In 2023, one of the key threats that should be at the forefront of every business's mind is cybersecurity. Across the world, financial markets are struggling to rebuild after the last few years, with 400,000 small businesses already gone dark in the US alone. Considering that small business numbers have dropped and cyberattacks worldwide have increased – with financially motivated attacks peaking in 2022 – the need for software protection has become more of an essential practice than ever.
One of the most popular ways of protecting your business is through IAM – or identity access management – which is a framework that gives an IT team the means to control who has access to a network and its assets based on a user's identity. It does this by verifying the user based on existing information – all kept in a secure database, as well as requesting the user's identity to ascertain what rights it may have to different networks, applications, devices or data. The users in question include employees of the business, partners, and customers with devices like computers, routers, servers, controllers and even smartphones.
The end goal is to ensure that the digital identity of the user demanding access is verified and authenticated, with a single digital identity given to a single individual or item. It does this through permission authorisations, onboarding users and off-boarding in a quick and efficient manner. The identity of the user itself is maintained and monitored so long as the user – or device – is accessing the system.
There are a number of benefits to IAM, especially when it comes to multi-cloud computing environments. In 2023, most software is broken into a number of networks, which might make them harder to access – although it is still doable – but subsequently makes them harder to control and supervise in an efficient manner. Whatever your system, however, IAM is a basic but effective way to ensure your enterprise assets remain safe. If you need more convincing, here's a quick run-through of seven key services IAM can offer:
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It Can Give Your Users An Identity
With hackers taking advantage of the anonymous aspect of online procedures, IAM can ascertain and preserve a digital identity, controlling user access and avoiding the possibility of data breaches and illegal access by anonymous assailants.
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It Can Reduce The Issue Of Human Error
Before the concept of IAM, organisations would have to rely on manual privileges, with permission settings that were not easy to follow on an individual scale. This would then lead to authentication errors which were not only dangerous but time-consuming for the IT team to put right – which could damage the experience of customers if they are the end-user in question. With IAM, the manual process is removed, and the IT team can manage access through a fully automated process.
Data Is Now Confidential
When it comes to cyber security, data confidentiality is key. When a hacker targets your company's systems, they are also targeting the company's digital assets, including files and applications that could be invaluable in a financial sense. IAM provides transparency that can allow project managers and the IT team to monitor every user and protect the assets in question.
You Are Being Compliant
Compliance is another important aspect of a business, specifically companies that are running on a multi-cloud computing environment – where being compliant can be more of a challenge. IAM can enforce compliances like HIPAA and GDPR, ensuring that you exist within the rules and regulations without having to pay attention to them all separately. There are many reasons why time management and allocation are important to business, and, once again, focusing on each individual regulation would take time and effort that would be better spent elsewhere.
A Faster Route To Access
With IAM, employees and customers alike can access business resources through mechanisms like multi-factor authentication, biometric authentication and SSO. This allows access to the network to be both dependable and fast, as admins can limit the number of interactions that an identified user has with the security systems.
It Can End Incident Management Confusion
One of the problems that IT teams have while running a multi-cloud system is the sheer amount of incident management tools that they have to use. This can lead to confusion and, subsequently, failures in security for the system itself. IAM, on the other hand, has a number of incident response tools embedded within the platform itself, allowing it to detect threats and quickly notify the IT team. Data breaches – or identity fraud – can also be easily traced by IAM, ending the confusion that can befall a team who has to do it all themselves.
Everything In Real-Time
One of the things you need to avoid as a business is being reactive, not proactive. It's no good recognising a security breach but only being able to provide damage limitation after the fact. IAM can detect external and internal threats and resolve them in real time, allowing other users to maintain their usual operations whilst the security team promptly responds to the threat. This, once again, comes down to the simple, automated proficiency that IAM can provide. With software getting more and more complicated, it is essential that a comprehensive, effective protective shield is in place to keep them running smoothly.