Identity & Access Management | HelpSystems

Identity and Access Management

Secure your system by managing user privileges and access to sensitive data—without getting in the way of productivity.

What Is Identity and Access Management (IAM)?

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Identity and Access Management is an essential part of overall IT security that manages digital identities and user access to data, systems, and resources within an organization. IAM security includes the policies, programs, and technologies that reduce identity-related access risks within a business.

IAM systems accomplish this by providing the capability to create and manage user accounts, roles, and access rights for individual users in an organization. They typically incorporate user provisioning, password management, policy management, access governance, and identity repositories in an often complex design.

According to the 2021 Identity and Access Management Report, 90 percent of organizations confirm that IAM is important in their risk management posture. This confirmation of IAM as a strategic imperative means it should be viewed from a cross-functional perspective of stakeholders—from business leaders, IT and security teams, customers, auditors, employees, contractors and non-employees, vendors and partners.

A solid approach to IAM enables organizations to mitigate risks, improve compliance, and increase efficiencies across the enterprise. That’s why overseeing appropriate access through the right IAM framework goes a long way towards bolstering risk management within the organization and closing the gap on overall IAM risk.

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Identity Management vs Access Management

What are the individual components of IAM and how do they work together to reduce security risks?

Identity Management

Identity management is the component of IAM that defines who you are within your organization based on personal information as well as job specific information such as your role and who you report to. This information is then generally stored within an identity management database and is used to verify that you are who you claim to be.

Access Management

This component of IAM takes the identity information that has been gathered and uses it to craft access privileges customized to each individual identity. In an effective IAM system, the principal of least privilege is applied at this stage. This concept mandates that users only have the access necessary for them to do their jobs – and nothing more.

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Types of Digital Authentications

Once users have their identity ingrained in the system and have been given the access necessary to do their job, they’re still going to have to continuously prove their identity to access sensitive information if they're working remotely. The following is a series of digital authentication methods that can be used for doing so.

One-time password generation

This function relies on source algorithms to deliver a single use, time-limited, unique password via mobile application. When a user is asked to authenticate, they use the app to generate a one-time password and enter that value when prompted.

The Benefits of Identity and Access Management

Increase Operational Efficiency

IAM empowers organizations to do more with less. Many security teams today are understaffed and overextended, but are expected to manage and protect increasing numbers of devices, data, users, and systems. By leveraging IAM programs to automate and streamline access management, organizations can boost operational efficiencies. One study found that 56 percent of organizations view operational efficiency as an IAM program driver.

Enhance Security and Mitigate Risks

recent study found that 87 percent of organizations indicate identity and access management programs are very or extremely important to their cybersecurity and risk management posture, while 76 percent of organizations that use identity and access management solutions saw a reduction of unauthorized access incidents. Ensuring that users have only the necessary level of access required to do their job goes a long way towards bolstering an organization’s risk management and security posture.

Improve Compliance

As regulatory compliance and industry mandates like SOX, HIPAA, and GDPR have become increasingly stringent and more complex in recent years, organizations face more auditing, compliance reviews, and mandatory reporting. IAM solutions that automate data collection, reporting, and access reviews enable companies to limit access to only those individuals who need it and stay more compliant to industry standards. By leveraging strategic IAM security policies, organizations can ensure data is strictly controlled and prove they are taking proactive steps to meet ongoing compliance requirements.

Tools and Technologies Used in Identity and Access Management

IDENTITY GOVERNANCE & ADMINISTRATION
PRIVILEGED ACCESS MANAGEMENT
ACCESS INTELLIGENCE
SINGLE SIGN ON (SSO)
MULTIFACTOR AUTHENTICATION (MFA)

Identity and Access Management Solutions from Fortra

Organizations today typically use leading IAM security tools through best of breed solution partners—from identity governance solutions to privileged access management to access intelligence tools offered either on premise, on cloud or through hybrid model. These tools make up the technology solutions that support the overall IAM security framework and are essential in establishing a solid foundation for identity and access management.

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