Identity and access management (or simply identity management) is a cybersecurity solution for individuals and companies of all sizes, from startup to enterprise. Identity and Access Management (IAM) allows employees and partners to quickly and securely access important information online. Here’s a quick guide.
Identity and Access Management (IAM) allows individuals and employees to safely and securely access information. As an everyday example, signing into your Gmail account is a form of identity management. For businesses, an effective identity management solution ensures that employees and partners only access the information intended for them — while restricting access to sensitive information or data not intended for them. The key to effective identity management is ensuring the right people are accessing the right system. For example, think about airport security: When a traveler enters, they check their drivers license, license validity, and boarding pass. Only then does the traveler have the right to enter the terminal and plane. That’s what identity management does digitally. Per Wikipedia:
“Identity and access management is a framework of policies and technologies for ensuring that the proper people in an enterprise have the appropriate access to technology resources.”
An Identity and Access Management Solution is a software solution or framework that manages and enables identity management within a company or organization. An IAM solution also provides internal teams a dashboard showing current risks and enterprise-wide activity that should be flagged or investigated. Modern IAM solutions are often cloud-based, and mobile-friendly. Some of the most popular identity management solutions include Microsoft Azure, Oracle, and IBM. The framework, provided by the tools and infrastructure, helps enforce identity before accessing any digital assets. In the previous airport security example, the identity provider is the State Government issuing the Drivers License, and Service Provider is the airport security. So, validation of the identity is sort of an integration between the systems .
There are dozens of identity management tools and software vendors available. Each tool provides a unique value proposition, and the choice of tools is made based on each customer’s unique needs. Here are some of most popular industry IAM tools, with a note on why we like them, and when they’re right for a client:
Okta is a flexible identity and access management tool that addresses the needs and budgets of small business and enterprise when it comes to Multifactor Authentication and Single Sign-On. We recommend it to companies offering customers an online log-in, i.e., online publishers and gaming.
A leader in cloud-based Multi-factor Authentication and Single Sign On, Idaptive is a flexible solution that’s easy to implement for small to large companies. We tend to recommend it to product-based companies with a growing salesforce.
Azure is a Microsoft IAM tool that addresses the needs and budgets of large companies and enterprise in a variety of industries, including technology, products, financial services, and more. It’s predictable and designed for large organizations. We recommend it for financial services and healthcare companies.
Oracle IAM solutions address the needs and budgets of large enterprises in a variety of industries, including healthcare, financial services, technology, consumer products, and more. It is designed for the needs of a global enterprise. We recommend it for global enterprise with a global salesforce.
There are IAM certifications available for industry professionals, including from The Identity Management Institute, Certified Information Systems Security Professionals, and Certified Information Systems Auditor. However take note, there are many leading IAM engineers and developers working for the world’s leading enterprises who have not pursued certification. In our experience with the top Bay Area companies, it’s generally rare that we run into a certification inquiry. So, while there may be an upside to these certifications, it’s not a general requirement.
How do you make employees accountable? Privileged Access Management (PAM) generally refers to an administrative “area” within the network that is only accessible to “privileged” team members. When people have ultimate access, they need to feel that they are responsible for their own actions. Like a dashcam on a police officer’s car, PAM is a common component of identity management solutions and frameworks.
Identity and access management compliance is an important part of planning and implementing the right solution. These regulations are mostly mandated by the government. They’re based on commonly perceived risks, intended to enforce customer data security and confidence. Whether your company must adhere to Sarbanes-Oxley (financial services) or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA), these are elements to consider in the planning and feasibility phase. Plus, you may also need to add NERC, PCI, and GDPR to the list — as general online data and payment processing compliances. Have questions? Sennovate works with companies like yours everyday. The consultation is always free. Call: (925) 918-6618
In the US, the average salary for an identity and access management engineer is around $125,000. However, in the Bay Area, we see talented individuals earning $150,000-200,000 annually. Moreover, we usually see large companies and enterprises hiring a small team to manage IAM needs. Typically, this team begins with a Manager who interacts with the CTO and executive team, an IAM engineer or developer, and an IAM/IT assistant. This initial investment can range from $350,000-450,000 annually. Managed services (MSSP) can accomplish this with operational budget through monthly subscriptions for a fraction of the cost.
There is no hard and fast rule. Do you have enough budget to hire a team? Will they have enough work to keep them engaged? Will they be inspired to keep up with the changes and threats in the industry? Most companies have allocated budgets for their core business to build teams. Budgeting for a security-specific team is frequently unrealistic. In most cases, empowering one internal stakeholder to find and manage a security service partner is most realistic.
If your company isn’t ready to invest in a small IAM team, or IAM engineer, we would recommend working with an identity and access management service provider near you. An experienced identity management consultant will set up your business on a solid, secure IAM framework, and may only require minimal annual maintenance or upgrade costs. Because security is ever-evolving, having an internal team can get very expensive. Moreover, it can get hard to keep them 100% busy and motivated. So, a specialized security service provider keeps your team challenged, motivated and up to date every day as they work with customers with various business needs.
Maybe. The most important factor is experience and effective workflow, whether in-person, on-site, virtual, or off-site. That said, we think working with a local identity and access management consultant near you is an advantage. This will allow your consultant to better communicate with existing IT teams, and better understand your current information architecture. A non-local consultant becomes a good option if they follow security best practices, and have an established virtual workflow. Why? Location is less significant when virtual workforce tools are effectively adopted by consultant and client, whether a small business or global enterprise. Plus, all that said, on-site consultants have become very costly. Bottomline, look for a security service provider who offers an excellent communication process, clear workflow, and custom multi-factor authentication package for your business.
Sennovate delivers custom identity and access management solutions to businesses around the world. With global partners and a library of 1000+ integrations, we implement world-class cybersecurity solutions that save your company time and money. We offer a seamless experience with integration across all cloud applications, and a single price for product, implementation, and support. Have questions? The consultation is always free. Email [email protected] or call us at: (925) 918-6618