According to a study referenced in CBROnline, 79.7% of organizations are investing, in one way or another, in an Identity and Access Management (IAM) solution. While this number is up from even two years ago, it only shows people who are involved with some aspect, not those who have fully implemented a solution. When it comes to the security of your data, organizations should put identity and access first because, as we have seen, user credentials are hacker’s favorite tools to breach your network. Yet, these numbers show that a full 20% of organizations haven’t even begun to implement IAM solutions.
So why haven’t they?
No, these solutions aren’t cheap and, no, they aren’t easy to plug into a network and let them run. However, neither are many other cyber-security solutions you have already implemented. What is more important than monitoring the billions of access relationships in your network that could be compromised at this very moment?
Identity and Access Management is scary and I don’t mean that for the size or price tag. These solutions show us things we don’t want to know are there. They open up our mess of entitlements and show us how vulnerable we really are. However, if you use IAM as it is intended it won’t only tell what is missing but what we can do immediately to secure our identities. Today, instead of giving you seven more reasons to run and hide when IAM comes up I want to give you seven ways to take down the big scary elements of IAM.
1. Death by Big Data
This is number one for a very good reason. Between the number of applications and devices assigned to each user, you can quickly reach over a million access relationships in your first day. When you add in multiple locations for those users, some on premise and some remote, and then you add in your part time users and contractors and their access –you can see how the “big data monster” can quickly eat you alive.
So how does IAM help? It makes sense of all the data and tells you what you need to know. With an IAM solution, you can identify all users and the applications, devices and more that they have access to. Furthermore, you can tell when those users have more access than they should or when they are behaving unusually. IAM can break down the mess of data and show you what you need to see in order to secure access.
Identity and Access Management with Analytics goes one step farther in you mission to attack and understand. With analytics applied to your IAM solution you can resolve immediate threats and improve ongoing provisioning and governance with predictive analytics applied to the big identity and access data in your enterprise.
2. Fear of Excess Privilege
What does “privileged data” mean in your organization? What data is actually privileged? Do you know where it lives or who has access to it? Do you know how many levels it would take someone before they could breach your network and get to it? Do you know how they would worm their way in if they came in through a phishing email or a downloaded piece of malware?
If you can’t answer all of these questions then I think you understand why this is a big worry among cyber-security professionals. While most IAM solutions will give you the visibility to see your privilege data and who has access to it, you can take that one step further with the addition of a Privilege Access Management (PAM) tool.
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