Deploying Effective Identity and Access Management  

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Deploying Effective Identity and Access Management  

Identity and Access Management (IAM) has a number of key roles in an organization’s security “stack”. But these jobs are divided among several teams- development teams, IT infrastructure, operations management, and the legal department, to name a few.

According to McKinsey, the security budget roughly affected 70% of CISOs in 2020. As employees are compelled to work remotely for the foreseeable future, one of the most significant challenges is how to deal with identity management and access control when it comes to company resources.

Today, deploying effective identity and access management (IAM) programs necessitates ensuring that remote employees can maintain access outside of their typical domain barriers in a secure manner. Here are a few strategies that can immediately assist firms, whether they have an existing strategy or are dealing with identification for the first time.

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Managing heterogeneous devices remotely

The heterogeneity of IT is one of the most fundamental changes in identity management today. Businesses could previously use a standardized strategy to govern all access to IT assets and applications by using a directory.

That strategy is no longer viable now. Computers running Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux are used in businesses, as are phones and tablets running a mix of iOS, Android, and iPadOS. Cloud-based services and SaaS apps are also available to businesses. Each of them must be managed from the standpoint of identity.

Examining the directory approach is an important first step with the migration to remote working and increasingly heterogeneous IT. Extending a current directory may be adequate for established firms to keep up with the increased range of assets and devices on which they must support IDs.

Many businesses that use SaaS services and a variety of devices, on the other hand, may find it easier to start from scratch with a cloud directory.

Understanding standards

The job of managing identities is made easier by identity management standards. RADIUS, LDAP, and Kerberos have all been around for a long time. In today’s mixed contexts, extending these standards to allow cloud deployment is essential. Businesses can construct their own server instance or use a cloud-based service that automates the administrative side for them to support access based on a standard like RADIUS.

However, these older standards do not adequately support SaaS applications, necessitating the development of new ones. SAML, or Security Assertion Markup Language, enables single sign-on (SSO) to web applications while also ensuring access control across many security domains.

SAML solutions allow external applications and websites to securely access a company’s directory information. SAML is secure because instead of transmitting user credentials, it sends XML-based certificates that are unique to each application.

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Understanding conditional access, devices, and context

The management of identities has become more difficult. With users spread across many devices and locations, managing device identities necessitates a context-based approach. In these scenarios, device trust is critical.

Users, devices, networks, and other resources are all untrusted by default in a Zero Trust security model. In a Zero Trust model, the process begins with a secure identification. Following that, companies can verify that the device is considered safe and secure. During the provisioning process, a security certificate can be used to accomplish this.

Finally, organizations can examine each user’s network location. Because many employees work remotely, whitelisting every IP address may not be feasible; instead, firms might prohibit access to requests from other geo-locations.

Conditional access can help businesses in creating smarter policies. Restricting access to specified devices and locations ensures security without impacting users in professions with limited mobility. Businesses can use location data in conjunction with multi-factor authentication and device specs for more mobile roles.

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