6 Common Identity Challenges That Can Be Addressed in an IAM Strategy
Written by Hanno Ekdahl
When it comes to Idenhaus, you would be right to assume that we take cybersecurity and identity management seriously. We like to think of Identity and Access Management as more than just a way to keep an organization secure, it’s a way of life. It is something our employees, partners, and clients all learn to implement in many facets of their home and work lives as well. It can take time, but there are some simple first steps that any organization can take to create a more robust cybersecurity plan.
How can your organization overcome some of the more common Cybersecurity Identity challenges with an IAM strategy? The first step is identifying some of the more common identity challenges which an organization may come up against.
What does the business need from Identity Management to drive value?
This question is perhaps the most important, since it will drive business engagement and support for the IAM program. The reduction of administrative headaches around employee onboarding and offboarding usually rank highly. As does the ability to manage customer identities and provide them with new services.
How good is our data quality?
The biggest benefit of an IAM strategy is getting your business processes and data sources straightened out and aligned. Beyond the data, an IAM strategy also defines a framework for understanding the business processes around data management from authoritative sources (e.g. HRIS) through consuming systems and applications. Without an Identity Management strategy, all you get is bad data moving faster.
What data should be synchronized and where?
Without an overarching identity management strategy, it can appear easier to simply leave all the data in place and not try to replicate the user data all over the place. A virtual directory can help address this issue and poll authoritative systems for user attributes on a regular basis or on demand.
What is the minimum data set to properly manage an identity?
The Identity Store is a core component of your identity foundation and it acts as the hub, or heart, of your IAM solution. As such, it needs to provide access to consistent, high quality “globally interesting” user and resource data that can be leveraged by any set of systems needing to make authentication and authorization decisions. Determining what data is important is a key component of establishing an effective IAM foundation.
How do we ensure that by the time the data gets to the Identity Store it is not stale?
Data latency can be an issue when implementing a zero-trust model where systems need to make real-time authentication and authorization decisions.
How do we reduce complexity and centralize identity management?
The whole purpose of Identity Management is to cohesively manage disjointed directories and data repositories in a holistic manner. Most people are looking at IAM because they never developed a collective strategy before applications and business units adopted the technologies. The majority of organizations find that their current challenges exist due to having multiple directories, disjointed processes, and decentralized user management.
So what do you do with these answers, and what do they mean for your organization? Sometimes you need a little outside help to see the problems, and at times you need a little guidance to know how to fix those problems. Other times, you need a complete overhaul of your systems. Whichever it is, the best advice is this: talk to the professionals. You’ll have to talk to a lot of professionals if you ever do have a cyber breach, so it’s better to be proactive (we think). Have questions? Talk to Idenhaus!
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