How to choose the Best Identity and Access Management (IAM) Software in 2020?

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Identity and Access Management (IAM) Software solutions protect organizational infrastructure, counter unauthorized attempts to access sensitive data, and help validate legitimate and authenticated users. To ensure the implementation of strong authentication measures, it is important to enforce logical access controls. IAM solutions enforce authentication through centrally-managed technology that replaces or integrates with existing access and sign-on systems. IAM technology leverages role-based access control (RBAC) in order to provide predefined roles for authentication by user systems and databases. IAM technology can be deployed on the cloud, through a cloud-based model (identity-as-a-service or IDaaS), or via a hybrid cloud setup.

The key characteristics of IAM systems include:

  • Recording, capturing, and authentication of user login information (usernames, certificates, passwords, etc.)
  • Management of users and job roles in employee databases
  • Enabling addition, deletion, and modification of individual users as well as broader job roles
  • Recording access history for audits and other purposes
  • Ensuring properly-segmented access controls and definitions for all business systems and data
  • Tracking of user activities across systems
  • Real-time reporting of user activities
  • Enforcement of system access policies

With the increase in cyber threats in the business landscape of today, advanced and sophisticated Identity Management Software technology is being demanded to secure companies against unauthorized access to business data. Cybercriminals often attempt to impersonate remote support personnel or use other nefarious methods in order to exploit enterprise identity systems. By using social engineering attacks, these criminals aim to compromise the credentials of legitimate users and gain access to enterprise systems. In recent years, social engineering has become an increasingly common and efficient attack vector. Advanced identity and access management solutions are needed to tackle such threats—a secure organization can efficiently drive business value, reduce risk, ensure compliance, improve customer experience, and respond to the changing IT landscape. The best IAM software is aligned with the requirements of the business and addresses human, process, and technical issues.

The following aspects of a business are covered by IAM:

  • Sensitive customer, supplier, business, and other data, stored in the cloud, on local servers, or elsewhere
  • Systems used by customers, employees, partner businesses, suppliers, and others
  • All IT environments used for product & service development, testing, staging, launch, and operations
  • Laptops, smartphones, desktops, IoT, tablets, and other devices
  • Business locations including data centers, private office spaces, and high-security locations
  • Data that is being received, transmitted, stored, or otherwise modified as it moves between different areas

The top major features to consider before choosing an Identity and Access Management solution are:

1. Single Sign-on:

Single Sign-on (SSO) integrates and automates a number of IAM functions. SSO comprises Enterprise Single Sign-on (E-SSO) and Web and Federated Single Sign-on. SSO allows users to access multiple applications and platforms within an organization by logging in only once. With SSO, end users need to log in using a single set of credentials, eliminating the need for every user to remember numerous sets of credentials.

2. Multi-Factor Authentication:

Multi-factor Authentication (MFA), a critical component of IAM, is a security framework that confirms the identity of users by requesting multiple credentials.  These credentials include a code from the user’s smartphone, the answer to a security question, a fingerprint, or facial recognition instead of or in addition to asking for a username and password.

3. Privileged Access Management:

Privileged access management (PAM) integrates with employee databases and predefined job roles to create and deliver access permissions in order to enable individuals to perform their roles. It comprises a number of cybersecurity strategies and technologies for controlling the privileged access and authorizations for users, accounts, processes, and systems in an IT environment. PAM addresses threats arising due to external attacks as well as insider negligence.

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