How Identity and Access Management Meets CIO and CISO Goals

  • By WSO2 Team
  • 28 Sep, 2019

Identity and access management (IAM) is about defining and managing the roles and access privileges of individual network users and the circumstances in which users are granted (or denied) those privileges. It enables you to provide a seamless experience to all users of your system while making sure that security is given the highest priority. With the rise of e-commerce and privacy regulations, enterprises have had to focus more on end-users by implementing the right customer IAM (CIAM)strategy. Keeping all systems well-integrated and secure leads to a digitally transformed organization. Hence, IAM has become a core enabler for agile enterprises.

A CISO or CIO may have to look at reducing IT costs, developing flexible infrastructure, and complying with regulations; IAM directly impacts these tasks. This article discusses how IAM helps enterprises achieve these goals and more.

Enables easy access anywhere

People are increasingly using their social IDs to access services and resources. You need to be able to reach your users through any platform and allow them easy access to your services through their existing digital identities.

Bring your own identity (BYOID) is a concept that allows users to access your system through their own identities through identity federation. This removes all barriers to entry and lets employees, customers, and partners easily and securely access your business capabilities anywhere and at any time.

Connects everyone to everything

Connecting with people, APIs, applications, and devices is a key requirement of digital transformation. When doing so, you also need to think of the increased security threats that this brings about.

An IAM solution can manage the complexities of connecting with most popular identity providers — such as Salesforce, Twitter, and Google. It does this while enforcing strict security policies with strong and adaptive authentication, granting access to the right users. The solution should also connect or integrate user stores (e.g., Active Directory and LDAP) so that you are able to alleviate silos within the organization. You also need to be future-proof to make sure you will be able to extend your solution and connect to any new identity providers later on.

Improves employee productivity

When you hire new employees, they need to go through a user onboarding process that is unique to the enterprise. They need to be given access to specific parts of your system, given a new device, and provisioned into the enterprise. This process, if done manually, can take a long time, which, in turn, reduces an employee’s ability to begin work faster.

Automated provisioning helps speed up the process of granting new employees access to the required parts of your system. With self-service provisioning, existing employees can easily access different parts of the system without waiting to ask your IT team for permission. Automated provisioning grants easy access to applications and systems and the ability to work remotely and integrate with enterprise solutions, such as Microsoft Office 365 and Azure AD.

Enhances the user experience

Today, users don’t have the time to remember multiple usernames and passwords. Instead, they expect to use one identity to log in to multiple systems and applications. Users also expect their privacy to be treated with the utmost importance — user consent precedes everything.

Your system might comprise different internal and external applications with various access methods. CIAM or Customer IAM strives to bring components from the IAM digital practice to provide users a seamless experience when online.

With identity federation and single sign-on (SSO), your customers and partners can access different areas of your system with one account, ensuring you provide a seamless user experience. Similarly, adaptive authentication balances out both requirements when authenticating a user, providing security and usability based on user context. Passwordless authentication is another method to provide phishing free access to users which reduces IT supports costs and improves user experience.

Complies with privacy and industry regulations

Given the rise of the security and privacy breaches, enterprises must ensure they adhere to data privacy regulations,that systems are secure, and transactions and encounters are based on user consent. A data breach impacts a company’s revenue, and, more importantly, reputation. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is one such regulation that came into play on May 25th; it focuses on a user’s preference to be in contact, forgotten, and be free from any breach. The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), which will come into force on Jan 1, 2020, is another bill that enhances privacy rights and consumer protection for residents of California, USA. An IAM solution should provide capabilities such as consent management so that an enterprise can comply with the regulations and ensure secure access for users.

Learn how WSO2 IAM helped Greek municipalities become GDPR compliant.

Increases security and reduces risk

The risk of a breach is higher when connecting with many identity providers across applications. You need to cover all your bases and think of all the security aspects of the system.

With strong and adaptive authentication or with passwordless authentication, you can make sure that identities that access your system are fully verified and your system is free from data breaches. Moreover, the parts of your system these IDs can access should also be controlled through grant types. By monitoring your system through analytics, running fraud detection and using alerting functions, you can know when your business is at risk in real-time and take prompt action.

Increases business agility and speeds innovation

In this fast-paced world, your business should be agile to adopt software as a service offering, e.g., Salesforce, Concur, Google Apps, and GoToMeeting. This is an increasing demand for companies that adopt CIAM strategies given all the systems and applications that need to connect.

With SSO and identity provisioning, you can allow easy secure access to these systems without creating additional security silos. You can also reduce IT demands through easy password management.

Being continuously innovative keeps enterprises on top. Open source IAM, in particular, allows this given the flexibility and ability to address the unique requirements of each enterprise. Read this white paper to learn the benefits of choosing open source IAM.

Today, WSO2 serves as a trusted technology partner for some of the world’s largest enterprises engaging in digital transformation; we take pride in helping them become integration agile. The company provides purpose-built software to meet today’s demands for an agile approach to API management, integration, identity and access management, and analytics.

About WSO2 Identity Server

WSO2 Identity Server is a highly extensible open-source IAM solution that facilitates single sign-on between applications and federates identities between multiple heterogeneous systems. It’s also optimized for customer IAM (CIAM). Read more about WSO2 Identity Server and our success stories here.

References

  1. https://www.channele2e.com/2016/02/03/whats-driving-identity-and-access-management-iam-adoption/
  2. https://www.bedelsecurity.com/blog/5-objectives-for-a-chief-information-security-officer
  3. https://www.computerweekly.com/feature/Its-complicated-How-enterprises-are-approaching-IAM-challenges
  4. https://www.csoonline.com/article/3256147/security/what-s-on-cisos-minds-in-2018.html
  5. https://www.csoonline.com/article/3208664/it-careers/how-to-write-an-information-security-architect-job-description.html

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