Managing access to today’s growing number of digital work environments is complicated. Without a strong Identity Governance solution, manual processes can lead to errors that create security risks or cause unnecessary delays in providing access.
IGA addresses these issues by automating processes and reducing administrator overhead across departments, including HR, IT, and security. Here are some advantages of implementing identity governance:
1. Improved Security
Organizations increasingly adopt and use cloud-based IT applications and require a robust identity governance and administration program. A strong Identity Governance solution enables better access control to data and systems, reduces risk, and improves compliance performance.
IGA solutions provide a balance between productivity – how quickly can a new employee be given access to the tools they need to do their job – and security – ensuring that those tools are granted following the principle of least privilege. They help ensure system accounts are not given excessive rights, reducing the opportunity for malicious insider activity or account takeover.
IGA solutions also enforce segregation of duties policies by limiting how many roles a single user can hold. This helps prevent erroneous and fraudulent activities that could damage the business. This is especially critical for companies that allow employees to work remotely or from home. Using an IGA solution, workers can easily gain safe and secure access to data when they need it from any device with minimal impact on productivity. This is possible because these systems automate tasks like onboarding, de-provisioning, and adjusting access when employees change roles.
2. Reduced Risk
In addition to reducing the risk of identity theft, cyber-attacks, and data breaches, an IGA framework can help organizations comply with regulatory requirements like GDPR, HIPAA, SOX, and PCI DSS. It can also ensure that users can access the systems and information they need to do their jobs without exposing sensitive data or creating unnecessary security risks.
Unfortunately, human administrators are prone to error, which can give users too much or too little access, putting them at risk. IGA solutions help mitigate this risk by automating processes, spotting anomalous behavior, and enforcing policies like segregation of duties.
3. Improved Compliance
Many of the same advantages that identity governance provides for security also help improve compliance. For example, a strong IGA solution ensures that privileged access isn’t being misused by employees or third parties, which can reduce the risk of data breaches. This is because it enables administrators to see who has access to sensitive information and can identify potential threats to the integrity of that data.
In addition, a well-implemented IGA solution can automate processes to reduce the manual workload for IT teams, security professionals, and help desk staff. This can significantly lower operational costs and improve productivity while reducing the chance of human errors that could lead to security risks or compliance gaps.
A good IGA solution can also help to automatically provision, de-provision, and re-certify access to identities across systems. This can significantly streamline the process of providing new users and re-certifying access for existing ones, allowing organizations to consistently follow best practices and apply the principle of least privilege. It can even detect unusual or suspicious activity and alert the appropriate people when necessary.
4. Increased Efficiency
A good Identity Governance solution enables greater efficiency through automated processes that will allow a quicker response to access requests and certification. This eliminates time-consuming manual efforts to perform these functions and reduces the risk of mistakes that could result in unauthorized access.
Identity governance solutions typically offer a centralized identity repository that serves as the single source of truth for user identities and their attributes. This enables consistent management of users across various systems and applications. It also allows integration with those systems and applications to provision access automatically using that centralized identity data.
An effective IGA solution provides greater visibility into entitlements to ensure that users have the right level of access for their current job or role. This helps during onboarding, role changes and offboarding. It also helps to prevent “access creep,” where long-term users accumulate excessive privileges that can be compromised during phishing or other account takeover attacks.
In addition, IGA solutions help improve security by enabling Segregation of Duties and other practices designed to minimize the impact of a breach caused by a malicious insider. While these controls cannot prevent a hacker or social engineer from compromising a user’s account, they can significantly reduce the damage that can be done if those accounts are granted excessive privileges.
5. Reduced Costs
Managing identity across multiple systems, applications, and databases can become extremely complex. With identity governance, organizations benefit from a centralized framework that streamlines identity management processes and reduces administrative overhead.
The right identity governance solution can reduce human errors and unnecessary work. Without a strong identity governance program, it is easy to grant too much access to an identity, which can elevate security risks, or provide too little access, which can stifle productivity. Identity governance solutions eliminate these issues with streamlined access requests and automated access review processes.
The centralized policies of an identity governance solution also make it easier to manage privileged access and eliminate the risk of insider threats. For example, suppose an IT administrator is granted root access to a system and logs in remotely. In that case, the identity governance solution can automatically detect and alert managers, who can review the situation and decide whether to revoke the privileges. This reduces risk and ensures compliance with governing regulations such as GDPR. It is a critical capability to look for in any IGA solution you are considering.
Lastly, IGA helps improve operational efficiency by enabling self-service capabilities and allowing employees to request access. This reduces IT support demand and increases worker productivity. It also helps reduce the risk of IT-related incidents by ensuring that access is continuously right-sized and only granted for the needed time.
This leads to lower operational costs and improved security, compliance and performance. Forward Advantage can help you implement an effective IGA program that delivers these benefits.