Top 5 Benefits and 3 Challenges of Implementing Identity and Access Management
Cybersecurity risks are on the rise, especially when it comes to data-driven companies. Identity and Access Management (IAM) can help.
Everyone can use someone to lean on. When it comes to protecting data for an entire company, large or small, there’s only so much we can do on our own. And thankfully, just as cybersecurity threats rise, the tools to combat security risks get better and smarter.
Identity and Access Management (IAM) is a tool specifically designed to help data-driven businesses protect their information. IAM can take care of tedious security tasks and free up IT admins’ time. Often, security risks in companies stem from a lack of tools that simplify security measures. Employees only have a limited amount of time to participate in or foster a security culture each day. That’s why automation through IAM is key.
IAM can automatically grant permissions to employees, provide logins, and use single sign-on (SSO) to log in to multiple accounts. In practice, these things make life easier for employees across the board.
- Lower risk of data breaches: With SSO and 2FA, your employees no longer have to remember and enter multiple passwords.
- Improved user experience and productivity: Employees can securely access the applications and data they need from anywhere. This can improve the user experience and bump up productivity.
- Enhanced regulatory compliance: IAM automates data access and privacy requirements by controlling who can access, use, and share data.
- Reduced IT costs: IAM automates and standardizes many aspects of identity, authentication, and authorization management. For example, it can decrease help desk tickets for password resets and streamline user onboarding and offboarding.
- Centralized management: IAM centralizes and automates IT management, giving IT teams the flexibility to work in the office or from remote sites.
Though the benefits of IAM are game changing for many businesses, the tool still needs to be thoughtfully implemented into an overall security strategy. IAM deployment is a continuous initiative that should combine ongoing knowledge of IAM technologies with intricate planning and change-management expertise.
Implementing IAM presents its own challenges, and many small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) lack the resources needed to implement IAM. Because of this, SMBs often lag behind larger companies in the deployment of IAM. This disadvantage has not escaped the attention of hackers who are developing new threats targeting smaller organizations. When implementing IAM, it’s important to keep the following key points in mind:
- Buy-in from business leaders is crucial. Whatever the size of your organization, getting buy-in from business leaders and board members is critical to the success of an IAM initiative. Too frequently, executives dismiss IAM as an IT issue when in reality, a truly successful IAM program is aligned with enterprise-wide business goals and risks. Successfully utilizing IAM to its true potential requires technical expertise and a deep understanding of business processes, operations, and regulatory obligations.
- There’s a global shortage of tech professionals. Finding IT employees with this knowledge can be difficult due to a global shortage of technology workers. SMBs continue to jockey for skilled, but scarce, IT security professionals. However, they are at a disadvantage because they typically lack the deep pockets of larger companies that can pay a premium for top talent.
- Lack of password security still leads to costly breaches. And then there’s password security—or, more accurately, a lack thereof. According to Verizon’s Data Breach Investigation Report, 61% of data breaches across all sectors involve compromised credentials. And those breaches don’t come cheap: IBM Security’s Cost of a Data Breach Report shows the average cost of a data breach is $4.24 million.
Since logins are one of the most sought-after types of data, one way to stay ahead of credential breaches is to implement a password manager. But many organizations are missing this crucial step—only 25% of respondents to a Dashlane survey said they use an automated password management solution to keep track of their work account passwords.
IAM can help businesses protect data by flagging security gaps, automatically implementing changes, and managing user activity. IAM empowers employees to take control of their data and easily access the information they need whenever and wherever they need it.
Read our latest white paper, Identity and Access Management 101, to learn more.
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