Key Characteristics of Identity and Access Management Solutions

An identity management system is an invaluable tool for organizations. To maintain data security, key characteristics of identity and access management solutions must be considered and access must be governed using flexible and granular control methods. The process is too intricate to handle manually, so enterprises need to seek solutions with features designed to address today’s multifaceted access requirements.

key characteristics of identity and access management system tools and solutions

Equipped for Emerging Security Trends

Trends in cybersecurity and IAM are always evolving. From the slow demise of passwords to the increasing implementation of zero-trust security, current trends can be seen as predictors of more changes to come. As new devices appear on the market and users begin to access systems in new and different ways, enterprises will require adaptable, responsive IAM solutions.

Therefore, flexibility is key when choosing identity management software. Solutions must not only be equipped for the business needs of today but also be able to handle future enterprise access requirements. This includes IAM coverage for evolving user access behaviors and technology with the sensitivity to identify and protect against new threats.

Compatibility and Integration

Introducing any new software into an enterprise system creates the potential for conflicts between platforms. IAM solutions must be tested to ensure compatibility and prevent potential problems arising from inefficient access management. If conflicts do occur, a different solution may be required. Alternatively, there may be a need to upgrade existing systems to support newer IAM technology and remove the security loopholes often found in legacy systems.

Relevance is another important consideration. Identity and access management solutions must do more than support a specific type of login method or send security alerts to the IT department. A truly agile platform will perform multiple roles within a company’s larger security framework to address all aspects of a robust IAM strategy while facilitating a positive user experience.

Mobile-Ready Access Control

Enterprises are still coming to grips with the number of user-owned devices accessing their networks. These devices represent significant security concerns, especially in the hands of employees without a strong grasp of security best practices. While employee education remains an important aspect of every cybersecurity strategy, identity management solutions can mitigate threats by allowing for detailed behavioral and contextual access control.

The “anywhere, anytime” nature of mobile device use necessitates the creation of secure access parameters. Enterprises require the ability to define appropriate access based on:

• Device type
• Day and time
• Location

Putting limitations in place minimizes the risk of unauthorized access and simplifies the detection of unusual access behaviors.

Numerous Identity Verification Options

Every identity verification method has drawbacks, some of which are still being discovered. Identity management solutions address this problem by offering flexible login options that incorporate multiple methods of identity verification.

Multi-factor authentication is the most common approach for access control and may combine factors such as:

• Passwords
• Biometrics
• One-time passwords
• Email links
• Authenticator applications

In networks handling a great deal of sensitive data or where privileged access is necessary for specific roles, additional verification should be required for high-risk access requests.

Comprehensive Analytics

Analytics are integral to many enterprise systems, including identity management. Identity analytics reveal how users access and interact with networks, which provides essential information for clarifying roles and honing access policies. Any vulnerabilities and potential threats that come to light can be fixed immediately.

Where breach activity is concerned, analytics reveal direct correlations between user identities and security incidents. Enterprises can use this information to improve security frameworks and address problems arising from employee ignorance and malicious insider threats. Because prevention is less costly than doing damage control after a breach, applying analytics in this way can be a significant cost-saving measure.

Analytics also play an important role in compliance. Data collected by the system enables more detailed security and access audits, so enterprises are better able to identify areas of noncompliance and implement solutions to avoid fines and penalties.

Fast Incident Alerts and Responses

Breach activity can go undetected for months in networks without appropriate IAM solutions. Putting tools in place to detect and prevent the escalation of suspicious behavior protects enterprises from the crippling consequences of breaches. The moment potential breach activity is detected, identity management software should automatically respond with an appropriate interim defense while an alert is sent to the security team.

Artificial intelligence improves the sensitivity of breach detection within IAM frameworks. This allows for flexible access control, custom alerts and greater detail when defining roles. AI systems trained using robust data sets are better able to detect unusual access behaviors and deploy protective measures without raising unnecessary red flags.

Identity management software is an essential component of modern enterprise security frameworks. When businesses consider key characteristics of identity and access management solutions and deploy the right IAM tools and services, IT teams are able to monitor and respond to suspicious behavior more effectively, thus reducing the risk of breach activity and maintaining the integrity of both networks and the critical data they handle.