Tips for Choosing the Best IAM Solution

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 know which is the best identity and access management solution for your organization? We’ve prepared a few useful tips on choosing an identity and access management vendor. But first, let’s look at current IAM trends that you should 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. Gartner’s “Buyer’s Guide for Choosing an IAM Solution” recommends keeping an eye on the global IAM trends to see what dangers and possible threats you need to address first.

Here are 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 as well as 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 which would 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 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’s identity, is considered to be one possible solution to this problem.

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 the right IAM solution is much larger. So let’s look at the main criteria for picking the best identity and access management solution in 2019.

High-End Protection of Critical Assets

Generally, there are two main issues organizations want to solve with the help of IAM:

  • Ensure the people accessing your corporate network are who they claim to be.
  • Ensure 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 IAM software:

  1. 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 percent of data breaches. MFA helps you fill the gap in user identification and, therefore, reduce the risk of data breaches.
  2. 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 when you need to grant someone temporary access to a specific endpoint or sensitive data.
  3. 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 that your subcontractors don’t misuse granted privileges. So, the best option would be to choose an IAM product that also can be used for monitoring third-party vendor activity within your corporate network.
  4. 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. Look for 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 each and 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 where all those trending features and additional tools are 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 products that offer great functionality at an affordable price but lack 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 cyberattacks.

Keep watching for the latest cybersecurity trends and you’ll always know what to improve in your current IAM environment.

Marcell Gogan

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Marcell Gogan

Marcell Gogan is a specialist within digital security solutions, business design and development, virtualization and cloud computing, R&D projects, establishment and management of software research direction – working with Ekran System. He also loves writing about data management and cybersecurity.

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