Recognizing Access Management As A Cyber Security Framework And Process Control

Trust, Sensitive Company Data Drive Demand For Network Security Tactics

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Jeff Orr

Access Management

There are many disciplines that fall beneath the umbrella of IT security. Identity and Access Management (IAM) and Privileged Access Management (PAM) are critically important in terms of network security business tactics to shore up sensitive information.

In granting access to specific accounts in the enterprise, and subsequently managing them for maximum security, this discipline has become paramount in the day-to-day operations of a business.

These applications and platforms store information about individuals, hardware and software, and can be managed with strict network controls and other authentication methods. Cyber Security Hub developed a market report that delves into the world of IAM and PAM, their upkeep, soaring importance and the pressing topic of privileged access, which is an issue of trust, visibility and keeping close tabs on admin users.

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Recognizing IAM As A Process Control

On its face, IAM is both essential and evolving. That is, while its practices comprise the way users access systems and databases, it’s changing just as fast as the IT environment – especially amid digital transformations to the cloud.

As a framework, IAM (or IdM) is a process/protocol for allowing the right people to gain access to various business resources. While its administration typically falls to the IT security team, there is no clear delineation of who must take the reins.

Described from a distance, IAM allows for proper access – using authentication and authorization – but it also involves the oversight of hardware and applications for various logins.

With the intensifying threat and regulatory landscapes, IAM has surged in importance at the enterprise level in recent years. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has also allowed for more stringent controls and awareness for access-related topics.

While IAM started on-premises, it has transitioned to the cloud – much like other aspects of IT administration. Some enterprises have also opted for hybrid IAM setups, which include a mix of directories and systems.

Mark Bowker, Senior Analyst, ESG Global Research, described IAM and its corporate standing in the following way: “IT and security professionals have lost control of applications in devices, and, ultimately, the only thing left to control is the user – specifically identity and data access.”

“IAM is extremely important, then, and comprises a sort of front door into apps and data in an enterprise.”

“With the proliferation of devices and mobile strategy, companies are leaning more toward cloud computing; this means that IAM becomes exceedingly more important as a function.”

Lisa Tuttle, CISO, SPX Corporation, concisely described IAM as “a process that is critically important.” She said that “ultimately, IAM is a process control.”

“Today, work is an activity, not a location, so managing identities of people and devices must encompass unlimited physical boundaries,” she said.

An additional item to call out, however, is that IAM principles are not “new.” They’ve even been around since the early days of the Internet, and prior. The problem becomes the question of auto pilot. Do companies have their IAM strategy in “babysitting” mode? This question becomes exponentially important as the security surface widens.

See Related: 5 Undeniable Reasons To Prioritize Enterprise IoT Security

Authenticating someone’s identity could ultimately mean safe and secure business operations. Questions CISOs and security team members need to ask include: Where do IAM solutions sit? Which devices do they sit on? Is there a goal of where the company is headed for its IAM policy? An answer either way could influence overall security posture.

Take The Next Step With Access Management

Download User Security Begins With Access Management to learn more about this cyber security topic and ways in which it can impact the enterprise. The report examines some of the most impactful strategies that threat actors employ to access sensitive data, along with methods specialists can utilize to bolster their network security (and how that dynamic has shifted).

Also, the report offers advice for practicing CISOs and marks the path ahead for access controls. Valuable insight is included from veteran industry analysts and end-user practitioners to reduce your risk.

See Related: Archive Of Cyber Security Hub Market Reports