cloud IAM, Customer IAM and Mobile IAM. Thus, organizations are moving towards IAM providers that include all such complex capabilities. The functionality, flexibility and cost-effectiveness of the IAM solutions are other aspects considered by organizations while selecting an IAM provider.

Factors to be considered while selecting an IAM System

Hundreds of IAM products and solutions offering various features are flooding the market making choosing the best IAM software a complex process. Enough time should be allotted to analyze the features fundamental to your business before taking any decision.

Below are a few prevailing attributes to be considered while looking for the best IAM solutions:

  1. Identity intelligence: It is essential for an IAM platform to react to security threats promptly however, this requires real-time audit and action. Thus, it is crucial for intelligence to be an important part of any IAM platform. A software that identifies suspicious user authorization or behavior and sends notifications while taking immediate action to raise trust or eliminate accounts as required are usually considered as quality IAM solutions. Intelligence collected from the network endpoints can be further entrenched into the IAM setup in order to reduce data infringement and help adhere to the current data protection policies.
  2. Advanced Multi-factor Authentication: Multi-factor authentication is an important feature of any IAM solution as estimate suggests 80% of all data breaches are due to weak passwords. Previously, IAM solutions usually depended on basic username and password authentication as users expected convenience as well as speed while accessing their network. A multi-factor authentication feature avoids stolen credentials or single sign-on unauthorized access as it requires the user to provide extra authentication to access a network service. In order to confirm the user’s identity and improve the trust one-time passwords (OTP’s), biometrics or strong security tokens can be included.
  3. Third-party access management: Strong authentication, audit and compliance reporting are fundamental elements for any IAM solution nowadays. It might be pretty risky for a business to give collective access for their corporate network to various stakeholders like partners, vendors, customers, suppliers etc. Thus, the IAM solution selected should be fabricated to secure outside user-access beyond different IT ecosystems and should be able to handle millions of identities across different companies with the same security standards.
  4. Mobile IAM: With increased use of mobile devices it is becoming increasingly important for IAM solutions to support the mobile environment. It must be ensured that valid devices should be able to access information and the data those devices are entitled to receive and transmit must be managed carefully. It is essential to look for components that safeguard mobile devices and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies.

Future of Identity and Access Management

With transformation in the digital space organization’s need to focus more on securing their data and newly- digitized processes and business assets. Outside user communities like customer portals, partner ecosystems, supply chain are areas which seem to have greater IAM advancement scope. Growth in these areas will help establish the required trust level and provide a satisfactory user experience. It is also important to adopt and integrate disruptive technologies into IAM platforms.

IAM is achieving greater visibility as a technology that can bring greater levels of data security. However, Cloud IAM also seems to be a growing area as organizations are focusing on performance in an ecosystem which requires both internal and external access to the network services.

Conclusion

Identity and Access management authenticates the user by verifying the user that they are who they say they are. IAM cloud identity tools are more secured and flexible, it gives permission only to the appropriate level of access, instead of accessing through the username and password.

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