Cybersecurity risks are on the rise, especially when it comes to data-driven companies. Identity and Access Management (IAM) can help.
Everyone can use someone to lean on. When it comes to protecting data for an entire company, large or small, there’s only so much we can do on our own. And thankfully, just as cybersecurity threats rise, the tools to combat security risks get better and smarter.
Identity and Access Management (IAM) is a tool specifically designed to help data-driven businesses protect their information. IAM can take care of tedious security tasks and free up time for IT admins. Often, security risks in companies stem from a lack of tools that simplify security measures. Employees only have so much time during their day to invest in taking part in, or fostering, a security culture. That’s why automation through IAM is key. IAM can automatically grant permissions to employees, provide credentials, and use SSO to log into multiple accounts. In practice, those things make life easier for employees across the board.
The top 5 benefits of implementing IAM:
- Lower risk of data breaches: With SSO and MFA, your employees no longer have to remember and type multiple passwords.
- Improved user experience and productivity: Employees can securely access the applications and data they need from anywhere. This can improve the user experience and bump up productivity.
- Enhanced regulatory compliance: IAM automates data access and privacy requirements by controlling who can access, use, and share data.
- Reduced IT costs: IAM automates and standardizes many aspects of identity, authentication, and authorization management. It can, for instance, decrease help desk tickets for password resets and streamline onboarding and offboarding of users.
- Centralized management: IAM centralizes and automates IT management, giving IT teams the flexibility to work in the office or from remote sites.
The challenges of implementing IAM in business
Though the benefits of IAM are game changing for many businesses, the tool still needs to be thoughtfully implemented into an overall security strategy. IAM deployment is a continuous initiative that should combine ongoing knowledge of IAM technologies with intricate planning and change-management expertise.
Implementing IAM presents its own challenges, and many small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) lack the resources needed to implement IAM. Because of this, SMBs often lag behind larger companies in the deployment of IAM. This disadvantage has not escaped the attention of hackers, many of whom are developing new threats that target smaller organizations.
- Buy-in from business leaders is crucial. Whatever the size of your company, getting buy-in from business leaders and board members is critical to the success of an IAM initiative. Too frequently, executives dismiss IAM as an IT issue, when in reality, a truly successful IAM program is aligned with enterprise-wide business goals and risks. Successfully utilizing IAM to its true potential requires technical expertise and a deep understanding of business processes, operations, and regulatory obligations.
- There’s a global shortage of tech professionals. Finding IT employees with this knowledge can be difficult due to a global shortage of technology workers. SMBs continue to jockey for skilled, but scarce, IT security professionals. They are at a disadvantage, however, because they typically lack the deep pockets of larger companies that can pay a premium for top talent.
- Lack of password security still leads to costly breaches. And then there’s password security—or, more accurately, a lack thereof. Almost half (47%) of respondents to a Ponemon survey reported an attack involving compromised employee passwords over the past year at an average cost of $384,598.
And there’s an obvious reason—only 45% of companies have a password-management policy, according to Ponemon, with only 42% having insight into employees’ password practices.
Discover more about how IAM can help businesses protect data. Read our latest white paper Identity and Access Management 101.