Article

All users, all the time: Protecting your workforce and customers with IAM

Aug 29, 2023

Key takeaways

The IAM solutions you choose need to reflect the specific audience you want to protect.

There are several foundational solutions to consider when building out your IAM strategy.

A managed services provider can help you identify the solutions that meet your current and future needs. 

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Risk consulting Cybersecurity consulting Cybersecurity

The risk of data breaches and ransomware has organizations working around the clock to secure their perimeter from external threats. By prioritizing digital identity initiatives, organizations can help protect data integrity by securing access for individuals, systems, and devices

Digital identity is protected by a suite of identity and access management (IAM) solutions. IAM gives you a framework and the technology to control and monitor who has access to your systems and data. By controlling access, you can keep bad actors out while protecting your employees and customers.

IAM is not a one-size-fits-all

When evaluating IAM solutions, it’s important to keep the audience you want to protect in mind.

For a business-to-consumer (B2C) use case, you need to be able to authenticate customers who want to log into your website or platform to manage their account or make a purchase. For a business-to-employee (B2E) use case, you must ensure that employees can easily log into all the digital tools your business uses to operate.

B2E not only requires you to verify employee access and identity but also requires you to control privileges so that employees aren’t able to access data or systems above and beyond what they need to work. Employees may need to log into dozens of different digital tools over the course of their workday, so an effective IAM solution must be able to integrate with all of them to avoid frustration or multiple login methods.

Where to start with IAM

While there are many IAM vendors and solutions, organizations new to IAM will want to focus on incorporating a few foundational technologies:

  • Identity Governance and Administration provides a single platform where you can see and manage who has access to what./li>
  • Privileged access management (PAM) helps organizations control user access to sensitive networks, applications, and systems. In addition to preventing users or scripts from accessing prohibited data, PAM also tracks and records all actions taken, which is often required to meet regulatory compliance requirements. 
  • Adaptive authentication is a form of multi-factor authentication (MFA) that intelligently selects the authentication method using information like location, device status, or user behavior. This type of modern MFA can reduce or increase the friction associated with logging into systems and applications based on the current risks the authentication system detects.

There are also specialty solutions for functions like incident detection, provisioning, and governance, not to mention tools capable of managing the automated bots that manage and provision IT infrastructure. As a result, it’s not uncommon for many middle market organizations to require several different IAM solutions working in concert to meet their digital identity requirements. So where should you start?

The benefits of an IAM managed services partner

Rather than rush to implement a point solution, it’s important to take a step back to formulate a strategy. Whether you create a plan on your own or work with an outside IAM advisor, defining your needs, goals and a road map at the beginning of your journey can save significant time and money on the back end.

In fact, the right strategy can often help identify efficiencies that allow you to use one solution to cover multiple capabilities while ensuring you meet your broader risk management and compliance obligations.

A managed services provider can play a critical role in overcoming your IAM challenges, helping you to:

  • Plan: The right provider can provide the benefit of their real-world experience evaluating IAM solutions to help you identify, assess, and design a modern, scalable, and secure strategy that is unique to your industry and specific business. 
  • Build: The right provider will have a team of certified and trained IAM engineers who are experienced in implementing and configuring your chosen IAM technology using a proven methodology.
  • Run: The right provider can continue to act as an extension of your IT team to provide ongoing IAM strategy, program management, project management, engineering, and daily support. 

Our IAM team partners with you to deliver the tools and strategies to plan, build, and run your IAM program so that you meet your security goals quickly, efficiently, and effectively. By using decades of real-world experience in leading global identity programs and developing IAM strategies, a full team of in-house certified product advisors, and strategic relationships with best-of-breed IAM solution providers (like Microsoft and Okta).

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