Identity Governance

Enhancing Security and Compliance With an Identity Governance Framework

Strong identity governance and administration policies protect companies from security risks and demonstrate compliance with regulations like GDPR or industry mandates. Implementing an effective identity governance framework reduces reliance on manual processes, which are prone to error and often take too long to complete or result in access being over-provisioned.

IGA solutions emerged alongside strict data regulations, such as HIPAA, SOX, and GDPR, which increased the need for improved visibility and control of identity privileges.

Role-Based Access Management

A core component of identity governance is role-based access management (RBAC), which enables organizations to provide systematic permissions and access to business-critical information for improved cybersecurity and compliance with regulations such as HIPAA and GDPR. Effective RBAC requires analyzing your workforce’s functions and relationships to establish roles with common access criteria. For example, you can create a role for all employees with access to the corporate intranet and another for customer service representatives who have read/write-only access to your customer database.

You then align these roles with your employee’s positions within the company to ensure you only allocate them the permissions needed to perform their jobs. Regular access review allows you to identify inactive accounts no longer required and remove unnecessary permissions to reduce risk and improve security.

Finally, you must enforce segregation of duties by ensuring that no user has access to multiple applications or data simultaneously, which could lead to compromised security or regulatory violations. It would help to incorporate reporting and auditing mechanisms into your workflows to provide visibility into user access requests, approvals, access reviews, and other activities supporting the governance framework.

Implementing role-based access management is a time-consuming task. Once it is in place, you must regularly revisit and refine your policy to protect your organization against cyberattacks. The best way to do this is to partner with a vendor that offers a robust identity governance platform, which will automate many of the tasks involved in RBAC and help you to keep up-to-date with your evolving organizational landscape.

Automated Password Management

Managing passwords across multiple systems and applications becomes more difficult as a business grows and expands. As a result, many organizations either skip password rotation or fail to implement it entirely. This puts the organization at risk and makes it much more difficult to meet compliance requirements such as Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX), Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA), or Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS).

Modern identity governance frameworks offer a solution to this problem by automating password management for all users on all systems in the enterprise. They can also synchronize passwords between disparate systems and apps managed on-premises, in the cloud, or by a SaaS provider. This helps to lessen the burden on IAM teams, IT, and security staff and improves operational efficiency for all stakeholders.

Identity governance frameworks can be based on pre-defined policies, or they can learn from the actions of human administrators over time. They often include machine learning algorithms to highlight anomalies, spotlight suspicious behavior and recommend access decisions for human IT administrators to review and approve.

Identity governance is a broad category of technologies that align user access with security and business goals while reducing compliance risks and regulatory burdens. It’s a valuable addition to a robust cybersecurity strategy and helps businesses protect themselves from hefty fines resulting from data breaches and cyber threats.

Multiple Authentication Methods

When it comes to ensuring the safety of your data, applications, and users, more than a username-password combination is required. Attackers are constantly trying to break into your IT systems by stealing login information, which means security teams must provide multiple ways to verify user identities before they can access sensitive apps or databases. This means multi-factor authentication (MFA) and strong password policies, but it can also mean fingerprint scanners or retinal scans — anything that requires more than one type of proof that the person is who they say they are.

A centralized identity governance and administration (IGA) framework uses the technologies above to help you create a comprehensive set of identity-related policies that can be enforced across your entire IT system. It provides centralized visibility so you can quickly identify and reduce identity risks while leaving critical decisions about permissions to human IT admins.

You want your employees to have access to the applications and data they need to do their jobs, but more access is needed. And you need to control access to external people, like contractors or third-party partners whose security practices may not align with yours. A good governance framework makes “entitlement right-sizing” a seamless process, providing standard workflows, analytics, and intelligence to ensure that access levels converge to the correct level for a given role over time.

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) is often the best tool to combat cyberattacks and other threats. However, various factors must be considered before businesses can deploy this technology to protect their company and its stakeholders.

One major issue is the need for more ethical standards baked into digital tools that make decisions for people, a problem that will deepen as AI becomes more prevalent. This is a major concern that will need to be addressed by governments, organizations, and individuals as these systems grow more sophisticated and widespread.

Another issue is the speed at which AI programs process information. This is particularly important in cybersecurity, as minutes can differ between a security threat and a full-blown cyberattack. AI systems often spot problems much faster than human teams, which means that the right remedial action can be taken before a cyberattack can take hold.

It’s also important to remember that AI is still a very new technology, which can lead to errors that are only sometimes easily spotted by humans. In the case of identity governance, these errors could result in users getting too much and needing more enough access to IT systems. This is why it is critical for an identity governance framework to include pre-established policies and automated processes that ensure that access levels converge at the “right” level over time.

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