Identity and access management (IAM) is a set of rules implemented using technical solution so that validated users in an organization are granted appropriate level of access to the required resources. IAM is a framework, which manages access to enterprise resources.
Identity – An identity is label or token which is used to recognize user. It is creation, modification and deletion of identities.
Authentication – It is process of verifying whether the user is who he/she claims to be.
Authorization (user access) – It is a process to determine whether an authenticated user is permitted to access a specific resource.
In today’s changing world, IAM is critical. The ongoing process of controlling who has access to what information plays vital role. IAM is responsible for the management of users’ (employee or client) identities. In sharing of data and information, secure user access is critical. Furthermore, electronic data is becoming increasingly important to most businesses. As a result, access control must meet increasingly stringent criteria – a problem that is often addressed by implementing strong authentication. Identity and access are two crucial concepts in IAM that must be handled by an organization. Companies are increasingly dependent on digital tools to do these tasks.
Some Noteworthy Features of IAM are –
- Centralized Directory service – It is one of the fundamental building blocks of IAM solution. A directory service is a centralized database of information that is structured and defined by a unique identifier. It makes the identity storage and verification process seamless across multiple platforms.
- User Life cycle – IAM creates life cycles of employees and clients of an organization based on their behaviour patterns and access rules defined. It helps to detect threats.
- Single Sign-On – IAM solutions support SSO. Single Sign-On (SSO) with a single set of credentials allows employees or clients of an organization to access multiple applications quickly. It eliminates the need to remember several sets of passwords making it more user friendly.
- Scalable and Flexible – IAM solutions are able to scale up and down efficiently as per the requirement of an enterprise firm. They are scalable enough to manage the need of small firms with less than 100 user or large organizations with millions of users. IAM solutions give companies choice of deployment either on-premise servers or cloud with configuration changes.
- Multi-Factor Authentication – Multi-Factor Authentication systems use two or more methods to verify the user’s identity. It uses information like biometrics, location, OTP to confirm the user’s identity. Organizations use advanced MFA to protect their employee or client’s connections to corporate networks or cloud applications. MFA greatly reduces the risk of a security breach, and confidential data is kept secure.
- IAM control – Administrators can authorize who can work on specific resources using Identity and Access Management (IAM), giving them complete control and visibility of the company’s cloud resources. IAM offers a cohesive vision of security policies across the entire company, with built-in auditing to simplify compliance procedures for businesses with diverse corporate networks. IAM gives administrators the ability to grant fine-grained access to cloud services.
- Government Law – State and Central government laws in various countries require companies who work with Personal or Identity-related information like financial information to use secure and robust Identity and access management solutions. In crucial sectors like banks, it is mandated by law to meet certain compliance guidelines.
- Security – The beauty of the IAM system is its ability to show you what threats your company is facing. It detects and raises alert if the user’s behaviour deviates from usual activity. e.g. an attempt to access unauthorized resource or login from a different location. IAM takes action like account locking for failed login attempts. To make this possible IAM tools use big data analytics based on key metrics to manage.
Identity and Access Management solutions are used by all organizations. It is difficult to imagine an organization without an IAM Solution. With increasing number of devices, applications and users IAM software have great future with growing a market.