What Are Identity Management Systems?

Identity management is managing access to data, applications, and resources. It lists who is in and who is out of an organization. Identity management systems help organizations know who needs access and when, and they also prevent unauthorized access. For example, if an employee needs access to a database or other resource, identity management can help an organization grant that accesses and prevent unauthorized access.

Identity Management Systems Protect Sensitive information

Identity management systems (IAM) are essential for protecting sensitive information within an organization. They enable organizations to manage user identities and access rights, ensuring that only authorized users can access sensitive data. In addition, these systems help organizations prevent identity theft by using various methods, including multi-factor authentication, passwords, biometrics, and more.


Image Source: Pixabay

IAM helps companies comply with strict data management regulations by restricting access to sensitive information. They can also prevent outsiders from gaining access to confidential company files. Most IAM systems use role-based access control, a mechanism that assigns specific access privileges to users. Users should be given only the rights needed to perform their job.

There are several open standards for IAM. For example, ISO 27001 focuses on information security. The NIST 800-53 standard is focused on security controls, and the PCI DSS standard covers credit card security.

They Enable Provisioning

Provisioning involves granting access to certain resources and tools to specific individuals. An identity management system enables provisioning using policies. These policies can be role-based and include role-based access control. Role-based access control grants access to tools and resources based on a user”s job function. It also allows the removal of access from individuals who have left the organization.

Provisioning is essential for organizations moving towards a hybrid or multi-cloud environment. In such an environment, manually managing identities can result in data exposure, security risks, and compliance violations. Identity provisioning solutions automate the process by gathering user data, identifying business roles, and creating groups and accounts.

In addition to enabling provisioning, identity management systems allow several other functions. For example, a user may need access to specific applications, such as SAP”s SuccessFactors system. The SAP Provisioning Service manages user access based on role, group, and identity attributes during provisioning. The provisioning service also updates settings as new users are assigned, deleted, or updated.

They Provide Agility

Identity management systems (IAM) offer a range of benefits for enterprises. For example, they help manage user data, access apps, and other digital tools, and provide security and agility. Traditionally, IAM systems have been embedded into frameworks and apps. But these can become inflexible infrastructures if not designed for agility.

Agility is crucial for digital transformation. It requires prioritizing customer outcomes and focusing on their needs and expectations. Identity management foundations are essential for this, ensuring a consistent infrastructure and 360-degree view of customers. Moreover, cloud-based IAM services neutralize the risk of vendor lock-in and provide long-term agility. As a result, switching costs can be avoided.

Organizations need to provide secure access to partners, contractors, and customers in today”s increasingly mobile and componentized business world. Using cloud-based IAM services enables organizations to manage data and simplify access management across applications easily.

They Support Governance, Risk, and Compliance

Identity management systems support governance, risk, and regulatory compliance objectives by providing insight into user identities and access privileges. They support the management of access controls and a single source of truth, allowing an organization to respond quickly to business changes while maintaining a secure environment. IAM solutions also improve security posture and help organizations meet auditor requirements.

IDM solutions are gaining increasing attention in recent years, especially from the financial sector, retail, and government. These sectors have multiple risks and are concerned with reducing costs and improving security. They can also improve business continuity and risk management through reusable role definitions and integration with business applications.

Compliance and governance requirements are becoming more critical as organizations become more complex and interconnected. However, compliance teams may be left scrambling to meet audit deadlines without an effective identity management system. Fortunately, identity management systems can support all three in a streamlined manner.