Identity orchestration techniques are used to manage and control access to applications, systems, and data across multiple platforms effectively and efficiently. It allows businesses to streamline their security processes and improve user experience. This article will discuss the benefits of identity orchestration techniques you need to know about.

Benefits of Identity Orchestration


By managing identities centrally through identity orchestration platforms, businesses can ensure visibility and access control over sensitive data and applications, reducing the risk of data breaches and meeting compliance requirements.

Orchestration in identity management can also help businesses respond to and recover from security incidents more quickly, allowing rapid restoration of access across critical resources.

Improved User Experience


Users often must remember multiple usernames and passwords to access different applications leading to frustration and decreased productivity. Identity orchestration allows businesses to provide a single sign-on solution among other automated solutions so that users can access all their applications with one set of credentials, making it easier for users to get the information they need and reduce the number of help desk calls.

Improved user experience can also be achieved by providing users with a consistent experience across all their devices. For example, a user’s desktop, laptop, and mobile phone can all be configured to provide access to the same applications and data, allowing users to work seamlessly from any location and reducing the need for IT support.

Identity orchestration also provides personalized experiences to users. For example, a user’s applications and data can be customized based on organizational role allowing businesses to provide users with the information and access they need.

Increased Efficiency


Centralized orchestration of identity management allows businesses to automate many tasks that are traditionally performed manually. For example, when a user joins the organization, their account can be automatically created in all the required systems saving time and reducing possible errors.

Identity orchestration can automate password resets and account lockouts, saving the help desk significant time and improving user experience. Businesses can also avoid manual provisioning and de-provisioning of resources using identity orchestration. For example, when users leave the organization, their access can be automatically revoked from all systems, reducing the chance of data leaks and ensuring compliance.

Improved IT Management


Identity Orchestration can help businesses manage their IT infrastructure better. By consolidating identity management solutions into a single platform, companies can reduce the number of IAM system solutions they need to maintain, simplifying IT management and reducing costs.

In addition, by using identity orchestration, businesses can take advantage of features such as Single Sign-On and Federated Identity, which can further simplify IT management tasks and reduce the need for specialized staff.

Increased Agility


Orchestration of identity allows companies to respond promptly to market changes and reduce the time it takes to launch new applications and services. The company can add or remove users from groups, dynamically apply security policies to system security configurations, and ensure that authorized users have access to required systems and data.

Identity Orchestration Techniques and Tips

Before selecting a solution, businesses should define their requirements, ensuring that their identity orchestration techniques meet the organization’s needs. Some of the factors that should be considered include:

-The number of users and systems that need to be supported

-The types of applications and data that need to be accessed

-The level of security required

-Cost saving opportunity areas

-Automation opportunities and priorities

-Compliance and other external requirements

-The need for Single Sign-On, Federated Identity, and other solutions

-Available budget

Once the business requirements have been defined, it will be easier to select a solution that meets the organization’s needs.

Select a Flexible Solution


Identity orchestration is a complex process, and businesses should select a solution that can adapt to their changing needs. The chosen solution should be able to support and address an organizations’ identity management and access needs holistically.

The selected solution should also be able to integrate with existing systems avoiding the need to replace or make major system enhancements. Thus, the solution must offer a high degree of customization, allowing enterprises to tailor the solution to their specific needs.

Implement Slowly


Businesses can gradually roll out the solution across the organization by starting with a small pilot project. This will allow companies to iron out any problems and help ensure a successful implementation.

Train Staff


Once the identity orchestration platform has been implemented, training staff on how to use it is crucial to ensure that the solution is used correctly, and staff understand its benefits.

Monitor the Solution


Upon implementation, businesses should monitor closely to identify any problems and make changes as needed.

Conclusion

Business management and IT professionals should consider identity orchestration to improve their business since it can save money and time while improving productivity and user experience. As the world becomes more digital and dispersed, companies need to be able to keep up with their identity and access management practices and technologies to safeguard assets efficiently. Identity orchestration can help businesses stay ahead of the cybersecurity curve.

Evolving cybersecurity threats and concerns regarding data security and privacy are driving enterprises to embrace mobile biometrics for authentication and seek more reliable tools for identity management and access control. The current move toward passwordless authentication requires innovative access solutions, and mobile biometrics is emerging as one potential option to address the vulnerabilities associated with traditional login methods. 

Mobile Biometrics Boom

The global mobile biometrics market size is expected to reach $91.9 billion by 2028, rising at a growth rate of 21.8% CAGR during the forecast period, and Gartner predicts 70 percent of organizations use mobile biometrics authentication for workforce access. Biometric authentication is already a main feature on many mobile devices, such as smartphones, laptops, tablets and wearables, and it has become a normal part of everyday life for the millions of people using these devices. 

This increasing ubiquity of biometric authentication using a range of different identification methods makes mobile biometrics more accessible in the workplace. As enterprises search for ways to improve security, mobile devices present themselves as familiar platforms on which to deploy alternative identity management solutions. 

Mobile Biometrics Solutions

Today’s mobile devices come equipped with technologies either already suited for biometric identification or with potential applications for use as authentication tools. With these technologies on board, a mobile device can become part of a user’s identity and serve as a login point or as part of a series of identifiers in a multi-factor authentication (MFA) protocol. 

When incorporated into existing MFA strategies, mobile biometrics may make use of fingerprint scanning, retina scanning or facial recognition technologies many manufacturers build into their devices. Users requesting access to an application or system may receive a push notification requiring them to complete the login process by inputting a previously authenticated biometric identifier into their devices. Each user has a unique identifier stored on his or her device instead of a central database enterprises typically use for storing passwords. 

To implement mobile biometrics, enterprises must partner with providers offering software development kits (SDKs) with the flexibility to incorporate a variety of biometrics options across platforms. These scalable solutions ensure every user, be it an employee or a customer, can access necessary resources regardless of device type or operating system. 

Is Mobile Authentication the Answer?

Biometric identification and authentication methods available through mobile applications are often cheaper than traditional biometrics systems and therefore more accessible to businesses. Updating security protocols can put a strain on budgets even at the enterprise level, but since mobile authentications rely on the devices employees and customers already own, there’s no need to invest in additional hardware prior to implementation. Mobile biometrics applications can be tailored to match the unique use cases of each enterprise and custom-built to individualized specifications. 

Biometrics tend to be faster than other authentication methods, creating a better user experience across the board. Instead of entering a series of passwords or struggling to recall answers to security questions, employees and customers are able to gain access using an identifier they can’t lose or forget. For the growing number of mobile employees at the enterprise level, the use of biometrics simplifies network access from any location while preserving the security of sensitive corporate data. 

Challenges of Implementation

When mobile devices are incorporated as part of users’ identities, each device becomes a potential gateway into the enterprise network with which users are associated. Unlike traditional biometrics housed on company premises, mobile devices can be lost or stolen when traveling outside the physical location of the network adding to biometric authentication challenges

An identity component in the wrong hands has the potential to undermine access control measures and allow hackers to infiltrate the network undetected. Gartner warns the easy accessibility making mobile biometrics so attractive may increase susceptibility to spoofing and requires additional features like “liveness testing” to minimize the risk of unauthorized access. 

Integration also poses a challenge to enterprises in which workflows include applications with incompatible authentication protocols or where legacy systems are still widely used. A mobile biometrics solution capable of working with a network of diverse on-premises and cloud-based applications is necessary for creating a streamlined user experience. 

Finally, because decentralized credential storage places user credentials on devices, concerns shift from a centralized database within an enterprise network to the security of hundreds or even thousands of individual endpoints. Biometric authentication must be designed to adapt and respond to risk levels associated with this change and backed by secure, reliable data transfer methods incorporating end-to-end encryption for the highest level of security. 

Although more enterprises are adopting biometrics to address the challenges associated with identity management and access control in the current cybersecurity landscape, mobile solutions still present their fair share of challenges. Enterprises must examine the use cases for which mobile biometrics are being considered, evaluate the costs and benefits and investigate what solutions are available before moving ahead with implementation.

Identity and access management certifications

Identity and Access Management Solutions ProvidersIdentity and Access Management solutions providers are increasingly in the cyber security spotlight as today’s IT environments consist of many heterogeneous systems and dispersed users which present access and security challenges. User needs to quickly access many systems on various platforms and instances with different technologies such as operating systems, databases, and servers make identity and access management tasks very challenging. In modern IT environments, some systems rely on social media platforms to authenticate users on their systems, yet this presents another set of security challenges. In addition, identity and access management is evolving to automate various workflows in the IAM lifecycle and improve security with advanced authentication or Artificial Intelligence (AI) as the majority of system intrusions are blamed on stolen identity information and weak identity and access management practices. Advanced automation and authentication along with AI will be key factors for best-in-class IAM workflow and security management in the coming years.

 

Why Companies Deploy Identity and Access Management Tools

Identity and access management tools are designed to streamline and secure the identity and access management processes by integrating various IAM components in the business model to make identity and access management efficient, seamless, and secure. The concepts of “one identity” and “device neutrality” are introduced and supported by identity and access management solutions vendors to allow IAM Tools and Technical Solutionsusers access all systems seamlessly from any device and help organizations manage the entire IAM lifecycle with increased security, process efficiency, reduced errors, and improved user satisfaction. In other words, no matter which authorized devices the users are using, they will be authenticated with the same identity to access multiple assigned systems. As BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) becomes a generally accepted concept, supporting user’s devices reliably and securely will become a necessity. Policies can be enforced on the devices that connect to the network and the identities that are authenticated through them.

Benefits of IAM Technology Solutions

  • Federated Identity – Many companies require resources outside their immediate organization to have access to their internal systems including suppliers, customers, and consultants. With arrangements between organizations and sharing of subscriber access data, IAM solutions can increase productivity and reduce cost with identity federation.
  • Automation – IAM tools also allow the automation of many trivial and time-consuming tasks that drain administrators’ time. Many identity and access management vendors provide automated access provisioning and de-provisioning workflow or auditing capabilities, and self-service features that allow users to reset their own passwords. Password resets can tie up helpdesk resources, not to mention be very frustrating for end users and cost conscious organizations. Just as the provisioning of resources across systems needs to be automated, so does the removal of those resources, when contractors finish their projects or employees leave or are terminated. This eliminates manual provisioning and de-provisioning by administrators, which can be very time-consuming and error-prone.
  • Regulatory compliance – Since all users are often authenticated with one system in Single-Sign-On (SSO) environments, that system becomes the system of record for all user activity. This makes it very easy to implement comprehensive policies with regard to auditing, security, and access. These policies ensure that the environment is kept in compliance with the requirements of the company. Compliance with regulatory and security standards such as Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX), PCI DSS, and HIPAA would be much more difficult to accomplish in a piecemeal fashion.
  • Remote Access – Many multi-national companies have globally dispersed employees and others allow their employees to work from home or remotely from other countries when work is outsourced. IAM solutions can facilitate remote access capabilities of an organization while maintaining an overall secure posture as they change their business processes.
  • Enhanced security – Using an IAM tools is more secure in several ways. Some identity and access management solution providers do not limit user authentication with just a password, but also integrate biometrics, multi-factor, and device authentication. Also, instead of using a password for authentication to websites and web services, access to these sites can be integrated into the IAM processes to authenticate users with access credentials on other systems with protocols such as OAuth (Open Authorization) which is an open standard for token-based authentication and authorization on the Internet. OAuth, which is pronounced “oh-auth,” allows an end user’s account information to be used by third-party services, such as Facebook, without exposing the user’s password.

Overview of Identity and Access Management Solutions Providers

The big players Like Microsoft, Oracle, and IBM offer comprehensive suites that can deliver IAM services including directory services, SSO, automated workflow, tracking, and auditing to name a few. Smaller IAM vendors are proving to be innovative and leading the way in introducing newer technologies such as biometric authentication. Crossmatch, for instance, claims to be the market leader in biometrics, and boasts multi-factor authentication as well as advanced biometric hardware capabilities.

Evolution of the Identity and Access Management Market Landscape

Response to Societal Change

Outsourcing and the increasing utilization of consultants can spread an enterprise across the entire world. Providing people on the outside the same access as people inside the organization is now a critical business requirement. Manual access provisioning while possible would be very cumbersome, time consuming, and expensive on a server by server, resource by resource basis. The simplification of creating identities, attaching them to resources, and giving them the appropriate access is a must.

IAM Market and LandscapeBYOD initiatives represent a change in society’s view of technology. Companies are slowly adopting the use of their employee devices for business purpose while they apply the required security measures to maintain their overall security posture. This is a shift in the control mechanism from the device itself to the network, but is also a concession to the fact that our devices are personal and part of our lives. “By offering and accepting BOYD agreements, organizations want to reduce their operating costs without compromising their security posture, and employees also want reduced device and service cost without compromising their privacy” says Henry Bagdasarian, Founder of Identity Management Institute.

Social media is becoming a bigger part, not only of our personal lives, but also of our businesses as well. Some enterprises require that certain employees have a social media presence. The proliferation of the cloud has also created a need to support this type of access for Internet sites and services. IAM tools now commonly support the integration of social media accounts into their IAM services. “It seems to be a win-win scenario but employees need to understand their privacy rights and company’s practices of device confiscation during investigations or remote data wipe when their device is lost or stolen before they embrace BYOD as the business has the upper hand”, Mr. Bagdasarian continues.

Response to Technological Change

In the early days of personal computing, many operating systems didn’t even have a concept of separate identities. Personal computers would gradually go from being toys for hobbyists to serious tools for work. As these systems became more critical and the exploits of hacking became more widely known, security became a much more recognizable issue. Similarly, as technology increases the scope of what systems can do, the risks of failing to secure them and the data they store and manage also increase. Identity and access management solutions providers continue to respond to these challenges with new features and more robust management capabilities.

Future Trends and Direction

As Artificial Intelligence (AI) becomes more sophisticated, so will the tasks which can be automated by computers. Identity and access management technology solutions will be part of this trend. In the future, IAM tools will be able to absorb and analyze huge amounts of data and be able to cluster similar strands of data that would be relevant to the users and what they want to accomplish with the data. IAM tools will also be able to recognize problems in the environment, and resolve these problems by reacting. IAM will be able to recognize access permissions that it believes makes no sense. The tools will then remove these anomalies of access, or request that a human attest that the defined access is legitimate.

Biometric authentication will become more common in the future. This technology uses metrics of some part of the body, which vary from person to person in such a way that they can be used as a form of identification. Currently, the error rate for biometrics is unacceptably high, leading to many false positives and negatives to be a reliable form of authentication. Biometrics come in two forms: physiological and behavioral. Facial recognition, fingerprint and iris/retina recognition are some of the more common forms of physiological biometric identification. Behavioral biometrics might measure your voice patterns or patterns in the way you make certain gestures with your hands. That said, biometric authentication may be proceeded by multi-factor authentication with the use of smartphones. Visit the IAM vendor page for a list of identity and access management solutions providers.

identity and access management certification

In case you’ve been looking for one more reason to quit your CISO job, Uber’s highly publicized data breach case offered Chief Information Security Officers the opportunity to reassess their C-level security job and quit before it’s too late and avoid going to prison. In this article, we will cover Uber’s data breach case and suggest a few instances where it may be time to quit your CISO job. The terms CISO and CSO (Chief Security Officer) may be used interchangeably as organizations use both terms.

Uber’s Data Breach History

Following a data breach in 2014, Uber disclosed a security incident to the Federal Trade Commission which initiated an investigation of Uber’s security and privacy practices. Joe Sullivan was hired as CSO in April 2015 and soon after the FTC served Uber a Civil Investigative Demand which requested additional information about any other cases of unauthorized access to customer personal information, as well as Uber’s broader data security program and procedures. The CSO testified under oath and shared the steps that Uber had taken to safeguard personal information.

Just a few weeks after his testimony, hackers stole a large amount of personal data on November 14, 2016 and contacted the CSO and others at Uber via email to demand a ransom. Instead of notifying the appropriate external parties, the CSO decided to keep the hack a secret and pay off hackers in return for signed non-disclosure agreement. Is it possible that the CSO made this decision because he could not validate the hackers’ claim but did not want to take a risk so he decided to pay the ransom and make the problem go away? The other question we must ask ourselves is were internal parties such as the CEO and General Counsel aware and in agreement of the CSO’s arrangement with the hackers since according to the news reports hackers notified the CSO and other internal parties to demand ransom? However, according to evidence by the Department of Justice, the CSO never mentioned the incident to internal parties.

A new CEO who was appointed in August 2017 learned about the details of incident and decided to fire the CSO and disclose the data breach to the public and FTC as he determined personal data was involved which falls within consumer privacy and data breach notification laws.

First Cybersecurity and Data Breach Criminal Liability Case

On October 5, 2022, Joe Sullivan was found guilty of obstructing justice for keeping the breach from the Federal Trade Commission, which had been probing Uber’s privacy protection at the time, and of actively hiding a felony. This case is believed to be the first time a company executive has faced potential criminal liability for an alleged data breach. 

He now faces a maximum of five years in prison for the obstruction charge, and a maximum three years in prison for the deliberate concealment charge, pending sentencing and possible appeal results.

The CEO and other executives were not charged although the $100k ransom was paid to hackers as “bug bounty”. The question here is did the CSO pay the ransom out of his personal account without the knowledge of other executives to conceal his actions or, did the company approve the payment?

Who is responsible for data breach?

Identity Management Institute ran a LinkedIn poll titled who is responsible for data breach to seek feedback from its industry experts and interested parties about a recent data breach case.

Based on the votes, the majority of respondents believe the Chief Information Security Officer or CISO is ultimately responsible for cybersecurity and data breach response. Although this is a general poll question, “the security governance program, reporting structure, and budget approval process of an organization may ultimately determine who should be responsible for data security and data breach incidents”, according to Henry Bagdasarian.

When You Should Quit Your CISO Job

Chief Security Officers around the world must be asking themselves; will I be blamed and get fired if my organization faces a data breach? Will I have the support of other executives? Do I have the necessary resources to adequately prevent and respond to a data breach?

These are questions that all CSOs must ask themselves and if you can’t honestly answer these critical questions to your satisfaction, then it may be time to quit your CISO job because the reputational and career risk is very high. On the other hand, if companies don’t come up with an adequate security governance program to reassure their CISOs, they might have a hard time finding and keeping qualified experts to become their next CISO.

Below are a few circumstances that you must consider when determining whether it’s time to quit your CISO job according to the article “11 Reasons a Chief Security Officer Must Quit the Job”:

  • The CISO role is not an executive role, does not report to a high-level executive, or reports to role that creates conflict of interest. Some CISOs report to low level IT managers or the Chief Information Officer leaving many gaps in the upward reporting process. “The problem with CISO reporting to the IT department and CIO is that data protection touches almost every department and process outside of the IT systems over which the CIO has no jurisdiction. Plus reporting IT security gaps to the CIO who is the owner of all systems and expecting the CIO to fix all issues in due time creates a conflict of interest.” according to Bagdasarian.
  • The Chief Privacy Officer role is not well defined and assigned. In some organizations, the CPO role does not exist or is not well defined or assigned to a qualified person such as the General Counsel. The CSO role may be expected to also cover privacy, yet the job description may not reflect this responsibility.  
  • There are many security gaps in a variety of areas that are not adequately remediated. Specifically, if these gaps are medium to high risk and have been in existence for a long time, it’s a red flag and clue that the organization as a whole has accepted the risk and the CSO alone is not responsible, yet the CSO may take the blame for a data breach at the end.
  • The security team lacks financial support to add the necessary headcounts, buy cybersecurity insurance, or implement technical security solutions.
  • Your boss ignores request for funding and seems careless about security gaps and risks.
  • Your boss doesn’t have clout in the organization and is often not taken seriously by other executives.
  • Board and CEO are not interested in security risks and don’t publicly support the security team.
  • Board or management ignore request for funding, are not interested in understanding the risks, lacks motive, or have other priorities such as preserving shareholder value or the selling the company.
  • You feel alone and unsupported during difficult times such as security incidents.
  • You are expected to be unethical, tell lies, or keep quiet in the interest of the organization during incidents or audits by third parties such as customers or regulators.
  • The CISO salary is well below the industry wages for your market. This is yet another indication that the CISO role is not taken seriously.

Conclusion

As a CISO, you should always assess your work environment and determine whether your organization is supporting you to perform ethically and competently. You should consider the career and reputational risks of not doing your job because of others. Specially, when it comes to regulations and contractual agreement, nothing should prevent you from adhering to the requirements and you should not accept short cuts. If you feel that you lack support to do your CISO job adequately or told to behave in a certain unethical manner, then, it’s time to quit your CISO job and move to another job. With these in mind, you should be able to ask the right questions in the interview process to assess whether the company and the CISO role is the right fit for you. If you notice red flags and still decide to take the job because it is a stepping stone in your career, consider whether the risk of going to jail is worth it.

identity and access management certification

knowledge based authenticationAsking users to answer security questions is a common feature of the knowledge-based authentication process. Unfortunately, it does very little to preserve security. Known as knowledge-based authentication (KBA), this approach for identifying end users is easily compromised and is no longer considered a viable authentication method.

Whether it’s based on a static model in which users input answers to questions during account creation or a dynamic approach using random questions pulled from a set of known data about a user, KBA fails to provide the level of protection necessary for modern systems and networks.

Why KBA is On the Way Out

Before the era of big data and widespread adoption of mobile and IoT technology, using questions with answers unique to individual users made sense as a method for verifying identity. In theory, each security question in a KBA model has only one right response, and this response shouldn’t be easy for third parties to guess.

However, with businesses and financial institutions now collecting and storing large amounts of data about their customers and individual users sharing every detail of their lives on social media, information once considered private is readily available to hackers. The public records used as the basis for dynamic KBA are like an open book to anyone who knows the types of information necessary to answer common security questions, and a growing number of data breaches has resulted in leaks of large amounts of private consumer data.

Cracks in Knowledge-Based Authentication

The ease of use for both businesses and users is a major downfall of KBA. The increasingly complex challenges involved in protecting data require complex security solutions based on something more than a set of generic questions. Although the security queries posed in KBA appear to be personalized, there are only so many questions a system can use, and hackers are able to guess the answers to the most common ones as much as 20 percent of the time.

When guessing fails, it often only takes a Google search to crack the KBA code. Information from hacked databases or data aggregators is available for hackers to purchase, making it easier to undermine dynamic KBA strategies. Phishing and spear phishing attacks allow third parties to gain access to individual accounts, infiltrate systems and obtain detailed user information, rendering security questions useless.

Another glaring problem is the inability of users to remember the answers to their own questions. Around 20 percent of answers are forgotten within six months of account creation, or users fail to recall the exact way the answers were entered at the time an account was set up.

What’s Replacing Knowledge-Based Authentication?

Many organizations are switching to multi-factor authentication (MFA) protocols requiring two or more identifiers from users before granting access. Businesses of all sizes with numerous mobile employees are beginning to adopt complex rules for authenticating specific devices and are implementing single sign-on to streamline access without compromising data security.

Automation is changing the nature of user onboarding and provisioning, and it’s becoming more common to see granular rules designed to ensure no single user is able to access more information or perform more actions than necessary to complete specific tasks. In the near future, organizations may also adopt:

• Controls on financial account activities
• Phone-based identification with SMS verification
• Blockchain authentication methods
• Alternative identity proofing, such as requiring a photo of a physical ID

By strengthening the approach to security through these and other KBA alternatives, it should be possible to keep proprietary and sensitive data safer and reduce the number of breaches organizations experience.

When KBA is Still Viable for Authentication

In some authentication protocols, KBA may still be used safely. Companies and institutions with robust user data protected by strong security can draw from their own information to create dynamic KBA queries. Hackers may still be able to gain access to this data, but it requires more work than looking up public records or obtaining aggregated information.

KBA may also be included as part of a larger, more robust approach to authentication. In systems designed to operate on a contextual basis, KBA is useful to fall back on when users can’t meet the requirements for other forms of authentication. Using KBA along with behavior monitoring incorporates patterns of users’ actions into the authentication process, allowing for termination of sessions or denial of access should unusual behaviors be detected.

If KBA remains part of your identity and access management strategy, it may be time to consider adopting a better method. Examine your current security protocols, and assess the types of data handled by, stored in and transferred from your system. Sensitive data requires tougher security and smarter authentication methods. Make plans to add layers to your authentication protocol or phase out KBA in favor of stronger tactics.

Identity and Access Management certifications -Identity Management Institute IAM certifications