Identity and Access Management Best Practices
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IAM Tools Are Crucial to Cloud Security
In the same way cloud computing has changed how we store data, methods of accessing content have become altered, too. Identity and access management (IAM) tools have become essential to protecting cloud-based material and making sure authorized parties view it. What are difference between identity management and access management.
The Past Versus Now
Traditionally, networks included various subnetworks. Users had dedicated addresses that designated them as being part of particular organizations. They were integral in verifying identities and granting access.
However, cloud computing makes address-based methods of access virtually obsolete. The main reason for that is because people often require access to the cloud on the go. They use their mobile devices to get into the cloud. Therefore, it’s no longer location-centric addresses that confirm access because some people rarely or never access the cloud in static locations.
Instead, people typically rely on specialized applications that give them access. Although those apps may be user-friendly and straightforward, they could also permit people to see content in the cloud that’s not appropriate for their respective credentials. IAM tools target this issue through dual capabilities. Learn more about identity access management best practices.
What can IAM Tools do?
Most people have a few colleagues who scribble emails and passwords down on pieces of paper, hoping to make it easier to recall the login details and assuming other people won’t mistakenly — or intentionally — see them. Find here advantages of IAM solutions.
In some workplaces, business leaders encourage the practice of distributing a single username and password to every person who requires access. They believe this simplified process prevents issues. Another typical scenario is the Single Sign-On (SSO) approach, whereby a user inputs one password to access all systems at once. It’s convenient, but compromises security, too.
IAM tools represent much-improved options compared to those old but familiar sign-on strategies. All of them have two components. One matches users with identities, and the other pairs those identities with access rights. So, they grant access to cloud systems, plus present users with content they’re authorized to see.
These capabilities may remind some people of the multi-factor authentication strategies used by many financial institutions. In most instances, it’s no longer sufficient for a person to produce a password and get access. He or she also must answer a secret question, give a PIN or go through another identity verification method.
The Ways Organizations Depend on IAM Tools for Data Protection
Besides offering more robust security, IAM tools that enhance cloud security and enforce access limitations give organizations many ways to make decisions about user capabilities. In a centralized model, access decisions are based at one location. It can either be a physical or virtual location. There are also decentralized options that enable access decisions made by various authorized parties in a region.
Finally, organizations may use the federated model. It requires each team to make decisions about access for the people under that umbrella. This is a preferred method because it features the streamlined characteristics of centralized IAM without restricting access decisions to one place.
Although IAM systems work with the traditional username and password approach, many organizations decide not to use it because they know people may misuse their passwords or make them too easy to guess. However, some centralized systems enforce regular and frequent password changes to beef up security.
Beyond passwords, people who assume specific roles within an organization might receive USB sticks that help them get into systems. To reduce the issues associated with potential theft, USB drives or similar tools sometimes have biometrics technologies such as facial recognition or fingerprint scans.
IAM Technology Is Becoming Mainstream
A recent survey of several hundred IT professionals revealed that in 2016, 93% of respondents used advanced, multi-factor authentication strategies at their organizations. Only 66% of people said that was the case in 2015, and these statistics show how tech specialists realize the former methods of data protection are no longer sufficient.
Shortcomings in Employee Training Could Cause Problems
With the rise in IAM security tools, there is an increased need for comprehensive employee training. Organizations often fall short when implementing security-based worker education.
Refresher courses are too infrequent to result in meaningful benefits. Sometimes, employees merely receive thick stacks of paperwork about new security practices. They’re then expected to read over the documents and sign them to verify understanding — but organizations may not intervene to give explanations of complex terminology, causing limited comprehension and retention.
IAM tools have clear benefits compared to past methods. However, technology and training must go hand in hand for maximum benefits. Many notable tech brands, such as IBM, offer these specialty products that lock down cloud security by verifying both identities and roles.
Once organizations invest in them, plus teach employees what they need to know about the new advancements, access will become increasingly restricted. If that happens, the prolific security breaches that captured recent headlines should become less likely, too.
Why Do We Need Identity and Access Management (IAM Solutions)
Nathan Sykes is a techie and blogger from Pittsburgh, PA. His thoughts about the latest in the tech and B2B industries can be read at Finding an Outlet.