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Identity and access management explained

Identity and access management is a field that is growing exponentially. As the digital world becomes more and more advanced, identity and access management has become an important part of protecting businesses from cybercriminals.

The cost of identity crime in Australia reached $3.1 billion in 2019 – an increase of 17% from 2016. With this harrowing figure in mind, it’s clear that cybercriminals are becoming bolder and slyer in stealing user identities to bypass cybersecurity defences.

By taking the right steps to limit and control what your users can do, as well as provide them with the right level of access, you can ensure that your business stays secure online while still being able to offer a stellar user experience.

What is identity and access management?

Identity and access management (IAM) is a set of policies, procedures, and technologies that help organisations manage who can access what resources. These policies and procedures manage the identities of people and devices, as well as the privileges associated with those identities.

IAM protects companies from malicious actors and cybercriminals by securing their sensitive data. As the digital world becomes more advanced, these methods have become more important in protecting businesses.

Identity and access management can be broken down into two main categories: deployment and governance. Deployment refers to the physical security of your company’s network, while governance includes the administrative practices of your company.

Both are critical aspects in providing a secure digital environment for your business.

Why is IAM important?

With IAM, it’s possible to gain more control over your business. You can have a stronger sense of control when you know who is accessing what information and why. With this in mind, identity and access management is important for keeping your business secure from cybercriminals.

Your company can also benefit from IAM when it comes to preventing or stopping data breaches and other cyber-attack attempts. For example, with identity and access management in place, it’s easier to identify if a breach might happen or if an attack is taking place. It’s also easier to stop cybercriminals, because you’re able to lock down accounts that are associated with suspicious activity.

If you’re still on the fence about whether or not IAM is worth it, consider how much time it could save you from having to deal with attacks or data leaks.

IAM basic principles

IAM protects your company’s sensitive information from falling into the wrong hands. Your company’s sensitive information is typically stored in an encryption system that makes it impossible for anyone to read. It also prevents outside parties from gaining access to your information.

Also, IAM keeps all types of data secure with its reliable authentication technology. With this technology, no one can get unauthorised access to confidential documents or important files without proper credentials

Implementing an IAM strategy to your business

Implementing an IAM strategy in your business is a necessity to prevent cybercriminals from stealing your company’s data and personal information. Every IAM is unique, but there are several broad steps that you can take to get started.

  1. Define the identity profile for approved users

It’s important to define how you will authenticate the identity of your users before you can build out your user interface. You need to clearly identify the source of the information being provided, the name of the individual providing it, and any information that needs to be validated or verified.

  • Identify who needs access
  • Identify what needs to be verified
  • Define what user privileges need to be granted
  • Create a security assessment and identify risks based on industry standards
  1. Build out your user interface

Once you have these steps in place, it’s time to set up an identity provider. It’s important to ensure you understand the capabilities of the tool that you plan on using, because they may not always be capable of what you need them to do.

For example, if your business sells goods online and needs more sophisticated authentication methods, then it would be best to use an external identity provider rather than create one inhouse.

  1. Create a security assessment and identify risks based on industry standards

There are a number of risks to integrating IAM in your business. These risks include things like exposing confidential information, having data breaches, and saving sensitive data outside of your business’ control.

To mitigate these risks, you can use risk mitigation plans to ensure that your security is strong. These plans could include using multi-factor authentication or implementing robust encryption on your network.

Talk to the IAM experts

With IAM, you can create an environment in which your users can be sure their information is safe.

To create a set of IAM policies and procedures tailored to your business, talk to the security strategy specialists at INTELLIWORX. They have all the knowledge, expertise, and tools to help you design, implement, and manage an IAM plan to keep your business secure.

Shane Maher

We passionately work on the IT Infrastructure of mid-tier businesses and support MSPs into cloud services. I have over 17 years of commercial experience that includes supporting and managing IT systems, developing infrastructure solutions, both onsite & in the cloud.

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