Why Your Business Needs Better Identity Governance

Why Your Business Needs Better Identity Governance

What makes for better identity governance and administration (IGA) in your enterprise? And why does your business need better identity governance?   

Regardless of your enterprise’s size, industry, and goals, users crowd your network. Every employee, contractor, software bot, application, and customer possess its own identity with its own access permissions. With so many users and identities, IT security team swiftly become overwhelmed keeping track of their permissions.

Which becomes its own problem in turn…

Why Better Identity Governance Matters

Ideally, every user’s permissions in your enterprise network should correspond to their role in your business. Your HR staff should possess permissions to databases relevant to their jobs, and shouldn’t possess access to your financial department’s resources.

However, business processes, ongoing or one-time projects, and the demands of the workday create scenarios in which employees need temporary permissions to resources outside their parameters. Moreover, as the enterprise network grows, evolves, and engages in transactions, permissions which once fit with certain roles may no longer apply.

In either case, if these improper permissions remain on a user’s account, it becomes a case of access creep. Access creep—permission accumulation continuing unchecked—can pose a serious risk to your enterprise. Hackers love overstuffed digital identities and accounts, as do insider threats.

Better identity governance helps enforce role management on your enterprise; it determines what your employees have access to and how they use that access. Additionally, better identity governance can help your security team evaluate the appropriateness of users’ permissions and revoke cases of incorrect access when necessary.

Furthermore, identity governance and administration can ensure temporary permissions stay temporary, keeping them on strict timelines to prevent access creep.   

At its core, better identity governance improves your visibility into your network, users, and employees; IGA helps your team see their behaviors and their permissions so you can make informed decisions.              

What Else Can Identity Governance Do for Your Enterprise?

Better identity governance doesn’t just protect your business against access creep. Identity governance and administration provides a wide range of capabilities and benefits enterprise often miss by not deploying a next-gen solution. As a few examples:

  • Reduce Your Identity Security Risk: IGA can locate and identify suspicious access behaviors within your network. Additionally, it can also find orphaned accounts, stolen credentials, and lapses in privileged access.  
  • Automate Identity Security Tasks: IGA’s machine learning capabilities can automate group and individual permissions comparisons, threat contextualization, and reporting.
  • Improve Productivity: Better identity governance allows for automated provisioning and deprovisioning and streamlined access requests.  
  • Compliance: IGA streamlines compliance reporting, enabling easier fulfillment of regulatory mandates.    

How To Get Better Identity Governance

The first step to better identity governance is selecting and deploying the right solution. Legacy identity management solutions won’t provide the capabilities or the intelligence necessary to protect your enterprise against modern threats. Your business needs a next-generation identity governance and administration solution. Plain and simple.

Additionally, make sure you find a next-gen solution which fits your enterprise’s identity security needs. You cannot make a hasty decision when it comes to your identity security; deploying an IGA solution properly takes time and resources.

Replacing them can prove more than just a headache; it can invalidate weeks of hard work and create future integration issues. Never make a cybersecurity decision rashly or to patch an issue without considering the ramifications; this applies to all of cybersecurity, not just IGA.        

Finally, your enterprise must have the right leadership; if your enterprise doesn’t have a CIO or CISO, it is time to discuss bringing one into the boardroom. Better identity governance must be a C-level priority. Failing to do so could not only result in a data breach but in a compliance failure.

Better Identity Governance is the New Perimeter

We began this article with the question “why does your business need better identity governance?” In the end, the answer is simple: perimeter security can’t sufficiently protect your enterprise. Identity now serves as the perimeter keeping your enterprise safe from external attacks. Hackers seek out vulnerable user accounts to sneak into networks undetected, which in turns signifies identity as the most blatant attack vector.   

To conclude, only better identity governance which monitors user behaviors anywhere on the network and on any device can protect your business processes and databases. Indeed, the key to keeping your enterprise healthy in the digital era is constant self-awareness of your digital activities. Without a doubt, IGA makes that happen.  

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