Identity and access management (IAM) is an information security speciality that allows users to access the appropriate technology resources when needed. It contains three main concepts which are identification, authentication and authorization. All these concepts work together to ensure that only authorised users access the resources needed for their work while unauthorised users are barred from reaching sensitive resources and information of an organization.
When the user tries to access a system, they must first identify themselves to the system. The system then has to verify the identity through the authentication process which includes knowledge-based techniques (e.g passwords) and advanced technologies (e.g biometric authentication). After a successful authentication, the IAM system verifies the user`s authorization for the requested activity. However, providing an identity is not sufficient to allow access; the system has to ensure that the users perform additional tasks that are only within their sphere of authority.
The importance of IAM cannot be overlooked by organizations. For this reason, they have to put in place an IAM system that is reliable and effective to ensure that there is enough security for the data and sensitive information. There are various firms that offer IAM solutions for businesses. The solutions include multi-factor authentication (MFA), single sign-on (SSO), and access management. Moreover, the solutions offer a directory for safely storing profile data and identity so that only the relevant and needed data can be shared. Generally, here`s why it is important for a business to have an IAM system in place.
Reduced Risk of Data Breaches
Solutions like single sign-on and the multi-factor authentication help reduce the number of passwords that users have to rely on and make it necessary to provide more evidence apart from the password. The modern IAM system also provides end to end encryption. This makes harder for intruders to compromise user credentials hence lowering the risk of security breaches.
Reduced Costs of Security
Keeping the whole business environment secure requires a great amount of labour which translates to higher costs. This is because all the applications, the users, devices and other business components have to be taken care of. The good news is, IAM standardises and automates the critical facets of authorization, authentication and identity management hence saving the IT team time and money while reducing risks to the business.
Privacy management and data access governance is a growing and important aspect of IAM. It ensures that there is control over who gains access to user data and controls how it is used and shared. It also involves enforcement of user consent. This enables enterprises to meet the demands of the changing regulations of global and industry data privacy.
Centralized Access Control
The IAM determines the applications each user is allowed to access and the kind of operation they can perform. If users or customers access the wrong system or have too much access to a system, it becomes frustrating. However, with an IAM, centralized policies can be set to allow only the right access privileges.
Improved User Experience.
Both security and convenience are crucial to any business. A poor experience negatively impacts the productivity of the employees and lowers customer attraction and retention. It is therefore important for a business to have an IAM to ensure there are unified customer profiles, single sign-on and self-service capabilities. This creates a superior brand experience which enables a business to have the competitive edge over its competitors.