Identity Governance With The Advent of the Cloud

As more businesses shift from on-premises software to cloud-based services and work to expand mobile access, identity management tasks become more complex. Sensitive data flowing between onsite and offsite devices requires strong protections to prevent unauthorized access, and a new approach is needed to address the increasing number of mobile devices connecting to enterprise systems.

A new generation of identity and access management (IAM) practices is emerging to handle growing security concerns. Although many businesses already use a form of identity governance and administration (IGA) to handle the details of IAM, it’s time to consider following the cloud trend and adopting cloud-based IGA for better administration of identities and permissions.

IAM vs. IGA

Your company’s IAM policy covers the basic management of user identities, including provisioning, permissions, login information and the monitoring and adjusting of privilege levels. IGA includes IAM but goes beyond the basics to establish a holistic “framework and structure for the efficient management of identities.” An IGA service provides tools to:

• Define and review IAM policies
• Conduct routine IAM audits
• Ensure IAM practices are in line with all major compliance requirements
• Handle user administration throughout the network
• Manage privileged identities
• Analyze the effectiveness and safety of your current IAM approach

By bringing together identity and access data from all IT systems across an enterprise, IGA allows for true governance of IAM processes. Detailed analytics and reporting, along with regular IAM audits, are an essential component of successful IGA deployment.

If your enterprise is currently relying on traditional IAM to handle the identity lifecycle, you’re likely trying to deal with more than your IT department can manage at once. Traditional systems tend to segment information into silos, making it difficult to get a clear view of the roles, entitlements and access levels assigned to each employee. Making the move to cloud-based IGA puts all your identity management tools in one place, allowing you to integrate applications and address every access security concern through a user-friendly administrative dashboard.

Cloud Migration is Changing IGA

The move to migrate business services and applications to the cloud is a logical step in the evolution of enterprise technologies. Defined by IGA service provider Saviynt as a “borderless enterprise,” the new face of business includes complex information systems in which users log in from both onsite networks and mobile devices, switching back and forth to accommodate changes in locations and schedules. Not all employees spend the entirety of their work days at the office, and some have no permanent desk space at all. This new work structure necessitates a mobile-friendly solution in which critical business applications are accessible from anywhere using a wide range of devices.

The increasing complexity presented by such systems has prompted the need for a new generation of identity governance. Known as IGA 2.0 and pioneered by companies like Saviynt, this approach to governance and management aims to:

• Remove the barriers between information silos
• Utilize machine learning to automate IAM processes
• Leverage tactics like micro-certification for better security
• Adopt risk- and usage-based models for establishing access rules
• Create a better approach to segregation of duties (SoD)
• Establish smarter rules for provisioning

These changes are necessary in enterprise environments where both onsite and cloud-based applications are in use or systems are being migrated to the cloud. The interplay between cloud, mobile and IoT technologies in the modern enterprise creates the need for a more granular approach to IAM via scalable solutions suitable for a variety of network environments.

Who Should Adopt Cloud-Based IGA?

Not all businesses need or can benefit from a cloud-based IGA solution. How do you know it’s time to make the switch? Consider adopting IGA if:

• You run an enterprise-level business with multiple systems and a large number of users
• Your IT department is overburdened with IAM tasks
• You’re scaling up or foresee significant growth in the near future
• Your enterprise is subject to several different compliance regulations
• You need a way to automate existing well-defined IAM policies and user roles
• Employees routinely access both cloud-based and onsite systems
• Permissions for daily workflows are complex
• Workflows require users to access several apps or move between systems
• SoD is necessary to prevent inappropriate access
• You’re looking to create and easily maintain a secure user access policy across the enterprise

Changes in the way enterprise systems are accessed and data is handled, stored and transmitted can overwhelm your IT department as they try to juggle IAM in siloed environments. IGA offers a partial solution but needs to be brought up to speed with the rapidly expanding use of modern technologies. Adopting cloud-based IGA for your enterprise gives you the flexibility, scalability and ease of management you need to create a consistent solution for handling access to onsite and cloud applications across your entire organization.

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