Demands on organizations continue to intensify – the precarious balance of requests for more access with the need to be more secure is difficult to maintain. Additionally, all of this is to be achieved faster, with fewer resources. It is more important than ever for each organization to develop a strategy for managing and governing user access in an automated manner. A well-defined Identity Governance and Administration (IGA) program is becoming an increasingly critical piece of an organization’s security portfolio.
Small organizations with employees numbering in the double digits will be able to easily manage granting, removing, and reviewing access, and may even have predefined roles or access templates. Larger businesses, on the other hand, greatly benefit from implementing an IGA solution in order to effectively manage access to systems, applications, and devices. Read on to find out the many benefits of IGA and determine if it’s time for your organization to explore the world of IGA.
1. Regulatory Compliance
With regulations like the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), SOX (Sarbanes-Oxley), and HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) prioritizing and mandating data privacy, industries are focusing on access issues more than ever. Limiting and monitoring access to only those that need it is not only a crucial security measure, but one that is becoming critical to staying in compliance with these regulations.
IGA solutions not only help ensure that access to sensitive information like patient records or financial data is strictly controlled, they also enable organizations to prove they are taking these actions. Organizations can receive audit requests at any time. An effective IGA solution makes the required periodic review and attestation of access business friendly, effective, and comes with built-in reporting capabilities to meet relevant government and industry regulations. Taking a visual approach to the data can make this whole process more accurate and easier to deploy to the business.
2. Risk Management
The news cycle is dominated by stories of massive data breaches, with the organizations involved having to spend time and money on remediation efforts, while also dealing with the damage done to their reputation. IGA solutions take a proactive approach, reducing the exposure of sensitive data by rigorously limiting and guarding access to begin with, reducing the risk in the environment.
IGA solutions enable a robust approach to managing and governing access by focusing on three aspects of access. First, they practice least privilege access, eliminating excess privileges and granting access to only those who absolutely need it in order to do their jobs. Secondly, they terminate ‘orphaned’ accounts as quickly as possible. These accounts that are no longer being used, either because an employee is no longer with the company, or any other reason, are perfect targets for those looking to breach the environment. Finally, IGA solutions monitor for segregation of duty (SoD) violations. This critical risk management concept dictates that no single individual should be able to complete a task, creating a built-in system of checks and balances. For example, in a financial transaction, whoever creates a payee should not be the one to authorize payment.
3. Business Changes
Organizations grow and change continually, and an IGA solution can make those changes more efficient and less risky. Small changes, like individual promotions, transfers, and layoffs, can quickly be implemented, since IGA solutions can provision access based on roles, and not on individual accounts. This strategy of Role Based Access Control (RBAC) works equally well for larger changes, like mergers, acquisitions, and corporate reorganizations. IGA solutions can greatly shorten the timeline for executing bulk additions or transitions of user accounts by automating and streamlining provisioning and approvals. It is critical to develop roles in an accurate and intuitive manner.
4. Streamlining Budget
We all need to do more with less. Managing identity and access manually can be an unsustainable burden on IT. Provisioning access manually takes far more time, and often comes with additional help desk calls or tickets if these changes take too long or are done incorrectly. Documentation and reporting requirements add more effort and complexity. Certifying privileged access also becomes time consuming for managers and can result in rubber-stamping approvals in order to get on with more pressing matters. Carelessness in any of these tasks can lead to costly mistakes.
Of course, this also means that IT teams are sacrificing time that could be spent on other projects or improvements. IGA solutions minimize these time management issues and can also accomplish these tasks with higher accuracy.
5. Service Delivery
At its core, IGA solutions are designed to make life easier. Their usefulness impacts everyone within an organization. Establishing roles and streamlining provisioning makes for a much more efficient on-boarding process. The inefficiencies of a new-hire having to wait for access, sometimes for days or weeks, can be eliminated. Their accounts will be created with access already in place, based on their assigned role. Managers don’t have to waste time requesting access for employees, nor do they need to worry about making sure that former employees no longer have access. Ultimately, everyone will have the access they need when they need it, allowing everyone to get to work that much faster.
With these clear, measurable benefits, it’s easy to see why IGA solutions are quickly becoming an essential component in many organizations’ security strategy. Core Security, a HelpSystems Company, has developed multiple integrated IGA solutions to tailor fit your organization, since no two IT environments look alike. While these solutions have different approaches to IGA, they all provide these five critical benefits, and more. To find out which IGA solution is right for you, request a personalized demo from one of our experts today.