Do you know how well your identity and access management programs are designed and operating? Considering that the majority of data breach incidents are caused by poor Identity and Access Management (IAM) practices and training, companies and their management in a wide range of industries may be wondering how effective their IAM programs are in the industry.
There are a few questions that companies should ask themselves such as:
- How does my IAM program benchmark to the international standards, best practices, or even to similar companies within the same industry which is also known as “Competitive Benchmarking”?
- How confident can I be that my identity and access management program will prevent, detect, and mitigate intrusions and data breach incidents?
- Does my IAM program comply with regulations and other requirements such as client contracts?
To answer these questions, some organizations undergo program certification to assess their IAM compliance as well as capability and maturity levels by an independent verification body.
Types of Programs to Certify
There are many aspects of an Identity and Access Management program than can be considered for certification including but not limited to:
- Customer Identification and Know Your Customer (KYC) Programs
- Identity Theft Prevention Program (Red Flags Rule)
- On-boarding and off-boarding processes
- Access review and validation (annual access certification)
- Other related compliance programs
Program certification is a voluntary process which allows company management to obtain an independent assessment regarding the completeness and effectiveness of its compliance efforts and ensure maximum reduction of identity and access management risks around identity verification and validation, data protection and privacy, identity theft and fraud, regulatory compliance, access management, and suspicious account activities. A certified program provides company management, its board, as well as its customers and other business partners the assurance that the company is in compliance with various regulations and requirements which is ultimately an indication of the effectiveness of management’s risk management posture. Even if management does not seek program certification, an audit of selected areas can provide management with feedback and actionable steps to improve its programs and processes.
Other benefits may include:
- Demonstrate a commitment to an effective program
- Improve the program through an objective assessment
- Gain customer and public trust
- Reduce business risks including intrusions and data breach incidents
- Minimize losses due to identity theft and fraud
- Comply with regulations and business requirements
- Streamline and improve business processes
- Educate and certify employees
Program Certification Process
Identity Management Institute offers an IAM program certification process which includes a completeness review of the scope under review and effectiveness test in accordance with the regulatory requirements, standards, and best practices. IMI’s program certification process consists of assessing how organizations develop, implement, monitor, review, and improve their IAM program which may include a specific application, service, or the entire organization.
How Fast Can You Certify Your Program?
The speed of a program certification depends largely on the organization’s scope, budget, urgency, available resources, gaps, and remediation strategy. Depending on the objective, the certification process which also allows time for planning, gap identification, and remediation can vary from 3 to 24 months. One of the important aspects of IAM program certification is employee training and certification.
Interested audit organization may register with IMI and become an approved certification partner to audit IAM programs. Accreditation ensures that registered bodies follow a pre-approved audit approach designed by IMI for program certification. By joining IMI, registered audit organizations will gain the confidence of their clients and receive referrals by being listed on IMI website as registered auditors.