Businesses require a robust management system to help them boost their security to battle the rise of cyberattacks. The first precautionary step is to restrict your employee’s access and allow them the least privileges they require to carry out their daily tasks.
Ideally, you need to implement an identity management solution that helps you verify your users’ identities and control their access to digital resources. Identity Access Management operates on two concepts; Authentication and Authorization.
Authentication Vs. Authorization: Learning The Difference
Most business owners interpret authentication and authorization as the same because they are often used interchangeably. However, there is a difference between them and understanding it before implementing IAM in your organization is essential.
Authentication ensures that the user requesting access is someone they claim to be. Traditionally, user credentials were enough to authenticate the user. Now, it is an insecure authentication process, as hackers can easily use brute force attacks to crack credentials and access cloud resources.
Multi-Factor Authentication has become the top standard for verifying identities because it supplements passwords with an authentication method that is difficult to fake. Commonly used authentication factors include a biometric scan or a code sent via email or text message.
However, authorization allocates or delegates the correct permissions to a particular individual. An IAM platform allows the administrator to control the extent of authorization depending on the user’s role. If the admin detects unusual activity from any user’s identity, they can rescind access immediately and kill the session to ensure the integrity of the cloud.
An IAM system is essentially a combination of tools and features like:
- Single Sign-on
With SSO, users only need to log into one of the services operated by the organization and automatically gain access to other services. Organizations can also use SSO to collect valuable insights into user behavior and preferences as it tracks their lateral movement from one application to another.
- Anomaly detection
Hackers prefer cracking identities through brute force attacks as they can easily help them access cloud applications. Since these attacks can devastate an organization, you can use an IAM solution to detect anomalies during login. However small, these anomalies can alert the IT department.
Benefits of using an IAM
IAM is not only a login box; it has close relationships with security and data management. There are numerous advantages of using an IAM solution, like:
- Saving cost, time, and effort
- Accurate adaptability and seamless extensibility
- Easy migration of user identities from multiple sources to one directory.
Why You Need Identity Access Management For Your Business
Implementing an IAM system in your business is no simple task, but your business will benefit significantly if you do it properly. Here are four reasons why your business must have an IAM.
Attracts more users
For B2B and B2C organizations, attracting new users for their services is important. Therefore, you need to move away from a traditional authentication process and change it with a more friendly option like Single Sign-On or social login.
However, with Single sign-on (SSO), you must go through a daunting configuration across platforms, while social login comes with additional security concerns. You need IAM to create a great login experience that converts more customers into users.
Improves efficiency and reduces costs
The increased reliance on cloud applications has increased the number of credentials that a team member has to use. Since unique and strong passwords are difficult to remember, employees can start preferring poor security practices to save time and effort. You can eliminate security and productivity issues by deploying SSO with an IAM solution.
With IAM, you can also leverage your existing infrastructure to reduce the workload on the IT department. You can design security policies that support automatic onboarding and offboarding of users through IAM. The IT department can also automate the user account lifecycle to minimize downtime and ensure the business enjoys full cloud efficiency without compromise.
Secures your data
Compromised logins pose a grave security risk to organizations, with new breaches arising every month as companies continue to move towards online or app presence. Consumer signups are also rising, increasing the risk of compromising security every year.
With an IAM system, you can get the strength and expertise without requiring additional staff in your office. IAM is equipped with encryption and password breach detection to keep your data secure. You can use IAM to implement strict security practices with automated password-based authentication throughout your organization.
Meets compliance obligations
Regulations like NIST require organizations to meet compliance obligations to combat cybersecurity, such as:
- Strong authentication of users with privileged user access through MFA.
- Robust password policy to restrict users from having passwords.
- Specific users must understand the access rights the organization grants them.
- Allow the least access necessary to complete daily tasks.
- Rescind access when the user is no longer required.
Businesses often struggle with adhering to regulations without a technological system that enforces security policies and ensures employees adhere to defined guidelines. Therefore, an IAM system can help you meet compliance obligations without burdening your users or IT team.
IAM is becoming a must-have security solution for businesses that work remotely or provide services to numerous users. Since data is becoming a valuable asset, you must ensure its safety and security. Moving towards SSO from traditional authentication is the logical step, as you will eliminate the impacts of phishing or brute force attacks.