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The Keys to Successful Identity and Secure Access Management

The Keys to Successful Identity and Secure Access Management

The Keys to Successful Identity and Secure Access Management

by Senior Editor

Identity and access management is a security discipline, consisting of technologies, processes and policies, which make it possible to right users to have access to the right resources at the right time. However, when it comes to identity and access management, it is considered that the only way to mature the management and solve the multiple risks resulting from its inadequate management is by implementing a technological solution, which turns out to be quite an elephant. Target in some organizations by not having policies and processes that support automation.

Given the above, it is necessary to ask ourselves: do I know what users are allowed to access within information systems? Have access roles been defined? Have guidelines been defined to control the identity life cycle? Do the areas of the organization work together to manage access? If some answers are unknown or a bit complicated to answer, here are some recommendations you can consider developing an identity and access management strategy that includes its current requirements and allows it to mature over time.

Companies like OpenIAM are trusted by large enterprise as well as small to medium businesses. There can be hundreds or tens of thousands of users among OpenIAM’s internal (workforce identity) and external (customer identity) clients which can sometimes be in the millions. Many different sectors, such as government, banking, telecommunications, education, healthcare, manufacturing, media, and retail, are represented among their clientele.

OpenIAM is now an established business offering a full suite of identity and access management products for on-premise and cloud environments. While some vendors, such as Microfocus, IBM, and Oracle, offer full stacks, their solutions can be challenging to implement due to their reliance on proprietary integration methods and the need for in-depth knowledge of individual products.

To begin, a unified IAM platform that is open and simple to deploy was created to cut down on the need for proprietary technology while also easing integration with commonly used protocols.

Identity governance, web access management, MFA, Customer IAM, and Privileged Identity are all part of OpenIAM’s unified Identity and Access Management platform. With so many common parts, this is classified as a converged architecture by Gartner.

Identity Management first introduced the principle of Separation of Duties. OpenIAM’s Statements of Direction allow it to alert users when they’ve violated a policy while completing common actions like requesting access or certifying that an individual is entitled to it.

Recommendations for developing an identity and access management strategy

  1. Identifying the risks associated with managing identity in our environment today

This will be a good starting point to establish what is happening and what could be the impacts of its inadequate management, which can help you leverage the project’s development by translating it into business language. In addition, previous risk analyses or audits can support it to support the business case.

  1. Identify what the scope of the management will be

Prioritize the critical systems.  These are applications that are critical for the business, subject of audits and costs the most to support.   Let’s not be so ambitious at the beginning, that you can never provide a release that adds value to the business. The idea is that over time the scope of the information systems to be covered will be extended until they are 100%. For this reason, it is necessary to set a roadmap that contemplates early wins for the business and makes projections in the short, medium and long term.

  1. Identify and involve the actors involved, both internal and external

Management is a cross-cutting process throughout the organization, so it is key to have their support and commitment. They must know the guidelines, processes and responsibilities to act in harmony, responding to the operational and information security needs. It is key to involve human resources, supplier management, and appropriate business stake holders.

  1. Identify which users will be within the scope

Access needs and processes change depending on the target users, and whether they are collaborators, suppliers, or customers, each one will have different requirements and expectations when managing their access.

  1. Define the governance framework that indicates how the data and the information system that supports it will be protected, encompassing components such as:
  • Identification of users in the systems
  • Identification and assignment of roles
  • Assigning, deleting and updating users and roles
  • Group and individual access levels.
  1. Identify the workflows

Having defined the actors and their responsibilities, develop procedures or flows that specify the interactions and activities that must be developed to comply with the defined governance framework and respond to the operational needs.

  1. Develop a birth right access model

It’s important to have consistency in how access is granted.  A model describing birthright access will help to both grant the minimal level of access that is needed for each job and provide a significant reduction in operational overhead.

By having solid governance and management guidelines supported by processes, automation through IAM (Identity and Access Management) technologies will help streamline processes, eliminate the risk of human error and facilitate compliance. However, remember that these technologies are fed by the entire framework defined in the previous numerals. Therefore, if they do not have or downplay it, the likely hood of the organization not realizing the full value of the platform is high.  Worse, the solution may not gain the appropriate level of adoption from the user community.

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