4 Tips For Optimizing Your Identity and Access Management

optimizing your identity and access management

Cybersecurity experts know that while malware can do serious damage to enterprises large and small, identity is where the true digital danger lies. Hackers in possession of your employees’ credentials can inflict a crippling blow by leaking proprietary or consumer data, siphoning funds, or disrupting vital business processes.

Therefore, optimizing your identity and access management strategies and processes is of the utmost importance to enterprises in modern times. In that vein, here’s 4 tips for enterprises to consider:   

Put an End to your Legacy IAM Solution

Despite how counterintuitive it might seem, having more solutions stacked on top of one another does not guarantee better security for your enterprise. Furthermore, older identity and access management systems can be expensive to maintain and inadequate to face current identity threats. Too many identity and access management solutions can cause integration issues that actually allow more threats to slip past your security policies.

In order to best optimize your IAM strategy, regularly reassess what identity and access management solutions your enterprise uses. Evaluate whether they adequately protect you and your employees, and remove or update older solutions.  

Consider Optimizing Your Identity and Access Management Workflow

For the unfamiliar, an identity and access management workflow is any series of operations that your enterprise enacts to manage identities across your network. These operations might include onboarding (bringing new identities in), provisioning (modifying an identity’s internal permissions), and termination of identities (self-explanatory but absolutely vital).

To order to best optimize your IAM workflows, your enterprise must decide on how they define optimization in terms of identity and access management. Does your enterprise need greater efficiency and accuracy in its workflows? Automating your workflows might be the right call in that case. Are you looking to save on IT cybersecurity costs so your enterprise can invest in other aspects of digital security? Perhaps limiting the automated processes your team utilizes can alleviate some of the complexity and costs in your IAM. Consult with your IT cybersecurity team, determine what they can handle manually, and see what your solution provider can do to streamline the workflows.  

On that front…   

Allow Automatic Password Resets with 2 Factor Authentication

Help desks can be swiftly overwhelmed by requests for password resets from employees. With employees expected to memorize over 150 passwords, this isn’t a surprise. This can leave your help desk with no time to investigate potential threats or help with other issues.

In optimizing your identity and access management strategy, allow employees to retrieve their passwords automatically, through automated processes, to give your help desk time to breathe. If you plan on doing so, it is best practice to deploying a 2-factor authentication solution to ensure that employees’ reset requests are valid. Hard token systems can help ensure hackers do not pose as employees to steal their credentials.

Educate your Employees on the Best IAM Hygiene Practices

Your IAM solution is only as strong as your employees; your employees are your largest attack vector. If they treat their credentials cavalierly, apathetically, or ignorantly, your efforts to optimize will be for not.

Therefore, it’s vital to educate your employees to recognize phishing campaigns, develop strong passwords, and use 2-factor or multifactor authentication if you wish to optimize you IAM. Even more crucially, get your employees involved in protecting your enterprise’s data. You can do this by making identity and access management best practices a part of their regular employees reviews or incentivizing good digital hygiene by (for example) rewarding catching a forwarded spearphishing email and alerting your cybersecurity team.

On your end, however, remember to make sure the end-experience isn’t so complicated as to turn employees off. The best education in the work won’t work if the policy is confusing or obnoxious to follow. Survey your employees to see where your enterprise’s identity and access management policies are causing undue stress.

Ben Canner

Ben Canner is an enterprise technology writer and analyst covering Identity Management, SIEM, Endpoint Protection, and Cybersecurity writ large. He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English from Clark University in Worcester, MA. He previously worked as a corporate blogger and ghost writer. You can reach him via Twitter and LinkedIn.
Ben Canner