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Unlocking the Future of Security with Identity and Access Management

Author : Priyanka | May 23, 2024

In today's interconnected world, managing identities and access to sensitive information has become a pressing challenge for organizations. The rise of cyber threats and the need for seamless user experiences necessities a reliable solution. Here, the importance of identity and access management is underscored. As we move forward in this blog, we will take a closer look at the importance of IAM, its four pillars, and its benefits.

Let’s dig in!

What is Identity and Access Management?

Identity and access management (IAM) encompasses a framework comprising business processes, policies, and technologies designed to streamline the administration of electronic or digital identities. This entails managing user access to vital information within organizations.

IAM acts as a robot that continuously oversees the information sources. It focuses on granting or denying access to resources based on a verified identity. According to Kings Research, the identity and access management market is expected to reach a valuation of $35.25 billion by 2030.

4 Pillars of Identity and Access Management

Below are the four key components of IAM:

1. Authentication

This pillar allows smooth authentication for employees, eliminating the need for remembering passwords and changing them. It involves logging in using users' digital identities with proper security and management protocols in place.

2. Encryption

Encryption is another pillar that takes care of employees' digital identity and secures their other data whether it's stored or being transmitted. It ensures that data residing in the cloud or on-premise servers is protected. This pillar is crucial for maintaining the confidentiality and integrity of sensitive information.

3. Authorization

Authorization is an essential pillar of IAM that determines what users can access and the actions they are permitted to perform with their accounts. It involves managing user privileges and permissions to ensure that individuals have access to the right resources at the right time for the right reasons.

4. Analytics

Analytics is the fourth pillar of IAM. It allows organizations to effectively monitor the authentication and authorization of different employees. Modern IAM solutions often come with data analytics and reporting capabilities that provide insights on various threats, employee profiles, privileges, fraud detection, and risk-based authentication.

How Does Identity and Access Management Help Businesses?

Here are some of the major benefits offered by IAM that help businesses secure their digital assets:

  • IAM simplifies the administration of electronic or digital identities, empowering IT managers to regulate user access to vital information within organizational systems.
  • IAM safeguards identity and profile information, ensuring that only pertinent and essential data is exchanged securely.
  • IAM assists organizations in ensuring that the right people (and their devices) are given access to the appropriate data and applications, thereby reducing the risk of unauthorized access.
  • IAM unifies identity checks across devices, enhancing user sign-in experiences and reducing security hurdles.
  • IAM plays a critical role in meeting compliance and regulatory requirements, ensuring that privileged accounts are properly managed.
  • By implementing IAM, businesses can safeguard personal information, protect against security breaches, and maintain customer trust.

Does Identity and Access Management Improve Regulatory Compliance?

Identity and access management solutions allow users and organizations to adhere to the highest security standards, tracking, and administrative transparency in their daily operations. As cybersecurity concerns are rising, government bodies and data protection standards are offering laws, regulations, and contracts to foster security. For example, the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX), the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and many other provinces, countries, and states, are enacting their privacy regulations.

Some regulations, initiatives, and security models, like Zero Trust, also contribute to the rising demand for advanced authentication mechanisms, such as passwordless authentication and adaptive access controls. According to Gartner, Inc., 78% of organizations have implemented a zero-trust strategy to mitigate cybersecurity risks. Additionally, Microsoft Federal's CTO, Jason Payne, suggests that integrating zero trust, AI, and machine learning technologies could help government agencies combat cloud threats.

How is Gen-AI Shaping Identity and Access Management?

Generative artificial intelligence (Gen AI) is poised to transform IAM in enterprises, with Gartner reporting that over 80% of enterprises will have used Gen AI's APIs or deployed GenAI-enabled applications by 2026. However, managing identities for enterprises is complex due to the growing number of user identities, cloud resources, decentralized workforces, and shadow IT.

Cybercriminals have learned ways to maneuver security checkpoints embedded in MFA through means like reverse phishing proxies, which can be exploited by cybercriminals to harvest session cookies and erode MFA security checks. Gen AI can help redefine the use of IAM in enterprises by contributing to intelligent access policy management, enabling dynamic adjustment of access policies based on real-time data, and enabling adaptive access controls based on factors such as user behavior, location, and device characteristics.

IBM Security Verify is one of the best examples of a zero-trust identity management solution. This cloud-based solution offers automated, fully-featured features such as single sign-on, password-less authentication, and risk-based multi-factor authentication.

What Lies Ahead for Identity and Access Management?

The outlook for identity and access management appears highly promising. As technology advances, IAM will become more sophisticated, incorporating zero trust and artificial intelligence. This will enhance security, streamline authentication processes, and improve user experiences. IAM will also enhance security concerns across industries and pave the way for the integration of other security models.

While companies are working to provide reliable IAM, Wipro has been recognized as a global leader in IAM by The Everest Group. Overall, the future of IAM will prioritize convenience, privacy, and robust security measures to protect digital identities.

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