In a context where the traditional boundaries of the information system (IS) are no longer valid, identity and access management (IAM) is becoming crucial. It provides a means of controlling access to the IS from any access point, including the use of new equipment such as tablets and smartphones, and the adoption of new services such as cloud computing.
What is identity and access management?
Identity and access management is a cybersecurity discipline that aims to ensure that “the right people have the right access to the right resources, at the right time, for the right reasons”.
To begin with, it is important to manage identities effectively by creating user profiles that match the needs of those profiles. Once the user profiles have been defined, the accesses for each of these profiles need to be defined so that each user has access to the resources required for their tasks.
Why implement an identity and access management process?
Having defined what IAM is, we can now talk about the benefits that these solutions bring to a company.
From a cybersecurity point of view, the benefits seem obvious. By creating user profiles that only allow access to the resources they need for their tasks, we can limit the consequences of a data leak in the event of a cyber crisis. If an employee is the victim of a phishing attack, without IAM all the documents on the IS are compromised. In the same case, but with an IAM solution in place, only the documents to which the employee has access will be compromised.
In the same vein, this is a necessary and effective process for ensuring compliance with the GDPR. Firstly, in the event of a data breach, its scale will be limited for the same reasons as mentioned above. Secondly, this process ensures that each employee only has access to the resources that are strictly necessary for their job, including personal data. Indeed, with the implementation of an IAM process, a sales rep will not have access to HR files containing personal data that is not useful to them in their role as a sales rep.
What does the future hold for identity and access management?
Trends show that over the last few years, this discipline has been gradually developing via Cloud services offered by external service providers who manage access and identities on behalf of the company. This is known as IDaaS: Identity as a Service. Estimates suggest that the IDaaS market will continue to grow, reaching around $18 billion by 2029.