Administrators may use identity and access management to protect data protection and privacy by creating and modifying user roles, tracking and reporting user behavior, and enforcing corporate and regulatory enforcement policies.

FREMONT, CA: The process of ensuring that individuals and organizations with digital identities have the appropriate degree of access to enterprise resources such as networks and databases is known as Identity and Access Management (IAM). An IAM framework is used to identify and control user roles and access privileges.

What Is the Purpose of An IAM Solution?

IT administrators may use an IAM solution to handle users' digital identities and access privileges safely and efficiently. Administrators may use IAM to protect data protection and privacy by creating and modifying user roles, tracking and reporting user behavior, and enforcing corporate and regulatory enforcement policies.

An IAM solution may include a Network Access Control (NAC) solution and a set of processes and resources. NAC solutions help IT administrators handle network access with features like policy lifecycle management, guest networking access, and security posture checks. IAM solutions may be provided as cloud services, deployed on-premises, or hybrid solutions that combine both on-premises and cloud deployment. Since cloud-based apps are simpler to deploy, upgrade, and maintain, many companies opt for them for IAM.

IAM Tools and Methods

Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

To validate their identity, MFA requires users to have a combination of authentication factors. Enterprises often use the time-based One-Time Password (TOTP) process, which allows users to provide a temporary passcode sent via SMS, phone call, or email in addition to usernames and passwords. Other MFA systems enable users to have biometric authentication of their identities (also known as inherent factors), such as fingerprints or facial ID scans.

Single Sign-On

SSO is an identification system commonly employed in enterprises to verify users' identities. It helps an approved user to log in to multiple SaaS applications and websites with only one set of credentials (username and password). SSO can be thought of as a computerized version of MFA. SSO systems use MFA to authenticate users and then share the authentication with several applications using software tokens. SSO can also restrict access to specific assets or locations, such as websites and forums outside the company. Besides providing a more streamlined login experience for end-users, using the SSO method for IAM allows IT administrators to easily set permissions, control user access, and provision and de-provision users.

Federation

Federation enables SSO without the use of passwords. A federation server presents a token (identity data) to a system or application with which it has a defined trust relationship using a standard identity protocol such as Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) or WS-Federation. Users can then move freely between linked domains without having to reauthenticate because of this trust.

See Also: Cyber Security: Looking Beyond the Networks and Firewalls