Information is power, so only the right people must have access to it. Identity and access management (IAM) is one of the key tools you can use for ensuring corporate cybersecurity.
There are many security providers on the market, but how do you find an identity and access management solution that’s right for you? We’ve prepared a few useful tips on choosing an IAM vendor. But first, let’s look at current trends to keep in mind when making your choice.
Top IAM Trends in 2019
When it comes to choosing an IAM solution, knowing current cybersecurity trends is a must. The Buyer’s Guide for Choosing an IAM Solution by Gartner recommends keeping an eye on the global IAM trends to see what dangers and possible threats you need to address first.
Below, we list several trends that are shaping the field in 2019:
- Advanced MFA solutions ― Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is a must-have element for any high-quality IAM solution. However, with the rising number of attacks targeting traditional two-factor authentication mechanisms, organizations are shifting their attention to stronger and more advanced solutions. For instance, many modern MFA solutions leverage biometrics while also using one-time passwords as an additional level of protection.
- Third-party vendor management ― Granting third-party subcontractors full or even partial access to your corporate network is a serious risk to your corporate cybersecurity. Enterprises are in need of a third-party vendor management solution that can offer full visibility of subcontractor’s actions across their networks and provide granular access management for different groups of vendors.
- Zero-trust security architecture ― An approach ruled by the motto, “Never trust, always verify,” will gain even more popularity in 2019. Organizations around the globe embrace business-critical cloud services, integrate IoT devices into their networks and implement bring your own device (BYOD) policies. All these factors increase the need for ensuring quality identity management and secure access to critical assets.
- IoT security ― Connected ‘things’ are predicted to reach more than 20 billion by 2020. The rising popularity of IoT devices creates the need for developing new strategies and techniques regarding IoT security. The so-called identity of things (IDoT), which ensures the identity of a particular device rather than a user identity, is considered to be one of the possible solutions to this problem.
How, then, can you choose the identity and access management solution that will fit the needs of your organization? In the next section, we give you a short checklist of the main IAM features to look for.
Choosing the Best IAM Solution
Knowing the emerging IAM trends is important for understanding what cybersecurity risks you may face in the near future and what features might help you mitigate these risks. However, the scope of requirements you must take into account when looking for an A+ IAM solution is much larger. So let’s look at the main criteria for choosing the best identity and access management solution.
High-End Protection of Critical Assets
Generally, there are two main issues that organizations want to solve with the help of IAM:
- Make sure people accessing your corporate network are exactly the ones they claim to be.
- Make sure your network users have the appropriate access permissions (and do not have the access permissions not needed for their regular work).
Many of today’s IAM solutions offer a large set of tools that can help you solve both these tasks successfully. Below, we list the four most useful features you should look for when picking an IAM software:
- Multi-factor authentication ― Single-factor authentication is dangerous because of the lack of proof of identity. According to the 2018 Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR), in the past few years, compromised passwords were the initial cause of more than 80% of data breaches. MFA helps you fill the gap in user identification and, therefore, reduce the risk of data breaches.
- One-time passwords ― One-time passwords add another level of identity verification, which is especially useful for protecting data and assets of high value. It’s also a great solution for situations when you need to grant someone temporary access to a specific endpoint or sensitive data.
- Third-party vendor access management and monitoring ― Quality IAM solutions may help you ensure the right level of access granularity when it comes to third-party subcontractors. But it’s also important to make sure your subcontractors don’t misuse granted privileges. So, the best option would be to choose an IAM product that can also be used for monitoring third-party vendor activity within your corporate network.
- Shared account personalization ― Organizations often use shared admin accounts for different systems, services, and applications. The main risk associated with such an approach is the lack of personalization of all the actions performed under the shared account. Secondary authentication can help you eliminate the lack of identity verification in shared accounts and add an additional level of protection for business sensitive information.
Proactive Incident Response
Being able to quickly react to a cybersecurity incident is vital. Therefore, you need an IAM solution that can notify you of a user authorization issue (multiple unsuccessful login attempts, for instance) and let you proactively respond to such an incident by temporary blocking a suspicious account.
Look for solutions that allow setting custom alerts for specific events or user actions and support automatic response actions to critical incidents.
Easy to Use and User-Friendly
Undoubtedly, the best identity and access management software is the one you can work comfortably with, without constantly asking questions about every tool or function. After all, rich functionality is a big advantage only when you know how to use it. So look for a product with all those trending features and additional tools wrapped into a user-friendly interface and supported with a premium-level client service.
Last but not least, make sure the IAM solution you choose is compatible with the network architectures, operating systems and SIEM systems used by your organization. There are many interesting products that offer great functionality at an affordable price but have a serious disadvantage: the lack of support for different platforms.
High-quality identity and access management is a must for any modern organization. Knowing who has access to your sensitive data, as well as how and when they access it, is crucial for preventing insider threats and enhancing your organization’s safety against cyber attacks.
Now, you have all the information you might need to select the IAM that’s best-suited for your organization. Keep watching for the latest cybersecurity trends and you’ll always know what to improve in your current IAM environment.