Level Up Your Identity Program. Know Your Role.
This is the tagline for our August focus on Identity. Excuse our geek speak, but we see a lot of similarities between the concept of Role-Playing Games (RPGs) and the role-based focus on access and authorization that are central to the concepts of Identity practices for organizations in every industry.
In RPGs, certain character classes are the key to proceeding with overall missions. The thief class may be the only one that can pick a lock. The warrior may be the only one strong enough to move a boulder. Each party member has a role that only they can fill.
Identity programs in businesses should work the same way.
We each play a unique role in our respective organizations. Our ability to access pertinent information should reflect our role. This not only allows for organizations to run more efficiently, but more securely as well. In the spirit of RPGs, we’re going to help you Level Up Your Identity Program with our new series of articles, videos, podcasts, social media posts, and more!
So, with the quest defined, let’s begin our journey with the basics to get some easy XP.
What exactly is IAM?
You may have seen the acronym IAM in conversations surrounding Identity. What is IAM?
IAM = Identity and Access Management
Identity and Access Management is the process used by businesses and organizations to grant or deny employees and others authorization to secure systems. To simplify IAM down to the fundamentals, the goal is to make sure that the right people have the right access within an organization.
Programmers don’t need access to financial data, just like accountants don’t need access to the back-end of your website. Employees should have exactly the right amount of access to what is pertinent for their role. No more, no less.
This is accomplished through the establishment of a digital identity for every employee or customer that will have access to certain systems within your organization. With the establishment of this digital identity, users are then granted access according to what they have been authorized for, streamlining organizational efficiencies.
But this is only the beginning. We have covered the “identity access” part of IAM. What about “management”?
Leveling Up! The Full Scope of IAM
A user’s access privileges are not static. As organizations grow and change, so do the roles of their users. Just as characters in an RPG level up and gain new skills, so do employees and other users. This means that organizations need to take an active role in maintaining each point of access that each digital identity is authorized for.
Doing so can keep systems efficient, and more secure. We focused on insider threats on our previous blog post on the insights from the Haystax 2019 Insider Threat Report. When asked about what the most effective security tools and tactics are to protect against insider attacks, 52% of organizations answered Identity and Access Management.
Maintaining the access of your users through all of the changes in the organization, and any changes to a user’s role can reduce the ever-growing risk of insider threats.
“[the goal of identity management is to] grant access to the right enterprise assets to the right users in the right context, from a user’s system onboarding, to permission authorizations, to the offboarding of that user as needed in a timely fashion”.
The offboarding mentioned includes a user completing a specific project who no longer needs access to secure systems they were previously working in, to employees that have been laid off.
With Identity and Access Management, organizations can help prevent unintended breaches or leaks by making sure access is only allowed to authorized user, and by closing any access points to employees that are no longer authorized to enter.
Identity and Access Management practices and principles provide value to businesses in every industry, and proper implementation of IAM in your business can help your organization level up like never before.
We will be diving deeper into many of the concepts mentioned in this article as the month progresses as we continue to help you Level Up Your Identity Program. In the meantime, if you would like to schedule a consultation with our IAM experts, fill out the form below!