What is Identity and Access Management In Cyber Security (IAM)?

In today’s world, cyber crimes are at their peak as cybercriminals continue to exploit every vulnerability and gap in target machines’ systems. These days businesses can’t afford to fall victim to data breaches as each successful attack will have monetary costs along with reputational damages. That’s why having integrated network security is essential, especially for small businesses since they are hit by cyber attacks more.

Additionally, today’s compliance laws and regulations require businesses to implement specific security measures to safeguard sensitive data. These regulations explicitly demand Identity and Access Management (IAM) tools, and policies from businesses to control how sensitive data is accessed by users, applications, and devices. IAM solutions are no longer extras for businesses. Identity and Access Management tools are one of the most important components of cyber security, and having IAM tools help businesses meet compliance regulations and improve their network security.

Without IAM tools, businesses can be caught off-guard by compliance regulations like General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Payment Service Directive (PSD 2), and face severe regulatory fines when a company doesn’t comply with regulations or if a data breach occurs. Before explaining why you need IAM solutions further, let’s see in detail what is Identity and Access Management (IAM) in cyber security.

Access Management In Cyber Security
Access Management In Cyber Security

What Is Identity and Access Management?

Identity and Access Management solutions refer to the tools and policies that are used to assign access privileges to each user, device, and application to reach corporate networks and resources. Identity and Access Management solutions are an extra layer of security that controls access privileges, monitors all activities in corporate networks, and authenticates every user, device, or application before granting them access.

While using IAM tools each user, device, and application has to authenticate their identities via single sign-on (SSO), multi-factor authentication (MFA), and biometrics tools. It only grants access to resources and networks according to their access privileges.

Authentication tools add another layer of security to your corporate networks as these tools require users to provide more credentials such as SMS text message codes, biometrics, in-app approval, and so on. Additionally, they can access the resources for a specific amount of time, and this authentication process repeats each time users request access to the networks.

IT admins can put lateral movement policies to prevent lateral movement of unauthorized users. This way, even if a cyber attack occurs, malicious actors can’t roam or laterally move within the corporate networks. Practically, they will be stuck in the attack surface. IAM solutions enable greater visibility, surveillance, and control across the corporate networks and prevent unauthorized access attempts.

Additionally, IAM solutions include consumer identity access management and identity compromise protection features, meaning the same authentication procedures and protocols apply to customers as well. The identity compromise protection feature protects users from having compromised credentials via authentication procedures. The primary goal of implementing identity and access management solutions is to mitigate the security risks associated with internal and external entities.

By implementing enhanced IAM tools, IT admins can control and limit users, devices, or application access any time they see necessary. Real-time monitoring and user provisioning features will help IT professionals respond to threats or anomalies rapidly. By all means, IAM solutions are needed components for securing and improving network safety.

Why Do You Need Identity and Access Management?

Nowadays, most businesses use SaaS services, cloud, multi-cloud, or hybrid infrastructures to store data or host applications. Additionally, with the increasing number of remote employees, secure remote access has become more important than ever because weak-end users can be used as a gateway by cyber criminals to access your networks and accomplish their malicious goals.

Every day, modern-day businesses’ corporate networks become more complicated, safeguard. To combat cyber criminals businesses need modern security measures, and identity & access management tools are great solutions to create a more secure work environment for everyone and protect all corporate assets adequately.

Benefits of Identity and Access Management

1- Meeting Compliance Regulations

Businesses wouldn’t want to be caught off-guard by compliance regulations, and standards. When businesses don’t adhere to industry standards, and compliance laws, regulators can apply severe monetary fines. For example, according to the severity of the data breach, GDPR regulators can apply fines that can be up to 20 million euros. By implementing modern IAM solutions, businesses can meet and even exceed compliance requirements and standards.

2- Mitigating Security Risks

The main purpose of IAM solutions is to limit users, devices, and applications’ access within the corporate networks. While using IAM, users, devices, and applications can only reach necessary resources according to their access privileges. This way, IAM solutions mitigate the security risks associated with internal staff and external entities because everyone will have to authenticate their identities first, and they won’t be able to access the areas that contain sensitive data. Lastly, IAM solutions will enable wider visibility and control over who is accessing which data.

3- Reduced IT Spendings

Today, most providers offer cloud-based Identity and Access Management tools which diminish the need of building and maintain an on-premise IAM setup. Cloud-based IAM solutions can be rapidly integrated into a business’s existing infrastructures, and they can help businesses reduce IT spending, resources, and staff since providers take care of its maintenance.

4- Enhanced Network Security

By implementing Identity and Access Management solutions, businesses can improve their network security as IAM will prevent all kinds of unauthorized access attempts. Additionally, IAM solutions can detect all anomalies or suspicious behaviors so that IT admins can respond to these threats at once. Real-time monitoring and user provisioning features help IAM tools improve network security.

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Last Remarks

Today, compliance regulations require all sizes of businesses to implement Identity and Access Management tools and policies. Implementing cloud-based IAM solutions can help businesses save money, time, and resources while keeping corporate networks safe against cyber attacks. IAM tools enable greater control over the corporate networks and improve network security.

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