October 14, 2021

Identity and access management (IAM) is one pillar of a modern and distributed workforce. As important as it is for businesses to provide electronic access to employees and stakeholders, it’s even more vital that these businesses maintain highly secure gateways at all times. An effective IAM strategy brings an entire organization into alignment with this end goal.

Despite its importance, identity and access management can be new territory for many employers and businesses. Fortunately, developing a comprehensive strategy for success is both easy and achievable.

Keep reading for a step-by-step walkthrough of how to build an identity and access management (IAM) strategy that protects electronic and digital identities.

Step-by-Step Guide to Building an Identity and Access Management Strategy

An effective IAM strategy provides companies with notable advantages in a competitive marketplace. Additionally, IAM policies safeguard against increasing cybersecurity and data risks. The steps below showcase how to build a strong foundation, even without any previous IAM experience.

  1. Identify specific needs and access-related pain points. Before you begin, it’s critical that you have a foundational understanding of the electronic resources and access points at your team’s disposal. Focus on which individuals rely on access to these systems at different times. If there are specific security vulnerabilities, identify these up front and focus on IAM solutions that solve and protect against these risks.

  2. Choose a reputable IAM services provider. An IAM service provider is a third party business that provides assurance and confidence when it comes to identity and access management. Service providers develop comprehensive plans, suggest the most appropriate technologies, and implement digital solutions on behalf of other businesses. For more tailored support, choose an IAM provider with industry knowledge and expertise.

  3. Provide education and training. Once an IAM solution has been adopted, ensure that new policies and access responsibilities are communicated to employees and staff. Individual responsibility plays a significant role in reducing both internal and external security threats. For this aspect of the IAM strategy to be effective, end users must understand policies and expectations.

  4. Respond to changing digital requirements. Technological processes never stay the same for long. With changing password requirements, new outside security threats, and evolving regulatory policies (often from governing bodies), IAM strategies may need to change and evolve. An IAM service provider can offer guidance as to what needs to change and when updates should occur.

What Activities Should an Organization Consider?

When developing an identity and access management strategy, decision makers should always consider loose ends or moving pieces that may impact access management. Three of the most common factors are integrations, migrations, and compliance.

  • Data Migrations – Migrations involve importing or exporting data to applications or to a centralized warehouse. Although this is common, migrations should also be in agreement with identity access policies. Confidentiality, encryption, and compatibility should be considered for secure data migration.

  • Data Integrations – Applications and third party solutions are extremely common. Access to these applications, however, should align with the ultimate sign-in destination. Organizations must ensure that as data passes back and forth between apps and services, corporate information is safe.

  • Compliance Policies – Contemporary organizations should instill identity and access management policies that align with industry best practices and legislation. This means abiding by new data regulations, laws, and guidelines. Any IAM strategy that falls outside the scope of compliance measures is subject to possible failure, legal action, or security risks.

 

Benefits of a Strong IAM Strategy

Developing an IAM strategy is more than just good business. The benefits of an effective identity and access management strategy include:

  • Personalized identity architecture that suits a company’s specific needs
  • Greater server and network security
  • An ongoing process that adapts to changing requirements
  • Documented policy that reduces confusion and risks
  • Greater user control over important systems and logins
  • More automated workflows and authentications

 

Identity and Access Management at the Enterprise Level

For enterprise organizations that require IAM solutions, defining key stakeholders and users is most important. Businesses must decide whether non-staff users need access to critical systems, and if so, how that access should be granted.

At the enterprise level, decision makers must be prepared to evaluate concepts such as:

  • Cloud computing policies
  • Multi-factor authentication
  • Centralized security systems
  • Automation strategies
  • Organizational environments (cloud-based, mobile, physical locations)

 

While one of the goals for enterprise organizations should be a positive user experience, there is much more to consider than simply making the process easy. There must be a fine balance between IAM security and UX.

Conclusion

Although an IAM strategy should be comprehensive and reliable, it doesn’t have to be confusing. When businesses define specific access needs, choose trustworthy providers, and continually innovate, the IAM process becomes an expected part of normal operations. A reputable identity and access management provider brings peace of mind to any modern security situation. Contact the team at SecurIT today to begin developing a comprehensive IAM strategy for your team or business.

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