Identity and access management governance technology use has increased throughout the last several years as the solutions are now standard for organizational security and access. Manual processes previously used to manage user accounts and passwords no longer fit the bill like the automated IAM solutions that automate the entire user account lifecycle.
Likewise, the overwhelming increase in the use of the cloud means managing access to applications. As such, a cloud IAM environment ensures that an organization is efficiently automating its account management lifecycle for both in-house and cloud applications so that only one solution is needed.
For those wanting to automate and better understand what a successful cloud IAM environment looks like and how to get one, here’s a brief overview.
The first step is to locate an IAM solution that suits the needs of your organization. Examine all the important processes that you are performing manually, as well as any issues that need to have a solution in place so that you know exactly what your top priorities are. Then make a list of all the applications your company uses, both cloud-based and in-house ones. It needs to be guaranteed that the vendor you are working with can build, or has a connector to, these cloud applications.
Your organization can then begin conducting research on what type of solutions are needed to solve some of your top concerns and issues. Identity and access management, as a term, covers multiple components, solutions, and modules.
Next, decide which of these components you need and in what order of importance. Many IAM vendors remain flexible and will allow your organization to customize a solution to meet your needs and timeframe. Often, organizations are nervous about an IAM solution because they fear that such solutions can be costly and time consuming to implement, taking money from other important budgets. That’s a misconception.
When an IAM implementation is done in modules or phases, the sponsoring organization can choose to purchase only what it needs and implement the most important aspects of such solutions first.
Certain IAM solutions increase security dramatically without any extra measures. For example, web single sign-on, or SSO, components allow users on the go to login with one password to access a portal of all of their cloud applications. This helps with security, since the SSO eliminates the need for end users to write down their passwords.
If security is a top priority, two-factor authentication to the password solutions is also important. This requires a user to provide a password and another form of identification, such as a finger scan or PIN, to further validate they are the correct user.
A cloud IAM environment allows most organizations to manage cloud and in-house applications efficiently while also increasing organizational security, allowing for a move from a manual process to a cloud-based automated one.
Dean Wiech (News - Alert) is the managing director of identity and access governance solutions provider Tools4ever.
Edited by Alicia Young