IAM solutions guarantee high levels of security and productivity to the companies that use them. Identity and Access Management, or IAM, is the security discipline that allows entities (people or systems) to use resources (applications or data) when needed, with the correct permissions and respecting corporate policies. IAM includes the systems and processes that enable IT administrators to assign a unique digital identity to each entity, authenticate them when they log in, authorize them to access determined assets, and screen and deal with those characters throughout their lifecycle. IAM is no longer just for employees.
Organizations increasingly use external collaborators or services and must be able to provide secure access for everyone, even for remote and mobile users. Hybrid multi-cloud IT environments and Software as a Service (SaaS ) solutions further complicate the IAM landscape. Because it sits between users and critical corporate assets, identity and access management is a crucial component of any corporate security program. IAM helps ensure business productivity and the trouble-free operation of digital systems. Employees can work seamlessly wherever they are, while centralized management ensures they only access the specific resources they need for their work. In addition, opening systems to customers, contractors and suppliers can increase efficiency and reduce costs.
The most significant value of IAM solutions is that they introduce identity governance: the Creation-Authorization-Closing life cycle of each individual identity is formalized and aligned with internal company processes to align with the needs of the business. The result is that the process becomes formal but, at the same time, rapid because the authorization workflows have already been defined and, where possible, automated. Let’s now go into the various processes to understand life cycle management better.
Integration With HR
For all the people who work in the company, there is a system where they are initially registered and managed. For example, the human resources or HR management system contains vital safety information for employees, such as the date of hiring, company job, and possible termination date. Similar methods may exist for consultants. The fact that the IAM retrieves people’s data from the system responsible for managing them, or rather an “authoritative” source, allows the status of the users on the methods to be aligned with the quality of the person’s data.
Not all authorizations to company systems are strictly linked to the corporate task: often, some applications are used by different teams, for example, the expense report management tool, or even within the same team, there may be other authorization levels. In practice, there are different cases where the user may need an application that is not present by default in his profile. The best way to manage these exceptions is self-service requests, obviously associated with an approval workflow in cases where it is considered necessary.
One of the fundamental principles of process safety is the Segregation of Duties, which is the separation of duties so that a single person does not have all the permissions to complete the most critical processes, such as purchases. In complex realities, it is not always possible to guarantee it a priori. It becomes essential to have a system that, in a preventive manner, carries out a check before changing the authorizations of a person.
The concept of a Business Role is straightforward: a set of credentials, on different systems, with sufficient permissions to perform the activities required by one’s job within the organizational unit in which it is allocated. This tool allows the IAM to give basic profiling to the user as soon as he is defined and to modify it in the event of a change of job or organizational unit.
Since the IAM is, by definition, a centralized and authoritative tool for managing users and profiling, in its database, all information on users and authorizations is available for all compliance needs, including historical information and authorization workflows.
In conclusion, the most excellent value of an IAM solution is to allow the management of user management and their profiling, according to the security policies, in a formal and documentable manner.